A job search might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important aspect of a cleared job search is to not lose your clearance. Everything else just accelerates your options.

Key Steps to Take to get the Cleared Job You Want

While you make sure you maintain your clearance while your searching for opportunities, there are things you can do to maximize your odds of landing the job you want. And sometimes, there are things to refrain from doing that will help you land your next cleared position.

1. Stay Current and Classy

Keep your resume continuously up to date via your online profile. If you’ve participated in presentations, gained a certification, or attended a training, be sure you are continuously adding that content to your resume. If you prefer to make changes all at once, keep your notes handy so it’s easy to make a quick update. Also, make sure your profile picture gives the right image. Save your party pics for your personal life, but it’s helpful to be personable. The message should be – “I’m responsible but relatable.” And be sure to keep your political views and party habits out. It’s fine to have opinions or a good time, but it’s better to not highlight them on a professional online profile. Of course, if your profile setup is half-hearted and incomplete, you risk being passed over for possible jobs.

2. Be Social

Join groups that apply to you, and make your profile stand out with status updates. A simple tip is simply to post something new, find a new group, or make a new connection every time you log in. A little activity goes a long way in speeding up your job search. You can even set reminders for yourself to add activity throughout the month. The more you log in, the more recruiters see your profiles. Keeping active shows that you are still looking, and it could put a potential job in your inbox.

3. Put Your Best Foot Forward Always

Lastly, don’t sleep on an initial applicant screening. That first screen is your ticket in the door, so prepare for the pre-screen like it’s a regular interview. It might seem like your attitude won’t impact the next step in the job offer process, but every interaction counts. Every job search goes a little differently, depending on organizational differences, so it’s important to treat each interaction like it’s an interview.

Preparation and Planning Goes a Long Way

When it comes to a job search, the best tip is to not get overwhelmed, get prepared and just begin. Sometimes, the more we think about finding a new job, the more overwhelmed we get. But just begin with making different adjustments to your online profile and continue adding social activity and updates as they happen. It could be the factor in your next cleared job offer.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.