Summer is just around the corner, and soon the doldrums and routine of winter will give way to new waves of energy and ambition. If you’ve been contemplating a change in your professional life, or if you’ve been thinking about leaving your old job behind in exchange for something else, it’s time to start laying the groundwork for a summer of transition and renewal. Here are a few resume, cover letter, and job search moves that can get you where you need to be when the days are long and the sun is bright.
1. Start now.
Before this day is over, start putting the gears in motion and making a serious long term plan. Where you would you like to be by August of this year? To get there, you’ll need to hit specific milestones in May, June, and July. And to hit those milestones, you’ll need to break your larger goal down into smaller goals and actions that can be traced right up to the present day. Once your road map is in place, it’s time to take the first step. And then the second.
2. Identify your target position or positions.
What do you envision as an ideal job title? What kind of company would you like to work for—small or large? Local or global? Once you identify a generic target position, start surfing through job postings on national, local, and industry-specific job boards. Look closely at these positions and try to identify the traits and credentials that these employers want the most. You have some of these credentials of course, so start listing what you have to offer and taking notes. Eventually, you’ll be using these notes to generate your template resume.
3. Start generating your template resume.
Visit LiveCareer and start assembling your notes, experiences, accomplishments, and credentials into a format that employers can scan, process, remember, and compare with those of other applicants. A great resume meets accepted business standards while also finding a way to stand out from the crowd. And its structure allows plenty of flexibility so it can be customized for each position you decide to pursue.
4. Fill in the details.
You know where you’ve been in the past, where you’re headed in the future, and what specific skills and talents you have to offer to potential employers. Now it’s time to start ironing out the details and polishing your presentation. Present yourself in your best light—get rid of adverbs and clunky language, remove and smooth out confusing claims, and trim details that aren’t relevant to the positions you want the most.
5. Give life to your resume with a strong cover letter.
Once you’ve drafted your template resume, it’s time to create a cover letter that shares the same consistent information, but also rounds out your resume and provides it with a personality, a life, and a voice. LiveCareer can help with both the resume and the cover letter development process. When you have both documents in hand and ready, you can start searching for specific open positions and researching the companies you’d like to work for. Then you can finally take the last step: customizing your letter and resume to meet the needs of these specific employers.