If you are out of work or looking to apply for position other than the one you have now, please do yourself a favour and invest in it on a full-time basis now. What’s the rush? It’s the middle of February and the most productive time the entire year to find a new job is in March. That means you’ve got precious little time to get things together!
Soon University students are going to be flooding an already crowded marketplace; some hungry for summer jobs, the graduating class hungry for those entry-level permanent jobs that will speed them on their way to fame and fortune. You of course need fewer competitors to get hired not more!
You might have your resume up-to-date and ready to go. You may still be job searching with the mistaken belief that your resume just has to be shipped out intact to all those employers without any revisions because someone told you it’s a great resume. It WAS a great resume of course for the single job you used it for. However, you’ll soon find that the resume that once looked so squeaky clean, new and improved is NOT crafted for other jobs you may be applying for now. The result is going to be an unemployed but wiser you after the prime hiring period of March is past and you’re competing not with University grads, but high school students!
Many companies are in bad shape these days and are desperately trying to keep that health update out of the media. As soon as a company shares its poor health, workers start job searching, investing less, the top talent stops looking at the company as a viable option for the long-term, and a brain drain away from the company follows. Okay so companies are downsizing, laying off workers, holding off on raises, new hires and some are seriously closing up and moving to other countries or jurisdictions where the labour is cheaper, production costs lower and the result? More workers entering a competitive market.
Now you can make a juvenile mistake and think that all this doom and gloom is going to hit other people but not you. You’d be wiser of course to consider that you aren’t as invincible as you might like to think. There are people out there who really believe that they are easily the best of the best; that they’ve always had an easy time of it when it came to finding work, and that 2015 is no different. I see these people quite a bit actually; applicants of social assistance who exhausted their financial reserves and were reduced to applying for social assistance because they CANNOT find work as easily as they once thought. Hmmm….lesson here anyone?
Think about the six month rule of thumb too. What’s the six month rule of thumb you ask? Well, employers often tell me that when they look at a resume, ANYTHING on it that is older than six months in terms of employment is out-of-date and it’s value greatly diminished. In other words unless your last job was within that six month window, its value to you on your resume doesn’t impress the employer as much as it might you. Times change quickly. Technology moves like lightning these days; don’t know the latest version of MS Office? Your competitors will. Don’t think that out-of-date First Aid Certificate will be much of a problem because it just expired? Your competition is out right now taking the course.
It isn’t enough anymore to tell an employer you’ll get a course updated or become certified once you are hired. Why on earth would you suppose they’d opt for you when there is a long line of people with current and valid certificates that are competing with you? Sorry but in the nicest way possible, you’re just not likely that unique and amazing from many others who believe they are unique and equally amazing. Edge to them not you.
Putting yourself in a position to take advantage of an opportunity by getting your resume updated now and re-certifying yourself means you’ll be more likely to get an interview and then a job offer. Others will say you got lucky. I’d say you put yourself in a situation where you could demonstrate your preparedness and your qualifications are current now. Edge to you.
By the way, tell people you are looking for work and what it is you are looking for. Get everyone you know in the know; give them your resume as a reminder of you and what you want. When you update your resume, give them all new versions. Update your social media profile. Get a better picture on LinkedIn than that cute but entirely inappropriate one you are using right now. I actually saw a close up of someone’s eye today as their avatar. Seriously I did. That stands out of course, but not in an immediately clear way.
Pick yourself up off the ground and get back in the job search game on a full-time basis. You’re worth it!