8 January 2024 — Stepping into 2024 brings fresh opportunities for career growth. As you dive into job hunting, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Let’s explore what can make your journey smoother in your search for a new career.
Improve your communication skills
“Communication, the human connection, is the key to personal and career success.” — Paul J. Meyer, self-improvement industry pioneer
Prioritize the continuous improvement of your communication skills. There’s nothing more empowering than being well-spoken and articulate.
Your communication skills serve you more than anything else; therefore, constantly strive to improve them (for example, active listening, speaking with confidence, writing, body language, and presentation). Check out Coursera and Udemy, which offer free courses on improving your communication skills.
Enhance your likeability
Like it or not, hiring is essentially a judgment process, especially during interviews during which your interviewer(s) is asking themself, Do I like this person? I’ve yet to meet a manager who hired a candidate they didn’t like.
Being likeable (aka charismatic) is underestimated by job seekers because they mistakenly believe their experience and skills are enough to land them a job.
Being likeable isn’t an innate personality trait. With effort and commitment, you can develop a likeable personality. Step one: start showing interest in other people. Showing interest in someone is a massive gesture that makes you memorable; this is certainly true when interviewing. When interviewing, most job seekers focus on expressing their interest in the job.
Imagine how you would impact your interviewer if you showed interest in them. The next time you have an interview, keep asking yourself, “How can I help this person?” Be sure to ask your interviewer open-ended questions during the interview. Ask them to describe their current situation, goals, challenges, and the company’s current pain points. Then, explain how your skills and experience can mitigate their pain points.
Step two, if you haven’t already, read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Even in our current digital age, Carnegie’s advice is as relevant as ever – if not more so, as social skills are rapidly on the decline. Having strong interpersonal skills makes you stand out!
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
Job seekers need to take LinkedIn seriously, to the extent of mastering it.
According to Social Sheppard, an award-winning Social Media Marketing Agency based in the UK, LinkedIn has over 1 billion users globally – making the social media platform a job seeker’s best friend.
Do not underestimate the potential visibility to key decision-makers (including hiring managers, business owners, C-Suite executives, and recruiters) that a well-crafted LinkedIn profile can provide. Creating and maintaining an employer-magnet profile will result in recruiters and hiring managers contacting you with more opportunities.
Your job search and career advancement will enormously benefit from a superstar LinkedIn profile that shows you can get things done. Keep improving your LinkedIn profile’s five most important features:
- Professional photo/background banner.
- Strong headline. Tip: use one of the following headline formulas:
- What you do + who you help + how
- Current job title + company + unique value proposition
- What you do + who you help + personal detail
- Compelling summary (ensure it is keyword-rich and SEO-optimized).
- Employment experiences that focus on the results you achieved.
- Skills you’d like endorsed.
If you’re a job seeker, you need to be active on LinkedIn every day. Write/post articles, comment on posts showcasing your knowledge, and connect with recruiters, peers, influencers, and professionals in your field.
Clean your digital footprint
When was the last time you Googled yourself?
Before inviting you for an interview, you’ll be Googled to see if you’re interview-worthy. Managing your online reputation is a must! Your online presence speaks for you before you do. If you’re not getting interviews, have you considered it might be because of your online reputation?
If you’re concerned about your digital footprint hurting your job search, I suggest reading Oz Tollman Goodman’s blog, Cleaning Your Digital Footprint Prior to Job Searching.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to email@example.com.