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Time for a Career Change? 5 Tips to Conquer the Job Hunt

There are many steps, but take it one at a time

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BY Lian Kyla Dyogi - 13 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Nothing can fully prepare you for the sometimes-painful process that is the job hunt. This is true for fresh grads and veteran employees. If you have a job, it can be hard to balance the hunt with your daily tasks. Add the stress of trying to keep your search a secret so as not to upset your boss. Not to mention the inherent obstacles if you’re pivoting to another career.

“If you’re used to your old job, especially if you’re coming from a different industry or field, being lost is just a normal thing. The difference is you have to exert more effort than those people who are already in that field since pivoting from one to job to another is a big step,” says Flash Ubiña, a Filipino who switched from brand management to digital marketing.

Whether you’re a fresh grad or a veteran employee looking for a career change, here are five tips to help ease the stress:

1. Build an online presence

From finance professionals to graphic designers, everyone can benefit from building a public online presence that speaks of your character and skill set.

Why? Your online footprints are going to be an even bigger deal in the next 10 years.

“They won’t be reading your resume; they’ll be using algorithms to check the big data of your entire online life… and then decide whether to make you an offer,” says Geoffrey James in this Inc. article.

So how do you maintain an online presence? This can involve making sure your online portfolio is up to date (whether that’s on sites like Behance or your own website). It can also mean making sure your Instagram doesn’t have any photos you aren’t proud of.

However, it’s not certain how fast this will happen all throughout Southeast Asia. But it doesn’t hurt to make sure your online presence is on point (or on brand, for that matter).

2. Craft emails to a real person

While it’s tempting to apply to a lot of companies at once, don’t just apply in batches, make sure you’re emailing a real person, too.

As Erik Sherman writes in this Inc. article, it’s important to get the name of the real person. “Check LinkedIn, do web searches, check speaker lists for industry conferences, see industry directories, and find other ways to locate someone who currently works in the appropriate department of the company in question,” he writes.

Make sure you craft the email in such a way that it accentuates the value you bring to the company. Don’t make it all about you, tell them how you can help.

Use this if you have limited options, but referrals seem like a better way in.

3. Maximize LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool, if you know how to use it. When fixing your resume on LinkedIn, take advantage of the “Add Media” section. You can upload clippings from your portfolio, as this adds color to a resume that can easily be word heavy.

In this Inc. article, J.T. O’Donnell details a few tips to secretly look for a new job on the platform. “In the “Jobs” tab on LinkedIn you will find a Preferences section. Click on that and you’ll be able to turn on the feature that lets recruiters know you are open to being contacted. It also lets you select criteria in terms of job title, etc,” she writes.

Don’t forget to also follow your favorite companies on LinkedIn. Occasionally, they will advertise for positions.

4. Tailor old skills, learn new ones

“When I decided to shift from brand management to digital marketing at first I was really rattled thinking that I cannot do it. I will never be as efficient as before but there are skills from your previous job that you can still apply in your new jobs. It’s a matter of tailor fitting it to your new goals,” says Ubiña of his journey.

Don’t let those skills go to waste so take advantage of seminars and online classes. This is useful if a new skill is required of your target job. Opportunities to learn were things he took for granted, Ubiña says. Don’t waste them.

5. Start a passion project and tell others

There are many articles on the benefits of passion projects. From earning some extra cash on the side to relieving stress, passion projects are also helpful when looking for a new job.

Why? It will allow you to network. You don’t even have to do this in a sales-y way. It can be as simple as not being afraid to tell people what you’re working on.

True story: I started doing transcription side jobs and I was telling someone about the work I did and it led to a freelance writing opportunity. You never know how things will manifest.

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