The number of people in the U.S. voluntarily leaving their jobs recently soared to a record high. The so-called great resignation raises the question of how workers can find new gigs they actually enjoy.
Here is her best advice for anyone on the hunt for a new role:
Step 1: Research the Company
It’s important to try to find a job you'll actually like — so start by researching companies that speak to you, your passions, and your values.
Check out the company website and its social media accounts to see its mission statement and to understand the overall vibe of the brand. You can also read reviews from current and past employees on sites like Glassdoor.
“Be patient and wait for the career that’s right for you,” Watkins said. Don't be discouraged if it takes time to find a good fit.
Step 2: Create an Effective Resume.
You can no longer just plug and play your standard resume. Your resume should let any recruiter or hiring manager know what your career goals are, transferable skills you have, the unique value you can offer, and why you are the best person to fill the role at the company.
Every resume also must have:
Education, skills, and experience
Appropriate length for the amount of experience you have
Clear and concise language
So, how do you best show your accomplishments on a resume? Keep a record of your wins. This will help you communicate how you positively impacted your team and your company. Some good places to go to look for these accomplishments are performance reviews, awards, or recognition you’ve earned. Keep track of any positive customer reviews, or write down positive comments from your boss or co-workers.
You can talk about these wins in an interview or write them on your resume using the "problem, action result" (PAR) format.
For example: Let’s say you work at a resume and career preparation company, and your branch was underperforming due to a lack of services. Before you took notice, no one was asking the customers what kind of workshops or services they wanted. So you created a customer satisfaction survey to gather feedback and qualitative data. After you had enough results, you analyzed the data and found out many people needed resume critiques and mock interviews. After these workshops were put in place, 100 customers returned in three months.
Here’s how you could write that on your resume:
“Acquired 100 return customers at an underperforming branch in 90 days by conducting a satisfaction survey and implementing new workshops.”
Step 3: Write a unique cover letter
When you’re applying to multiple roles, it can be tempting to phone in or even skip writing a cover letter — this is extremely misguided. In order to write a cover letter that can tip the hiring scales in your favor, don’t just reiterate what’s on your resume. You want to grab attention, generate interest, create desire, and inspire action. .
As Watkins said, “Remember — people hire people, not paper.” So use the cover letter to let them know a bit about who you are and why they should want you on their team.
Step 4: Nailing the Interview
If you’ve been called into an interview, that means you’re in the running for the job. Before the interview, research the role and company, prepare to answer common questions, and be ready to sell yourself.
Mistakes to avoid in your interview are:
Technical issues (pro tip: run a tech rehearsal to make sure everything is working)
Not asking questions at the end
Not following up with the interviewer
Failure to ask for feedback
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Maggie Stamets is a content strategist for Built by Girls.