1. Don’t Wait – Nothing will kick-start your job search like actually investing your time and attention into the process. If you’ve been putting it off, for whatever reason, convince yourself to get back at it. Get serious about the prospect of nailing down interviews and finding employment, and don’t allow yourself to continue to make excuses. Finding work takes work, so don’t be afraid to throw yourself at it.
2. Prepare Your References – When headed back out into the job market, it is important to keep your references informed and aware. Getting caught with unprepared references is unprofessional, especially considering how easy it is to get in contact with people in the digital age. A short and friendly phone call or e-mail message will suffice, just to put your name back into your references’ heads and kindly let them know to expect a phone call from a potential employer. Your references will feel much more comfortable and will be more likely to provide a glowing review if they are able to prepare themselves ahead of time.
3. Rewrite Your Resume – When was the last time you read your own resume? How has your life or work experience changed since you first wrote it? Adding new experience on to an existing resume is great, but sometimes a fresh job search calls for a fresh resume. Build your resume again from the ground up. Change up your format, find new ways to explain your job duties, or refresh your memory by thinking back to your previous positions and evaluating your experiences. Determining what you learned from your previous jobs can help you on your way to figuring out what it is you are truly looking for from an employer.
4. Change Up Your Personal Statement – It is good to take a long look at your personal statement at least once a year to ensure everything still applies. It’s also a good idea to change things up every now and then, so as not to appear stagnant. Keeping your personal statement up-to-date is a great way to be goal-driven and to stay on top of your job search. Make sure when you do make your changes, that they are applied throughout your profiles online. LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, and every other professional profile you run should be consistent and all reflect the same message.
5. Do Your Research – Take your downtime to do your research. Whether that means researching the companies you are applying for, or taking a class related to your field, work towards becoming that expert that employers are looking for. Educate yourself on things you wouldn’t have the time to learn about if you were working. Take advantage of as much time as you can to better yourself as a potential employee. Make yourself marketable in your time between jobs. The results will show in your interviews.