11 things to do when you are looking for a job.
You’re looking for a job. Regardless of your previous role and position, whether entry or executive level, it’s time to start working toward your next role.
In my coaching work, I often counsel individuals who have lost their job. There are 11 things that are important to do when you’re on the hunt:
1. Be clear on your objective. Often times when I ask people what they want to do, or what kind of role they want to have, they list all of the things that they CAN do or HAVE done. That doesn’t help me help them. It also doesn’t help them find a job! Being a ‘Jack or Jill of all trades”, makes you a master of none!
What is it specifically that you are looking for? The clearer you are about that, the easier it is for people to help. It also makes it easier for a new employer to say ‘yes’ to you. Currently, there is quite a lot of debate about whether or not you should include a job objective on your resume. Regardless, if you do or you don’t, you still need to be able to articulate what you are seeking.
2. Let people know you are looking for a job. Sometimes, people are reluctant to let others know that they are looking for a job. In particular, there may be some shame attached to not being employed.
Tell people that you are looking and what you are looking for (see #1 above). Ask friends and people in your network to introduce you to others who may be able to help. Sometimes just by getting your name out there the position you desire may fall into your lap!
3. Know your value and what you can contribute. Ask yourself this question: “Why would a company hire me instead of someone else who is equally qualified?” Be prepared to answer that question when asked, and be able to give examples of how you can add value and contribute to the organization. Are you highly innovative, creative, or have impacted the bottom line? Be sure to have examples to back up your claims.
4. Have an updated (and killer) resume. Create a basic resume that can be customized for each job that you apply to. Initially this may take a lot of work, but it does help you stand out from others. Ensure that your resume is structured to be accepted by Applicant Tracking Systems. This is a link to a video on how they work: http://bit.ly/2e4xTvu . The more you tailor your skills and experience to the position you are applying for, the more likely your resume will be remembered and stand out.
5. Focus your job search. Search for jobs in your industry of choice, at the companies you want to work for, and at the level at which you want to work.
Looks at roles that are at the same level and lower than your current role. One company’s VP may be another’s Director. Don’t get hung up on the title; look at the job role and responsibilities for a good fit with what you offer.
Consider if you want to relocate, and if so, search for jobs in locations other than where you live. Sometimes, applying for a job in another location may result in similar opportunities in your area with that company that you may not have been aware of.
6. Use social media judiciously and to your benefit. Ensure that your social media reputation is squeaky clean. Recruiters and potential employers will almost certainly search your social media profile online before meeting with you. Tweet about topics relevant to your job search and follow leaders in your field. This will help you look professional and engaged.
7. Network. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. People still hire primarily through their network. Some jobs never make it to any formal job posting systems and some may only show up on social media. Your friends’ and family’s networks can only take you so far. Get out, build networks and connections that could help you accomplish what you want to accomplish.
8. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. If someone offers to help you, follow-up. We know that up to 95% of people don’t follow-up on opportunities. That may be for various reasons including ‘not wanting to be a pest’, ‘thinking that the person wasn’t serious’, being uncomfortable following up…the list goes on.
If someone offers to introduce you, meet with you, provide connections or ideas, FOLLOW-UP! And do it in a timely fashion. If that person isn’t directly able to assist you, ask for introductions to others who that person thinks might be good for you to meet.
9. Stay in the game. Become or stay involved in activities that will supplement your resume and build your skills. Volunteering as an IT support person at a not-for-profit organization can be a strong addition to your resume, IF that’s the field you are in. Take a course that will enhance your skill set.
Find opportunities that will benefit and add to your experience base. The worst thing that could happen is to have an interviewer ask you what you’ve been doing since your last job, and you look at her with a blank face and no answer!
10. Persevere. Keep at it. Finding a new job is a full time job in itself. People sometimes think that applying for one job and then waiting for a response is what they should do. WRONG! Having multiple applications out and in play is critical. This is a time when ‘more is more.’ For every handful of applications you put out, you may only get one response. Keep trying!
11. Take some time to relax. Searching for a new role can be exciting, invigorating, frustrating and tiring, all at the same time. Give yourself a break from time to time to do some things that you love to do – talk a walk outside, spend time with family and friends, go to a movie….
This is not an all-inclusive list. What are other actions that are critical to job search? What has assisted you or people you know in being successful in landing that perfect opportunity?