If you think that finding a job in a competitive market is like trying to hit a moving target, you’re right. There is a ton of online information and advice for job candidates no matter their fields, and frankly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the various sources. Here are a few actionable tips that you can implement today to make sure you’re staying current in your industry while looking for a job.
Keep up With Industry Conferences
While the price of registration might be a little on the steep side for those in the market for a new job, keeping up with conference proceedings is a great way to see what is new and exciting in the industry. Many conferences post videos or transcripts of conference proceedings after the event takes place for those who were not able to attend. Or, if you are able to, contact the speakers individually for presentations, slides, and direct access to valuable information. If you have the time, consider volunteering to work an event. Many conferences need helpers to check people in, do set up and tear down, even usher attendees. Contact the event coordinator to see if you can volunteer your time in exchange for attendance.
Focus on Professional Networking
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for those searching for new career opportunities. Join community groups and start conversations, ask or answer questions. Before you know it, you’ll be making connections with experts and staying engaged in the industry, establishing the crucial networking relationships that are the foundation of a growing career.
Start a Blog
Have a story or two to tell? Consider starting a blog. You can share your expertise, while also keeping up with the industry. Keeping a regular schedule of posts of high-quality content shows your commitment to the industry, despite still looking for the perfect position. A blog can be a great creative outlet, particularly for those who enjoy writing and online communication. It will also help you make connections that would simply be unavailable to you otherwise. Interviewing industry experts for an article is an excellent icebreaker, and can even lead to some valuable employment leads.
Read as Much as Possible
Take advantage of your down time to learn a new skill or two, update protocols, regulations, and current events. Keep an eye to your reading material though. In today’s popular headline-focused reading style, many of the more in-depth messages are completely lost in the brevity of Twitter and short-form blogging. Books and industry articles are a more reliable source for the kind of information and case studies that will benefit your job search. Remember that quality does trump quantity. Prepare to ask yourself how you can apply new information to your career. And get ready to use that information in your interview discussions.
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