Top recruiting seasons for most industries are in January, February, and the Fall. It’s time for you to prepare to make the most of these periods of high demand. If you’re unemployed, a new graduate, or looking for your next career move, this is the post for you!
Here’s what I want you to remember: recruiting season can be stressful. There’s a lot of moving parts, and the best way to make sure you put your best foot forward and minimize your own anxiety is to prepare, prepare, prepare.
Here are my top seven ways to prepare for the upcoming recruiting season:
1. Have a clear strategy in place.
The best advice I can give you is to narrow down on the roles, organizations, and industries you want to target – I call these your ROIs. This will help you stay focused and motivated in your search. Remember: all of what you do, say, and write during your job search – from resumes to interviews – should be catered to the specific industries and organizations you’re applying to. The more targeted you are, the easier it will be for others to see your fit with the role.
2. Have your marketing documents prepared beforehand.
First things first, it’s time to brush up your resume and LinkedIn profile! I recommend updating these right now so that you can get mark the task off your checklist.
Next up, create a folder of 4-5 pre-made communication templates for you to use. Having to write them over and over again for different people is a waste of time and effort. Here are a few you should always have: outreach for informational interview, outreach to cold contacts, outreach to enquire about new opportunities, outreach to connect on LinkedIn, and a thank you letter for after interviews.
3. Create, practice, and polish your powerful elevator pitch.
Your elevator pitch is a brief, 20 second to 2-minute description of your past career, present situation, and potential. It’s a versatile speech that can be used in a networking situation or as the answer to the ‘tell me about yourself’ interview question. To help you out, check out this blog post and follow the structure to create a compelling elevator pitch.
4. Mark application deadlines and interview timeframes in your calendar.
Now that you’ve shortlisted your targeted ROIs, seek out application deadlines in the job postings you’re targeting and put them in your calendar so that you can keep them in mind. Next, start strategizing on when you’re going to submit and what you need to do in the mean time.
5. Find out who your key contacts are and start connecting with them.
Now is the time to reach out to the recruiters or hiring leads you’ll be working with throughout your application process and connecting with them on LinkedIn or over email. You can generally find their names on the job posting and can reach out to them either before you submit to ask questions about the role or after you send in your resume. You should also seek out opportunities to meet with them in person, such as during information sessions hosted by the company.
6. Start practicing and asking for feedback on your interview answers.
You can never be too prepared for an interview. By starting now, you’re setting yourself up for success when you really do get called in to meet with the hiring lead. I recommend writing out a framework to help you answer questions. Practice with some of the most common ones, and then sit down with a close friend or family member to get their feedback on your answers. Better yet, videotape yourself responding to questions so that you can get a better sense of your body language and tone of voice.
7. Get at least three references.
You never want to be caught out when your hiring manager asks for references and you haven’t asked for any yet. I recommend emailing your references right now to make them aware that you would like to use them as a contact. This will ensure that they aren’t surprised when they receive a phone call from your hiring manager.
Check out my other blog post on How to Stand Out at Job and Career Fairs.
Do you have any questions about preparing for the upcoming recruiting season? Let me know in the comments section!