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  • Nicole Cox

Job Search Tips

Searching for a new role can be discouraging, frustrating and time consuming. I know, I just stated the obvious. Searching for a new role can also be enlightening, an opportunity to reinvent yourself, boost your income, sharpen your skills, and keep you connected to the marketplace. Here are some tips to reduce the time it takes to find a new role and keep your head up in the process.

1. Have a plan and put it on your calendar.

It is so easy to just meander around job sites, clean up your desk or get distracted. If you spend a few minutes today planning your tomorrow strategy, then you’ll be able to hit the virtual pavement and get much more from your day.

2. Get all the “paperwork” ready. A quality resume is key. Take time to enhance your public profiles (Github, LinkedIn, etc). Take a minute to create a cover letter. I know, they are an ancient concept, but there will be that one job that requires one. If you have a basic one already written it will streamline your application process. Just tweak it specific to that role. Also, if you are open to different types of positions make sure to customize your resume to highlight specific skills.

I’ve been in talent acquisition for many years, and I can whip out a resume in no time for a stranger; however, writing about myself doesn’t come as easily. Spending a little money on a fresh resume will likely help you see yourself differently and get better results. Public profiles are used more and more by recruiters. Your public profile (LinkedIn, etc) should be close to your resume and be specific about your skill set. Include a friendly photo. You want to appear approachable and not obnoxious.

3. Set up your search agents on all the job sites you plan on using so that the titles come to you. Let technology do some of the legwork for you.

4. Go through your connections. Most people find their next job through their network. Companies trust referrals more than a cold lead. Go through your phone, go through your public connections on LinkedIn, associations, etc. When you reach out make sure you are specific… something such as:

Hi (Name) I’m reaching out to my network as I’m currently seeking a new opportunity. I’ve attached my resume just in case you might know of a suitable role.

What I’m seeking: Program Analyst, Program Administrator, Project Manager or similar

Location: Albuquerque, NM or Remote

This is my general resume, but I do have different resumes for Program Analyst or Project Manager roles that just highlight more of that experience. Meanwhile, if I can be a resource for you, please let me know.

Thank you in advance and if I can do anything for you in return, please let me know.

5. Know which sites you should target. Example: If you are a techie, get on Dribbble, GitHub and Dice. You can literally spend HOURS in each of the sites daily. Careful not to paper fling your resume everywhere. Read the job and apply to those that really are of interest to you and align with your skill set. If you don't meet every single requirement, you're not alone. APPLY.

6. Do the assessments. I know they suck. Guaranteed the company that uses them before talking with the candidate is losing traffic to their jobs. If you are highly interested in the job, then take that extra step.

7. When you get the interview, prep.

  • Look at the job description and determine what they may ask you. Have CONCRETE examples to provide. For example, if you are a Program Manager then have some bullet points about your most challenging program. What was it, how did you approach the situation and what was the outcome?

  • Know WHY the company and the role are of interest.

  • Have smart questions

8. Know what you're worth. Research compensation for that type of role. If you have access to the Internet, then you have access to data.

9. Read a book. You will be asked about a book you’ve read in the last 3/6/12 months. Be prepared to answer that question and relate it to your career.

10. Take time for you. To stay positive during the job search it’s important that you focus on self-care as well as your job search. Do yard work, take a walk with a friend, use that spa gift card you forgot about, laugh, or learn something new.


If you have the capability to hire a career coach, do it. If you need one, just reach out to me. A good career coach can help you through the process, help you focus your search and prep for interviews.

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