You’ve been at your job for a while, and there is no career path there. The people at work are great, but friends don’t pay the bills, and it is time to move on from your current employer and find a new one.
Deciding to move on from a comfortable role is a challenging decision. Leaving the stability, friends, and familiarness your current position provides feels scary. However, moving on is often the right thing, even if it is hard.
It might have been a while since you’ve consciously looked for a job. How you used to get a job is different from how you get a job in 2023.
Check out my list below for tips to help you find your new job.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have a photo (a professional one – not one of you on vacation on the beach). If you have that beach photo where you look good, then use a program to remove the background. While it doesn’t have to be professionally taken, it does need to look like your professional self.
Update your skills and experience, add any certifications, and ensure your profile is as good as your resume (which I assume you’ve also already updated).
Even if you aren’t looking for your new job on LinkedIn, potential employers will check you out on LinkedIn, so ensure your profile passes the inspection test.
- Sign up for job alerts on Linkedin. If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve likely been sent jobs even if you weren’t actively or passively looking for one. The system has an algorithm to match you to opportunities in the market. However, you can make it far more specific when it comes time to search actively. You can get job alerts based on location, skill set, and even specific companies. You can also set up alerts for when companies you are interested in are hiring.
- Maximize online job boards like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Monster. While similar to using a LinkedIn search, it will have other jobs for you to consider and apply for.
Not only check out the listings that are on these sites, but upload your resume and information so companies can reach out to you directly. You can assume they are looking for the perfect employee rather than wanting to interview dozens of candidates if they can avoid it. If you fit their specific needs in their search, it may save them from posting the job for hundreds of people to apply for.
Many employers rely heavily on these platforms to find and hire new talent, so be proactive and stay engaged! Check your profile daily at a minimum.
- Update your network. Since you are already employed, I appreciate that you might not want to broadcast that you are “available for work” (LinkedIn has that notice you can put on your profile).
However, let your network know, potentially in confidence, that you are actively looking for a new role. Think about the people you know from associations, active Facebook groups, past colleagues, and connections in your LinkedIn network. Tell them to keep you in mind if they see anything that resembles what you are looking for.
Building a strong professional network is crucial for finding a new job.
Start by reaching out to your existing contacts, such as colleagues, friends, and family members. Let them know you are looking for a new job and ask if they have any leads or recommendations.
- Check out company websites. Many companies post the jobs they have available on their website. Especially if you have decided you want to work at X company. Check out their posted openings.
- Use recruitment agencies. Working with recruitment agencies or headhunters specializing in your field or industry can be a game-changer when finding the perfect job. They often have access to jobs that will never be posted online. They can connect you with relevant job opportunities.
Start by researching and identifying reputable recruitment agencies in your field (or ask your network to recommend them!). Once you have a list of potential agencies, reach out to them directly and submit your resume.
Remember that recruitment agencies are there to help, so be proactive in your communication. Follow up regularly, inquire about new job openings, be easy to work with, and express your interest in specific roles. Building a strong relationship with a recruitment agency can significantly increase your chances of finding a suitable job that aligns with your skills and qualifications.
- Cold outreach. Let’s assume you know you are looking for a job at X company in your city. Reach out to staff in the HR department at that company. You can find their names on the website and search the company on LinkedIn. Use your networking skills to let them know you want to work there and don’t see any current postings on their site. Ask them how they advertise and if you can be notified if any relevant positions come up.
You can cold outreach on social media as well. Be a member of discussion boards (and participate in them so people know you are real and intelligent).
- Social Media. Follow companies on platforms like Twitter (X), Facebook, and Instagram, as job postings may be shared on their social media accounts.
- Professional associations. If you aren’t already a member of an association, join one (for many reasons – not just looking for a new job). Attend their events and conferences, often featuring networking opportunities and job boards.
When I speak at conferences, people often approach me and ask if I know of any jobs. I usually do, and I am happy to make the connection. I hope the attendees are asking other attendees, too. It’s networking with a group of people who do what you do!
- Alumni networks. Connect with your college or university’s alumni network to explore job openings, mentorship opportunities, and professional connections. Like an association, the network members are likely well-connected!
In my youth, you only found a job in the newspaper or through someone you knew. While the paper is gone, the network is more critical than ever, but there are other ways you will find your next role.
Be friendly and appreciative of all the leads sent your way. And be ready to knock the interview out of the ballpark!