Let’s face it: searching for jobs can be a grueling process. Whether actively employed or in career transition, the task can be daunting. That is why it is so important to create a game plan, think it through, and act on it! As the saying goes: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Job search techniques have changed radically in the past few years with the consolidation of job boards and the expansion of social networking websites. Because of this, job seekers who are having the best results are the ones who are taking a multi-pronged approach to the hunt.
Below are a few suggestions that will help you revamp your job search to bring it up to speed:
- Define Your Objectives: The goal is a new job obviously; but in order to make that happen, you need to identify action-oriented objectives. Make a list and determine how you will allocate your time. Are you planning to initiate 10 daily phone calls, send 20 LinkedIn InMails, scour the trade journals for leads, or spend an hour surfing for postings? The important thing is to divide and conquer your tasks. Many candidates make the mistake of focusing on only one or two job search strategies and excluding all others.
- Find Unadvertised Jobs: Think about it. If you uncover a job that nobody else knows about, your odds of getting it improve dramatically. I have a colleague who once went to Superpages.com, put her desired zip code in the search parameters along with the type of company she wanted to work for and voila! She started dialing for dollars. By the time she got to letter C of the alphabet, she was offered a position and earned over $245K that year.
- Track Your Activities: By sticking to your plan and keeping a written record of your job search efforts, you will maintain momentum. Looking for a new role can be discouraging – especially if the phone calls don’t come rolling in. In order to find a prince, you have to kiss a lot of toads! There will be rejection, even for the most gifted candidates. By tracking your communications, you can do a better job of following up. You can also weed out those jobs that you have decided aren’t right for you.
It is often said that looking for a job is a job in itself. By allocating your time carefully and taking a strategic approach, you can open new doors and improve the productivity of your search. I often coach candidates on specific job search strategies that yield desired results. Each industry is different and requires a somewhat unique approach. Determining the best baskets to put your eggs in is critical.
Those who apply themselves in a strategic manner improve the odds tremendously. While many of the tasks associated with identifying new opportunities can be cumbersome, the effort invested is well worth it.