5 tips to always be ready for job opportunities

Even if you love your job or just started at a new company, you should always be on the lookout for the next great gig.

5 tips to always be ready for job opportunities

Having a great job is one of the best feelings in the world. The job search process paid off, and you’re thrilled by all the challenges and accomplishments your new role has to offer. What can you say? You love your job, and looking for a new job is the last thing on your mind.

But it shouldn’t be.

“Never say never to opportunity,” says Dawn Boyer, consultant at D. Boyer Consulting in Virginia Beach. “Regardless of how long you have been in your current job, if something comes along that is more your passion and at the right salary level—regardless of whether you have been with the current company six weeks or six years—you want to be ready.”

Don’t wait until you actually need to start a job search. Follow these tips to be ready for awesome job opportunities ’round the clock.

Double down on job alerts

Imagine if you could have an assistant working for you, for free, around the clock, presenting you with only the best job opportunities, personalized exactly to your interests and experience.

You can! They’re called job alerts, and like your refrigerator, they should always be running.

“How will you land your dream job in a dream company without your dream radar switched on?” asks John Sattler, a certified personnel consultant and resume writer at Career Solutions in Tampa, Florida. “Think of the job-alerts function as your radar that monitors the internet, 24/7, searching for your dream job.”

If you’re in a sweet position that you like just fine, fine-tune your job alerts to align with your ultimate dream jobs. That way, your alerts feature jobs that are your absolute top choices.

Polish your professional development

One of the most effective ways to open up new career opportunities is to develop new skills. If you’re a programmer, this could be learning a new coding language. For teachers, this might be earning a project management professional (PMP) certification.

“You should first investigate the training and development offerings at your company,” says John DiMarco, communications professor at St. John's University in New York City, and author of Career Power Skills. “I advise my students to go to any conference, tradeshow, or training class that they can.”

Get smart(er) on your own time

And if your current company doesn’t offer professional development? Don’t fret: There are many affordable or free learning opportunities that will help you add skills to your resume and keep your ability to passively job search primed. A few old faithfuls? YouTube, Udemy, and Coursera.

“I cannot stress enough education, training, and certifications on anything and everything you can grab to increase your skills sets,” says Boyer. “For example, use free YouTube tutorial videos to learn how to increase your ability to use MS Office or other relevant software.”

Refresh your resume in real time

There’s a reason why people have separate resumes for different types of jobs. No two jobs are alike, and your resumes shouldn’t be either.

“There is no one-size-fits-all for resumes, so each diverse and intriguing skill you can add to your qualifications should be noted,” says Jennifer Lee Magas, vice president of Magas Media Consultants, LLC, a public relations firm in Connecticut. “Each job is going to have different requirements.”

To find out how to properly tailor your resume to a job, review the job description to see what kinds of keywords are used and what values the company holds in high esteem, and then have your resume reflect that.

Document your awesomeness

Being an ace employee who gives 150% can take a lot out of you, but no matter how hectic things are—or how happy you are—in your job, don’t forget to document your projects and key accomplishments on a regular basis.

“This will allow you to track your wins as you go,” says Angela Copeland, career coach at Copeland Coaching in Memphis, Tennessee. “It will also keep the pressure low if someone like a recruiter or hiring manager at another company asks to see your portfolio when you aren't thinking about a new job.”

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