After a long period in a stable job, you might find the idea of beginning a job search daunting. This is understandable, but you shouldn’t let it put you off looking for a more fulfilling role.

Maybe you started your current job straight out of college and feel it’s now time to move on to further develop your skills, or perhaps your organization has undergone a managerial change and you’re no longer happy there.

It’s important to carefully consider your motivation for deciding to leave your current role since it can help you figure out what it is you’re looking for in your next job. This can then give you the information you need to kick your search off in the right way.

establish your skills

Before you apply to any companies you’re interested in working for, it’s advisable to compile a list of the transferable skills you’ve gained since you began your current period of employment. This will help you tailor your resume and other application materials to best show off what you can now offer to a new employer. You may surprise yourself with how much you’ve developed professionally in the past few years.

You need to create a solid foundation for a job application - and your skillset can provide this base. Detail the abilities you’ve developed since beginning your current job and how they are relevant to the roles you’re now exploring.

Even if you’re considering a position in another industry, knowing that you can apply your skills to roles within it will start to build your confidence, which can give you the courage to make the career change you’re contemplating. It will also help put to get you in the right frame of mind to start meeting with potential employers. LinkedIn’s 2016 Job Search Guide advises job seekers that “the right mindset will boost your confidence and ensure a joyful journey”.

show you’re at the cutting edge of the industry

It can be easy to lose touch with your wider industry while you’re comfortably employed in a job that doesn’t require a great deal of external interactions. However, prospective employers are going to be more impressed with a candidate who can show that they’ve maintained an interest in what’s been taking place in the sector, as they would likely add more value to the company through their expertise, and doing so also demonstrates a genuine passion for the industry.

When you’re looking further than your current industry, though, it is still important to show that you’ve kept up with hiring trends so you can ensure your application will adhere to expected standards. Make sure you’re optimizing your resume to be easily read by applicant tracking systems by incorporating the right keywords and keeping formatting simple and minimalist.

focus on your loyalty

In a world where more than two in five people see themselves in their current role for less than two years, you should remember that you’ve shown loyalty to your current organization in staying for as long as you have. And this could prove a real benefit to any companies you want to target in your jobs search.

This loyalty will be particularly appealing to companies involved in long-term projects - typically seen in the engineering and construction sectors - so you should view your lengthy employment as the highly marketable attribute it is.

get specific with stats

Think of what you’ve accomplished in your current role - and get specific. Have you boosted sales by a certain percentage or brought on a number of new clients? Setting out what you’ve already achieved - with proven results - will reaffirm that you can do the same, and better, for a new employer.

This will also catch the attention of hiring managers, who will then be able to contextualize the data you’re providing. According to Andrew Fennell, writing for the Guardian, including statistics will leave hiring managers “in no doubt of the level you work at”. It will also make your resume punchier and easier to read, which will give you an advantage over other candidates who haven’t taken this into consideration.

don’t let the wait get to you

Finding the right job usually doesn’t happen overnight. It can take longer than expected to find the right position, so it’s important not to let the wait negatively impact you. The LinkedIn Job Search Guide has revealed that the average hunt takes six months.

When you’re waiting to hear about jobs, make sure that you’re not neglecting other opportunities you come across. Career site The Muse advises job seekers that “until the hiring manager sends you an offer letter, don’t pause your search”. Keep looking and you’ll be more likely to find the ideal role for you.

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