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Searching for a job? Take small steps every day



Q. I need to look for a new job. I’m excited but nervous as I’ve been putting this off for a few weeks. Where do I start? It’s overwhelming. Help and yelp!

A. Congrats on the clean slate of a new year! You can do several things, but most importantly, realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day so you can do small things every day (and continue to do them every day) until you land an awesome new job. The job search won’t take over your entire life; it will simply become part of it.

First, revise your resume. Look at your year-end performance reviews and anything you might have overlooked from the year. Incorporate these skills and experiences into your resume. Polish it. Proofread it. Proofread it again. Next, set up job alerts online — begin with the end in mind to know what you’re looking for (and yes, you can and should have multiple resumes for a variety of types of roles you’re pursuing). Tweak your resume (re-order certain experiences to mirror the job description, which is typically listed in descending order — most important requirements and skills at the top to the least important at the bottom).

Save your job descriptions for each job you apply to so you have it readily available during phone interviews. Set up an organizational system such as a spreadsheet or the notes section of your phone to keep track of which companies you apply to, which leads us to the next one: apply! Don’t wait. If you see a job that looks interesting, make it a priority to apply within 24 hours — don’t assume it will be there tomorrow because I say this as a former corporate recruiter — it may not be.

Network! This is your secret sauce — reach out to people in your network such as former bosses, colleagues, friends, alumni connections, golf/tennis/recreational buddies, and more. You never know who will have an opportunity or a connection for you to have an informational interview with. If you’re not hearing back yet, that’s OK — focus on what you can control like practicing answering interview questions like, “Why should we hire you?” And continue the process. Remember, companies are still hiring top talent and they need to find you as much as you need them. Enjoy the process. You got this!

Q. I want to change my benefits enrollment now that it’s the new year. It’s not showing up the right way in my paycheck. I’m a part-time worker with access to health insurance, but it’s wrong. What should I do?

A. Talk to human resources and/or the benefits administrator at your employer. This is beyond my domain without knowing specifics, but definitely speak to them about the deductions and more importantly, the coverage. It’s usually too late to make changes once open enrollment has closed, but with your part-time status perhaps there could be tweaks. Again, I don’t have enough information so definitely address these questions internally.

Tribune News Service



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