The birds are chirping, the buds are opening, and the COVID vaccine is flowing. With spring 2021 comes renewed hope for the future. If you’re a remote job seeker, spring may also bring a renewed interest in exploring new career options. But, if you haven’t been looking for a while, or even if you have, it doesn’t take long for job search strategies to become stale and outdated. That’s when you need to consider methods to spring clean your remote job search.
If your remote job search is on autopilot or uses the same old strategies, now is the time to revisit, refresh, and update. Don’t worry if you already feel overloaded. There are many ways to spruce up your job search without too much effort. Below are a variety of quick and easy things you can do to increase your chances of virtual employment in the coming months.
Remote Job Search Strategy Buff & Shine
Over the past year, the job market has changed drastically. From the transition to remote work to the massive increase in unemployment, no industry or job was left unscathed. But the changes are far from over. If you’re relying on a strategy even three to six months old, it’s probably outdated. The current dynamic job market makes adaptation even more crucial. Check out the following pointers to spring clean your remote job search strategy and land the job of your dreams.
- Check the outlook of your industry and profession. Analyze recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as other credible sources, including industry associations and professional organizations.
- Revisit the most often cited job requirements and the language being used in the ads for your target jobs. Do you notice any shifts or changes you can take advantage of?
- Review any job search tasks you are doing on an ongoing basis and evaluate the effectiveness. Your time is limited, and if you are employing a strategy that isn’t yielding any results, adjust accordingly.
- Research new job search resources to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Websites and news sources are popping up all the time. Be sure to check for local resources that may be available as well.
- Establish a routine to conduct an environmental and industry scan on a periodic basis so you can always stay up-to-date on occupational trends.
Professional Networking Refresh
Blow the dust off your networking efforts and take a look with fresh eyes to identify new opportunities. One job search strategy known to pay off is networking. A study conducted by LinkedIn found that 80% of professionals consider networking important to their professional success. The same study found that a whopping 70% of respondents with new positions were hired at a company where they already had a connection.
- Google yourself. Every few months or so you should perform an internet search on yourself. With 70% of employers running a search on job applicants, you can’t afford to be complacent.
- Rework your social media profiles. Check over your online profiles to update and revise any out-of-date information. While the information in each may vary, all the facts should agree.
- Reinvigorate your LinkedIn strategy. Develop a quick routine of responding to LinkedIn notifications and adding a comment or two to relevant posts to help keep your name on people’s minds.
- Review LinkedIn’s system-generated “people you may know list” and your current connections. Compare with your contact list and ask to connect with anyone you may be missing.
- Revisit your networking calendar. Are there any upcoming events you can attend virtually (or in-person)? Add one or two to your calendar and see what happens.
- Tidy up your social media posts. Check through your posts, as well as tags and mentions on other people’s feeds. If anything needs cleaning up, do it now before your potential employer does an internet search.
- Check your social media security settings to ensure that only the information you want to make public is available for viewing. Security options are always changing and are worth revisiting and double-checking.
As the fundamental document in your job search toolbox, your resume needs to be application-ready at all times. Even if you are not actively looking for a new remote position, preparation for unexpected opportunities pays dividends. How many times have you thought you would apply for that position you stumbled across, but your resume is out of date? Probably more than a few. So, grab your resume and spring clean your remote job search using the tips below:
- Examine your career summary and skills lists for relevance. If your job search has changed slightly or employers are looking for slightly different skills, those changes need to be captured in these areas.
- Update your experience. Reflect on what has occurred professionally since you last added to your resume. Include recent accomplishments or new responsibilities.
- Double-check for errors. Sometimes small mistakes in spelling, punctuation, or grammar can go unnoticed. If you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, look again with fresh eyes for any mistakes.
- Add new training and volunteer experience. This is especially important if you have been unemployed for a while, as relevant courses or unpaid project work can help fill in any employment gaps.
Cover Letter Polish
Every cover letter needs to be customized for the position. However, you probably have a tendency to use similar text for many of the jobs you apply for. Sometimes this can lead to stale letters that use outdated language and don’t convey your enthusiasm for the position. Polish up your cover letter language with the following ideas:
- Review your last couple of cover letters. Identify areas of improvement. You can always improve, so identify run-on sentences, clunky phrasing, and inappropriate language to avoid next time.
- Run your cover letters by friends and family. Ask for an objective review. You may be blind to aspects of your letter that may be misunderstood or leave questions in the mind of the reader.
- Customizing each letter doesn’t mean you can’t have some “boilerplate” text at the ready to save some time. Develop a series of interchangeable bullet points that illustrate your current strengths.
Interview Strategy Update
The dynamic job market means that interviews are more important than ever to establish you as the best applicant for the position. In addition, the move to remote hiring processes has impacted interviews perhaps more than any other aspect of the job search process. If you have never had a video or phone interview, or if it has been a while, this is a critical area to give a good spring clean. Spring clean your remote job search with an update of your interview strategies.
- Be prepared. While you may not know what company you will interview with next, you can contemplate responses to commonly asked questions. Write out how you would answer and practice on friends.
- Develop skill stories. Companies often use the STAR interview method where interviewees are asked to tell stories about work situations where they successfully applied their skills. Write and practice these too.
- Don’t forget to dress for success. The pandemic has certainly led to more casual work attire, especially if you’re working from home. Make sure you have a couple of video interview outfits ready to wear.
- Check your background. Video interviews require a good background. Practice lighting options and experiment with possible backgrounds so you feel confident in the setup.
- Practice video calling. Many remote workers are inundated with video calls and conferencing and feel comfortable in that setting. If you don’t feel confident, you should practice with friends or family to become familiar.
Skill Set Brush-Up
In order to get an edge on the competition, you may want to consider further training. This is especially true for positions in quickly changing industries or professions but is useful to show commitment regardless of your field. Luckily, online training options have exploded since the beginning of the pandemic providing plenty of options to choose from. Here are some tips to help you brush up on your skills.
- Remember to record your training. Establish an ongoing record of all the training you undertake and keep your job search documents and online profiles up-to-date. In-house training sessions count too.
- Review job ads and identify missing skills. Target your training efforts as closely as possible by reviewing the skill requirements and preferences for positions you want. Focus your efforts on skills you don’t have.
- Identify appropriate training options. In some fields, certain certifications and credentials are preferred. If your future employer won’t recognize the training you undertook, you can waste time and money.
- Refresh or improve proficiency regarding frequently asked for skills. If you’re undertaking skills training primarily to increase your confidence, there are plenty of low-cost, easy to access training options available.
Take the First Step to Spring Clean Your Remote Job Search
In today’s dynamic job market, employing the latest strategies in your job search is tantamount to success. However, if you haven’t revisited it recently, there are many easy to implement ways to spring clean your remote job search. Staying up-to-date with industry trends and changing job requirements is just the first step to keeping your strategies fresh. Using your current knowledge to identify new skills to learn and opportunities to explore will give you an edge over other applicants. In addition, maintaining up-to-date job search documents and actively engaging in networking will add to your credibility with hiring managers.
Did you have any tips or suggestions to spring clean your remote job search? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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