Job-searching after a major life change is difficult, but it does demonstrate initiative and drive. Following a life change, you long to grip onto something normal, safe, and consistent, and a job can provide steady routine. Potential employers like to know candidates can handle pressure and effectively organize their time, so don’t shy away from selling your most marketable skills. While you likely shouldn’t include your recent adversity in your cover letter, there will be questions during the interview process that will give you opportunities to share how you overcome challenges.
If you’re like most people, the daily grind can be quite consuming and finding time to allocate specifically to job searching in the new field you studied hard for can be a challenge. However, there are ways to maximize your time to land a new opportunity. Check out these tips to help you effectively search for a new career while handling all of life’s other demands for your time:
1. Start a spreadsheet
No pivot tables or formulas required. Just a simple list to track where, when, and to whom you sent your resume and the title of the open position. You may also want to bookmark the web page of the job description for quick reference in case you get a call from a recruiter or hiring manager and you need to refresh yourself on what the job entails. If there is a specific job you’re really interested in more than others, it’s a good idea to see when you first submitted your resume and allow some time to pass before you follow up. Definitely inquire about a status. You never know if your inquiry is what gets your resume to the top of the stack on the hiring manager’s desk.
2. Create a professional resume, cover letter, and reference list
You’ve got the education, experience, and skills, so how do you get a potential employer to contact you for an interview? Make your resume stand out from the rest. Be sure to include keywords listed in the job description. Many HR departments use software to scan resumes for specific job keywords. You may also consider customizing each cover letter for the particular company. The cover letter is where you can expand on why you’re the best person for the job. Since you’re overcome recent adversity, the cover letter is an appropriate place to include that you can persevere and adapt well to change.
3. Use available resources
Take advantage of the resources available to job seekers in your area. Look for job fairs. Check position openings on all the popular job search sites like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder. You can even set up to receive alerts from companies when new positions open up. Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile set up and a current professional headshot. Ask for recommendations and endorsements of your skills.
Trying to climb out of the pit after a difficult life season is hard, but the only way to bounce back is to press forward. Networking can yield benefits for your job prospects. Attending Chamber of Commerce events, joining local professional associations, or belonging to online business groups are all ways you can connect with others and hopefully be on the radar of those with hiring authority.
Job searching is hard. Overcoming life’s challenges is hard. Starting a new job is hard. Nothing in life is really easy, but you can do it. Finding a great fit for your gifts and skills can be incredibly rewarding personally and professional, as well as financially. The most important thing is to keep trying even if you get a no. You will eventually hear a yes. Contact us for help on your Hawaii job search journey.