Career Corner: Tips for Starting a Job Search from Harvard Business Review

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If you have been with the same job for a significant amount of time, it takes a lot of preparation to get ready to apply for a new position again. A lot of information in your documents is no longer current, you don’t know if your contacts have changed roles, and it is all a lot to look over.

Amy Gallo of the Harvard Business Review explains the importance of breaking it down into manageable steps. You might not be ready to jump back into the job hunt after just a day or two of preparation, and that is fine. You have a lot of details to set in order, starting with your resume.

Getting your résumé ready is not as simple as merely updating it to include your latest position and calling it done.

This is the time to cull information that is no longer relevant and to carefully consider what new skills you have developed. Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn page too!

And as much as everyone dreads them, you will have to reacquaint yourself with writing cover letters.

It might feel tempting to try and develop a generic template you can use, but that will only hurt you in the long run.

Take the time to customize each letter, relating your experience to how you meet the job’s qualifications. And even if the position does not specify that you need a cover letter, it is better to play it safe.

Last, get back into the habit of practicing for an interview. Don’t skimp on this detail, as interviews have changed if you haven’t done one since the pandemic began.

Virtual interviews are much more common, which creates a very different dynamic. Beyond just rehearsing how you would answer common questions, you also need to make sure you have a professional background now and assess whether you have any odd on-camera habits.

It might take some practice to get back into the swing of things, but the only way you will get better at it is to try.

For more on how you can make starting your job search more manageable, read the Harvard Business Review post.

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