Finding a job search strategy that is effective right now means embracing change. My strongest job search advice is to be agile and ready to adapt your priorities. What worked before the pandemic may not work today. However, what worked a month ago may not work today. As you consider building or executing a job search, you have to be open to altering the course you originally set.
You also have to consider control…that is, what is in your control. Right now, none of us can control the events of this world. We can’t halt a global pandemic. We can’t alter the business community’s response to it. Yet, we can control our own response to it. Now is the time to get organized, take stock of your skills, and keep your emotions in check. Remember not to panic.
So many people think that the best way to control a job search outcome is by investing more time in the search. While this may seem logical, the truth is that the more disproportionate our search time becomes, the less effective we are. More isn’t always better. Find a balance for your time and recognize that how you spend your time is within your control.
Job Search Strategy #1: Focus on Your Brand
Sure, it sounds great, but what does that mean? Personal branding for a job search means clearly articulating the value you can bring to an organization. What is the one thing you want to be known for? It’s also being clear about what you want to do next.
Getting clear on your brand means that your resume will reflect that focus. It also helps keep you in a positive state of mind. Your brand should be a reflection of who you are when you’re at your best, which will be important to remember throughout your job search. Because when things get difficult (and almost every job search hits a rough patch), reflecting on your inner rockstar will help you move forward in the right frame of mind. Finally, being crystal clear about your value and what you want to do is critical for effective networking. Which brings me to the second high-value job search strategy.
Job Search Strategy #2: Prioritize Networking in Your Job Search
I know…we have all heard that networking is the number one way to land a job. Here’s some more compelling data on that front. The Little Gray Book of Recruiting Benchmarks study performed by Lever, a recruitment marketing firm, shows that candidates referred internally by employees are almost ten times more likely to be hired than people who simply apply online. Wow! There’s a reason to focus on networking!
But what does that look like in a world where we are maintaining social distance? If you think networking looks like going to social events and forcing yourself to talk to other strangers that are either looking for a job or trying to sell something to you, let’s change that up.
The best way to network is to be extremely intentional about who you want to meet. First of all, connect with your family and friends and make sure they know what you are looking for. (Refer back to your branding!) Reconnect with old colleagues and remind them of your greatness. Finally, leverage the power of your LinkedIn network, which – by the way – does not mean that you should send tons of invitations out to people you don’t know to grow the number of people in your network.
You’ll be much more successful with the “rifle” approach versus “shotgun” in your job search strategy. Carefully select a handful of job opportunities you are particularly interested in and use the power of your relationships, combined with LinkedIn, to navigate your way to HR. Or better yet, the hiring manager.
Research each company you are interested in and see who of your connections work there. If that doesn’t turn up anything, what about second degree connections? Can you have someone introduce you to begin to navigate your way into building relationships at that company? Who are people at the company you have something in common with that will help you strike up a conversation if you were to reach out and invite them to connect? Pay attention to the posts from the people you want to connect with and make thoughtful comments to get their attention.
This is a quick overview of two high-value job search strategies that are key in 2020. I’ll be following up in future blogs to go into more detail about how to make them work for you so you can take control of your job search!
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