While unemployment for white collar workers still hovers at approximately 6%, many job seekers have been able to conduct productive searches that have yielded new and exciting roles. Some are even landing pay increases; but what about you? If you have been searching for a new opportunity for some time and are still coming up empty, it makes sense to review those things that are within your control and improve your job seeking methodology.
- Are you getting enough interviews? Job seeking is a lot like dating. You have to kiss quite a few toads in order to find your prince (or princess). It is a numbers game. If you are relying solely on the Internet to identify new opportunities, you are missing the boat. To conduct a proactive search you must first get your résumé and LinkedIn profile in tip top shape, then identify target companies, and pursue them with vigor. Reach out to your network and beyond to identify hiring managers. Introduce yourself.
- Is Your Story All Wrong? I often coach candidates who are extremely talented and have many accomplishments, but fail to convey this information in a concise way. Instead they drone on and on. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t really want to know the nitty gritty details of your day to day work history. They would rather get information surrounding what you achieved. By focusing on the specifics of how you added value to the bottom line, you can paint a more compelling picture of yourself.
- Are you following up? When seeking opportunities, it is particularly important to follow up. Hiring managers get busy and if there isn’t a current opening, they may forget about you altogether when the time comes. This is why it is so important to conduct your job search methodically. Create a spreadsheet to track your activity. When you do have an interview, be sure to send a thank you note. Reach out periodically to those who responded to you, but said they didn’t have any current openings. You never know what tomorrow will bring. If possible, try to send them some information that would be of interest. By showing you are willing to give; you will make a positive impression and set the stage for future interaction.
- Do you lack the right skills? If you are repeatedly being turned down because you lack a certain skill or credential, don’t delay another minute. Enroll in a training program, do some volunteer work that will be a pathway to more experience, take an online course. You may even need to consider changing careers altogether. It won’t be easy, but in the end, if you lack the requirements necessary to advance in your career, you really have no choice.
By taking a look at what you can do differently, you will gain control over your situation. Too many people blame the economy for their inability to move forward. You can either stay stuck or remove the glue and transform yourself in order to make positive strides with your career.