12 Things You Can Do Now to Be Prepared for the 2017/18 Job Market

It’s everyone’s responsibility to be prepared for career opportunities or calamities. Waiting until either comes your way is not a plan, but a reaction.

► The presidential election is over, and we will have new leadership in 2017. Only time will show us what the future holds. As happens with all new leadership, today there is a great deal of uncertainty, and when economic and leadership change is in the air, corporate America and small businesses will be on high alert. They’ll be in a wait-and-see mode, and they might tighten their wallets, which can impact growth and hiring plans and replace them with hiring freezes, restructuring and temporary downsizing.

► On the flipside, new leadership that puts into action new economic, infrastructure and job growth initiatives could have a positive impact and create jobs and opportunities. Either way, the job market is going to get even more competitive.

► Here are 12 things you can do now to be more prepared for upheaval or opportunity.

  1. Update your resume to meet 21st Century standards. Ensure that it is ATS-friendly, rich in keywords and phrases, and in an ATS-readable format, all while being branded and stylized for a human reader. Ensure that your resume tells your story and proves that you deserve an interview by showing your achievements, impact, results, and contributions, along with your skills in action and top responsibilities.
  2. Create a branded LinkedIn profile that follows ATS standards, because LinkedIn acts as a huge ATS of its own. Leverage as many of the 22 sections in a LinkedIn profile as you can, along with images, links and SlideShares all focused on your brand and next career target. Your LinkedIn profile should be targeting where you want to go next by bragging about where you are now and how you got there while showing what you bring to the table that is valuable to your next target.
  3. Create other career documents to support a search campaign, including professional bios; HV cover letters; a rotating reference list; LinkedIn endorsements or letters of recommendations; network business cards and interview leave-behinds.
  4. Build a better and stronger network, both on- and offline. A huge mistake many make is waiting until they need a network before they build it. Building a network takes time and energy, start now.
  5. Earn the technology, business, and professional skills you need for your next job/career target. One of the biggest challenges people face today is being under-skilled for today’s jobs. Take night courses, workshops and seminars. Or you can also learn online through free and paid services. Today, online self-learning is accepted and respected. Make the time, not excuses. There are hundreds of quality places online to learn the skills and knowledge you need. Here are some places to start:
  1. Start a strategic, targeted job search campaign. Most of us will spend more time and money planning a 4-day getaway than we do on a strategic career marketing campaign. It’s estimated that 65%+ of jobs posted online are already filled or in the process of being filled before they are even posted. Team with a career coach and job search strategist to learn how to be part of the 65%+. There are dozens of LinkedIn strategies you can implement for your targeted company career campaign to get noticed sooner.
  2. Brush up on your interviewing skills. Team with a career coach who offers mock interviews and provides recordings of the interview to support self-improvement.
  3. Have a financial plan. A search to find your next opportunity can sometimes be lengthy, but pre-planning can reduce the time it takes to connect to an opportunity. Be sure you save enough money to give you a cushion while you look for a new job and flexibility to spend money on your job search. In the career development industry, it’s recommended to have a 3-5% yearly budget of your base salary for your career growth, which includes continued learning, joining industry associations, career coaching, and those unforeseen job searches.
  4. Get fit. In a competitive job market, being your physical best will build your confidence and give you that extra edge. Remember, never underestimate the power of positive thinking, which can improve your networking results, body language, self-confidence and job interview performance.
  5. Improve your digital/social media footprint. Your online life plays a role in you being discovered for a job and whether or not you’re considered for a job offer. Ensure that your professional brand is present throughout your online life. Hiding your social media presence makes people wonder what you’re hiding. Don’t block it; use it to your advantage if it supports your brand.
  6. Know yourself, your strengths, your traits and your style through assessments and tools such as DISC, SkillScan, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Such tools can provide deeper insight about yourself, which can improve your communication and interviewing skills.
  7. Invest in your career future by teaming with a career professional who provides coaching, resume/LinkedIn development, mock interviews, network coaching and job search strategies. These can make a world of difference in the number of interviews you land and the quality of job offers and starting salaries you get.

Get a jump start on 2017. Schedule a free-no-obligation call with me to review your resume or LinkedIn profile and discuss career coaching, DISC or job search strategies. Visit my online calendar link to schedule our call My Open Calendar Link

Tom Powner

✅ LinkedIn Strategist ✅ CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) ✅ CCMC (Certified Career Management Coach) ✅ CEIP (Certified Employment Interview Professional) ✅ CDCC (Certified Discstyles™ Communication Consultant) ✅ JANP (Just A Nice Person)