1. Keep yourself marketable. If you’re looking for a new job, then use your “in-between” time to get any training or education you may need. Job requirements can change over the years. Industries can change. So make sure you stay current with the demands of the market by assessing your skills and qualifications with what the market is demanding. Most industries have a kind of license or certification that’s highly valued – such as project management certification, marketing certification, financial planning licenses, and so on. So keep yourself marketable by staying current with required training and education.
Another strategy for keeping yourself marketable when you’re not working, is to start freelancing or consulting. This shows hiring managers that you take initiative and that you’re considered an expert in your field by others. Also, join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, expand your network, and boost your resume.
2. Fish where the fish are. In other words, know where your potential employers are. Find out by reading trade magazines, industry publications, company websites and websites that advertise job openings like CareerJournal.com, and CareerBuilder.com to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.
You can also learn about companies that are hiring by attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Another good idea is to join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to get connected to industry leaders and company decision makers. Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire you, hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.
3. Be a resource to others. When you’re in the market for a new job, you never want to give the impression that you need a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s a leader, a driver, a mentor to others, and someone who’s resourceful – who knows how to get things done and get results. This is one reason why you want to consult, freelance, or volunteer while you’re in between jobs.
So here’s a tip – instead of sending the message, “I need you to give me a job”, you should send the message, “I’m someone who is resourceful, insightful and has a specific area of expertise.” In other words, “I’m someone YOU should get to know!” This is a major shift in the way others perceive you.
One way you can do that is to send out personal notes with links to cool videos, reports, press releases, or websites that you think might interest them. Another tip is to invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers in the industry.
The bottom line is that successful professionals are drawn to other successful professionals and those who are resourceful. So get personal with your professional network and show them how you can help them be more successful.