Part 1: Job Search Checklist for Landing a Job

There are about 10 million jobs left unfilled every month!

This means you have the pick of the litter if you play your cards differently from all the other candidates.

Many job seekers do not prepare for their job search in advance and ultimately fail to land their dream job.

But this won’t happen to you. Unlike your competitors, you’re going to prepare well before you even begin your job search.

And here’s a job search checklist to help you do just that.

1.     Keep Your Skills Current

If your skills aren’t up to date, you need to upskill.

This may require looking up the top hard and soft skills in demand for the jobs you are interested in and developing them.

Taking the time to do this sends a clear message to recruiters you can keep up with the ever-evolving trends in their industry.

One of the best places to look up current skills is on LinkedIn, where you can research employers and job postings in your industry.

2.   Redo Your Resume

We recommend redoing your resume into a “master resume.”

A master resume is a general resume that contains every experience, skill, and accomplishment you have amassed in your career. You won’t use the master resume itself to apply for jobs, instead, when applying for a job, you assess your master resume and remove the information that’s not relevant to your desired job. Leave only the information suitable to the job you’re applying for.

A further step is to tailor your resume to the job description by highlighting your skills and experience based on what the employer is looking for. Your submitted resume should be well-crafted, follow an appropriate format, and pass through the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

For more effective results, you could also hire a professional resume writing service.

3.    Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It’s home to millions of job seekers and employers, so it’s usually the best place to showcase your skills and experiences.

However, you can only reap the benefits of this large professional network if you sell yourself right. Updating your profile is a good place to start.

One way to update your Linkedin profile for maximum effectiveness is by keeping the information about your qualifications and skills up to date.

Additionally, if you have a career gap, indicate it by adding any experience you gained during the gap. This could be volunteer work, a new business you started, consulting experience, etc.

4.   Revamp Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is a unique chance to sell yourself.

Here, you can speak directly to the hiring manager and convince them your skills and experience make you the perfect hire.

Of course, this only works if you do it right.

Let them see what you have to offer and not just what you want from them. This means using statements filled with power words like “executed,” “implemented,” “managed,” and more.

It also means backing up your accomplishments with facts and figures.

Doing these two things will show the employer the results you can help their organization achieve.

5.    Find References

According to a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, more than 80% of employers do reference checks on candidates.

It goes without saying that in your job search, getting references is a must.

The obvious place to get references is from your former employers and colleagues.

Make sure to have at least three references. It speaks volumes to be recommended by several professionals. Let your references know you’ve given their name and contact information to a potential employer and provide them with a copy of the resume you submitted,  as well as any information about the job you interviewed for.

This is a two-part series. In the next article, we’ll have five more items you can add to your job search checklist.


Liz Hogan is the Digital Partnerships Manager and a CPRW at Find My Profession. She regularly shares her advice on job search and resumes writing with others. She is also passionate about volunteering.

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