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Job Search: You Snooze, You Lose

Consumer ads often say, “Act now, before it’s too late!” Or “while supplies last.” One ad that ran years ago apparently started the concept of “you snooze, you lose.” Although you might not realize it, this concept can apply all too well to your next job search.

For example, as each year draws to a close, job seekers often tend to think they might as well hold off on starting a job search until after January 1st. There’s just one problem with this view.

It doesn’t work.

Why Waiting Can Cost You

The phrase “you snooze, you lose” basically means that if you hesitate about taking a particular step, someone else will beat you to it. In job search terms, that might mean that if you don’t jump on opportunities as soon as possible, you’ll be out of luck.

What causes that unfortunate situation? For example, other job seekers aren’t rushing to update their resume or refurbish their LinkedIn profile. They’ve already done that. In fact, they might have been doing it regularly, so any last-minute fine-tuning wouldn’t be a big deal.

On the other hand, if you think there’s plenty of time to accomplish those critical tasks, you could find yourself left at the starting-gate. How hard can it be to update your career marketing materials (and maybe upgrade them as well)?

The answer might be, harder than you think. You end up trying to accomplish an important task “under the gun” and with limited resources. Trying to rush anything important too often leads to disaster.

Year-End Job Searches

Last-minute, frantic efforts can cost you at any time of year, of course. If an opportunity presents itself and you’re not ready, it might find a home with someone else.

However, year-end job searching requires you to realize that sometimes good hiring activities DO happen during that “slow” period. The fact is, waiting until after January 1st isn’t a great idea, and it’s not even necessary. You can accomplish quite a bit in your search without missing out on whatever good times are available to you during the holidays.

Whatever else you do or don’t get around to, make sure of the following:

  • Your resume and LinkedIn profile are in great shape.
  • You have a list of value points for customizing your cover letters.
  • You know the kinds of companies and jobs you want to target—and those to avoid.

Then keep in mind that opportunity usually doesn’t knock twice. Get your act together before you need it!

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