Once upon a time, it was almost expected from most to find a job immediately after graduation and stick to it until the time comes to receive the gold watch. We now live in an era of constant market fluctuations, where startups are popping up in every niche and innovation is the main driving force of job creation.
It’s only natural then, that most of us encounter numerous job changes during our work life. But due to the constant need to have an edge over your peers, preparing for a new position is essential to ensure success at your new job while protecting your hard-earned reputation in your old one.
Improve your CV
How long have you been in your current position? If it’s been several years, you’ve probably lost track of all the things in your resume, and forgot to include the new certificates, seminars, education and experience details you’ve gathered over those years.
A new, preferably professional headshot is also in order, so that your resume will reflect your professional appearance, and not to mention the importance of new references and recommendation letters from your previous employers.
Make some noise in your network
It’s always wise to check all the offers on the table before you make an informed decision – and in order to do that, reaching out to your acquaintances from other companies and in your professional network can yield to some incredible options.
Let them know you’re on the lookout for a new position, make sure to keep it discreet for the sake of your current employer and soon enough, there will be offers knocking at your door. If possible, talk to recruiters, check out public ads on LinkedIn and other social networks – you never know from where your dream job may come.
Mind your current contract
With your eyes set forward and so many strategies to consider in order to land the best job possible, you might forget about certain contractual obligations to your current employer. To prevent any contract breaches or unpleasant and awkward moments, it’s necessary to submit a letter of resignation and to continue working until the end of the notice period outlined by the employment contract.
There’s more to it than its legal necessity. This way, you will show respect and appreciation, as well as maintain a professional image. Besides, you will ensure that you have the basis to ask for a recommendation and give your employer enough time to find a suitable replacement for your position.
Do your homework
When you have a list of current openings and possible work opportunities, you need to learn as much as possible about the companies where those offers come from. Chances are that the market has changed since the last time you were on the hunt, and now is the perfect time to learn about your potential position to impress your future employer.
Learn about their dress code, style of communication, which qualities they appreciate in their team members, what opportunities you’ll have for future growth and advancements in terms of knowledge and skills. One job might offer a slightly better salary, while another could be a life-changer in terms of climbing the ladder.
Acquire a new skill
Employers love versatility in your resume, and what better way to leave a lasting impression than to give them an extra argument to hire you for the job? Think inside and outside your current expertise, because you never know when an extra language certificate, mastering a specific programming language, or an example of exceptional negotiation skills up your sleeve can come in handy.
There are flexible online courses you can take while you’re preparing for the transition, or weekend lessons over a course of several weeks that will ensure you have a competitive edge over others who will apply for the same job.
Prep for the interview
No matter how rich and impressive your CV may be, it’s never a bad idea to go a little out of your way to shape up your appearance in order to maintain a professional, sharp image of yourself. Perhaps the job you’re applying for doesn’t require a full-blown corporate suit, but a neat clothing combination is so much more than a stylish statement – it’s a form of self-expression that never goes unnoticed.
And finally, even if this is your tenth job with two decades of experience under your belt, we can all go interview-rusty. To prevent any mishaps, prepare in advance with a colleague or a friend, go through a series of potential questions and you’ll double your chances of landing that new position in no time!
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.