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Four tips to make you a strong candidate for any job (even before you need one)

Photo credit: Raw Pixel (Unsplash)

You may have heard this before, but I want to remind you that, “The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one.”

Let me tell you why.

I’ve had my share of jobs. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve managed to have jobs in project management, nonprofit management, education policy, teaching, public relations, news reporting, newspaper editing, and more. I always had either a full-time opportunity or one or more part-time opportunities while in between jobs.

I learned how to have income-security versus job security.

This is because in our work culture, not only is our generation more fearless to leave a job when it’s not a good fit, but the jobs we have aren’t always jobs we can stay at for a long time, even when we desire to. There have been jobs I’ve had where the whole company was dissolved unexpectedly, where a staff member came on who shifted the work culture so I no longer felt it was healthy to work there, where the company was about to fire everyone and re-hire those they wanted to invite back, or where the company shifted strategy, so I could continue on in the company, simply in a different role. I was often able to survive shifts in the companies I worked for, or was able to attain another opportunity (even attaining a $13k salary increase in the midst of the recession), or I happened to be moving to a different geographic location before a shift was made, although it’s still not a great feeling when you feel like your fate is in a company or individual’s hands.

So, if you’re going to work hard and give your all at your current job, and if you’re serious about wanting to build a legacy based on your career, you’ll want to make sure that you’re implementing the career-mastery strategies below even before it’s time for you to seek out employment in the future to make you the strongest candidate for any future position:

1) Update your resume now. Make sure your resume is not only professional and up-to-date, but impressive! Your resume should evoke a positive response when even you read it. Some of my most capable and gifted clients often utilize a lot of my support in strengthening their resumes to make them more achievement oriented. Do this now before it’s pressing.

2) Brush up on your interview skills now. If you feel that you’re not the strongest interviewer (and all of us can do better), definitely find resources to enhance these skills before you need to use them. One of my previous clients just landed her dream job, living in one major city while working remotely at a job in another major city in a brand new career field. Hours of us doing interview role-plays while working on her areas for growth in interviewing were key in her transition. Another client landed her first senior position in a brand new career sector after in-depth interviewing practice with me as well. Interviewing well is key not only to be a good fit for your next job, but to also be able to speak strongly about your brand. Determine what you can do to strengthen this critical skill.

3) Identify what your next dream transition would be. The sky is the limit for what kind of job you can pursue next. Really take some time to explore your previous work experience, your strengths, your weaknesses, and even your life’s mission, whether that’s pursuing financial freedom for your family or influencing international policy, for example. One of the most powerful things I do with some of my clients is to spend time digging deep to explore what their personal and professional mission and values are. It clarifies what matters as they decide what opportunities to pursue next. Check out job listings, determine which are of most interest to you, and really spend some time reflecting on what you desire that’s in alignment with what you really want before you feel pressured to get a job simply to fulfill financial obligations.

4) Network! If you’re planning to be considered a valuable prospective employee or if you plan to be considered for a senior position in the future, it will be critical for key players within your organization and within other organizations to know who you are and know the value of the work you bring to the table. If you’re in a city that has regularly occurring networking, make it a point to attend networking events regularly (even if that means you’re attending once every few months) and form substantial personal and professional relationships while there. Many new positions are not listed within companies, and a substantial amount of positions are filled through networking. If you’re hesitant about networking, know it’s possible to break through your networking challenges to be an expert networker. I’ve seen it happen for a number of my clients who worked with me to master the art of networking through our video calls or in-person at events. You too can work to start to or continue to master the art of networking and make it work for you!

I’m hoping the tips above offer some great perspective and practical guidance so you can be a competitive candidate for your next opportunity and so you can continue to move forward in confidence when it comes to your career journey! 

If you need help along the way to pursuing your career goals, definitely feel free to email me at so that we can coordinate a chat so I can learn more about what you’re looking for and share how I can help!

As always, feel free to share this post with friends, family, or colleagues who might benefit from this information, and also feel free to comment below if this was helpful.

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