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A Quick Guide: How to Avoid Procrastination and Be Proactive During Your 2021 Job Search

It’s Q1. To kick-off the new year, companies are reenergizing, reorganizing, and planning for the future which includes examining spending and issuing updated budgets to allow for hiring needs. Meanwhile, some employees, who are also making plans for their futures, are quietly waiting for their bonus payouts before they resign to explore new opportunities, leaving behind vacancies to be filled.

That means Q1 is Hiring Season, and both current and aspiring employees who are looking to make a career move to complement New Year goals are focusing on their resumes, big time.

Now, let’s talk about your resume. Maybe it hasn’t been updated since your last job or maybe it just needs a facelift in order to transform it into one of those resumes that hiring managers notice right away and keep coming back to. Either way, you realize your resume needs some polishing, so you finally decide to work on it.

You open up your resume file and get to work. You start playing with different templates and begin to rewrite your opening statement along with several work experience bullet points to really capture how great of a catch you are for this job.

Before you know it, 2 hours have gone by and you’re still not done!

Meanwhile, during those 2 plus hours that you’ve spent bringing your resume up to par, about 15-20 other hopeful job seekers have already submitted their applications online or reached out directly to the hiring manager after quickly giving their resumes a few small updates and a good once-over.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your application won’t make it through to a decision maker – you could still have a chance! But what you should really think about is the fact that each and every prepared applicant that gets their resume in before you is your toughest competition. This is why having a readily presentable resume is so important. Not only does it enable you to apply quicker, it also gives you a competitive edge when it comes to spontaneous networking. After all, [seemingly] casual conversations among professionals can oftentimes lead to new opportunities on-the-spot or down the road. When your resume is ready, that preparedness comes across in your conversation and people remember who you are.

When it comes to applying for a new job, the reality is the earlier you show up in resume submissions, the better your chances of being called for an interview so you’d do best by being a prepared applicant yourself. That means you could truly benefit from working on your resume right now so that it’s ready to be submitted as soon as you come across a listing for a job that you want.

In this quick guide, I’m going to tell you how to lead a proactive job search so you can keep a resume that’s ready-to-go, allowing you to keep a leg up on your competition and increase your chances of being considered for the job early in the company’s search.

In the words of a wise brand, “JUST DO IT!”

The easiest way to avoid procrastination is also the most obvious. When an idea or a thought that needs action comes into your mind, the best thing to do is to just go ahead and do it! This applies, especially, to those moments when you’re thinking about getting a new job.

It’s far too easy to convince yourself that you can update your resume later, but later will inevitably turn into whenever you actually see a favorable job listing, and by then, if your resume isn’t ready, you’ve already lost some of your edge to the applicants who were prepared. Instead of procrastinating, do yourself a favor and skip the wait. The goal is to stay ahead of the competition, so if you already know you’re about to actively look for new work and you know what type of job titles and responsibilities you’re gunning for, then you already have enough information to get your resume to a perfect stand-by status, making all of your upcoming resume submissions fast and effortless.

When it comes to updating your resume, you mainly have two options: do it yourself or hire a professional resume writer.

If you choose the DIY route, you’ll want to start with getting your words together. Yes, industry and job related keywords are important, but your main focus is going to be articulating your achievements in a way that makes it clear how you’ll add value to the organization.

Once you have those value-loaded achievements in mind, you’ll want to find an easy-to-follow, clean template to customize. As you describe your career successes, use the job description as a content guide by making sure you include key skills and experience the company is looking for. This will help you get past the application tracking system. From there, you should be able to quickly submit your resume to any job listing you like!

If you go the resume writer route, which is highly recommended because resume writers know how to position you as a must-interview candidate, Hunting to Hired offers professional resume writing services that have successfully positioned many corporate professionals who have experienced salary increases of 20%-40%. We can help you package your experience, achievements, and skills into a document that will wow any recruiter or hiring manager. Just ask us how.

Whichever option you choose, the key is to choose it now so you can mark “update resume” off of your to-do list.

Keep in mind that the value of being a prepared applicant doesn’t only apply to your active job search. Having a resume that’s ready on demand is also beneficial for unprecedented lay-offs and job opportunities that passively find their way to you.

Create alerts for the job titles you’re interested in Another way to be proactive in your job search is to create Google alerts using your desired job title and city as the alerted keywords. You’ll also want to follow companies you’re interested in and add hiring managers and recruiters to your network on LinkedIn so you can start building those relationships and stay in the know.

Sure, you may browse job boards daily but alerts and notifications will keep you informed about the latest job listings as soon as they happen. This way you won’t miss out or be a late applicant to a job you really want. Instead, you’ll be able to respond to job listings within minutes. Now, that’s what I call being a prepared applicant!

PRO TIP: To lead a truly proactive job search, take initiative by setting up your own interviews by reaching out to hiring managers directly. The worst that can happen is you get no response. The best that can happen is you get brownie points and land an interview.

Overall, being proactive about updating your resume can only benefit you. You’ll gain the advantage of time over other less prepared applicants. Not to mention, your resume will be ready in case a hiring manager reaches out to you in regards to a position. You may have to make small adjustments right before you click submit but if the majority of the document is already in a good place, any last minute tweaks shouldn’t take long.

Moral of the story: STAY READY!

If you’re interested in having the best possible resume for your 2021 job search, or if you want more career tips, browse my LinkedIn profile or visit

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