When you are looking for a job, it’s important to remember that doing what you have always done is just not enough. Think it through, and then take action. After all, that’s what your employer will want you to do when you accept the job anyway.
~ Priscilla Claman, President of Career Strategies, Inc.,
OK I admit it, I don’t like looking for a job – does anybody really????
I thought getting an EMBA would be on of the most challenging things I would ever do, well it would take second place to the arduous labor involved in finding a full time job, while career slashing. In fact, my current job search involves some of the hardest work I have ever done.
People, if you know someone who is looking for a job – give them some applause, and a BIG hug …. really, they deserve it!!!
The topic of unemployment, jobs and the economy is inescapable, the subject predominates every news medium and permeates conversations – to tune it out is hopeless unless you really isolate yourself, and that’s the last thing you want to do….. add to that the plethora of job search advice, columns, articles and opinions – it’s really too much!
Take a deep breath,
here are some tips and advice that have worked for me,
maybe they will work for you too.
Stay positive and focused – not so easy, but essential!
The MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to do is stay positive and focused. Job searching is difficult, and there are times when you will be discouraged. Sometimes …… I fantasize about being curled up on the coach eating cheettos in my PJs, watching a comforting Lifetime movie (cue music), instead of slugging away at finding a job, but instead opt for a focused and positive attitude, this is absolutely essential in order to get an interview and a job.
You must communicate:
- High energy
- Positive attitude
No one is going to give a second look at someone who does not communicate all of these things. So really think about this in every communication that you put out there; writing, phone, personal interview, body language, make sure you…….do it!
I have devised a “work plan” much like a project plan, while it’s really nothing new or revolutionary, it is very helpful. When I started “the great job quest of 2011″, it was completely overwhelming – I had never had to pay much attention to a resume/CV or a job search, because during my career, most of my work had come from word of mouth referrals from my network. But I am now on a slightly different career track, and the job search has changed significantly in the last 24 months – and I acknowledge that it’s going to take all of my resources, intellect and energy to get my dream career opportunity - but it is one of the best investments I can make in myself.
Here are some ideas of how to go about the work of getting a job
- Everyday “go to work”…..because getting a job is your job for now.
- Find a quiet comfortable space, like the local library – not a coffee shop.
- Break down the week into several “objectives” - search, network, connect, follow-up.
- Search for job openings that are a good match, discard those that are not.
- Search LinkedIn and close personal network for connections to decision makers that can help with job openings.
- Research companies that are consistent with your core values and direction.
- Make calls to your network, persons in your industry and recruiters.
- Email recruiters with news, updates, send resume and follow up.
- Schedule 15 – 30 minute “informational” or “scoping” calls.
- 30 minute with your career or life coach - keeps you track and accountable.
Ask for help – seek out advice from professionals
You would be amazed at how generous people are with their professional advice. Recently career coach Susan Goldberg, Susan Goldberg Executive Search Consulting, was kind enough to speak to me for 30 minutes and give me some amazing perspective regarding my own job search, here is some of her advice.
5 Tips to Follow (if you are truly serious about your job search).
- Never waste your time sending an email or resume unless you have a specific individual to send it to, otherwise follow-up is next to impossible.
- Don’t bother sending a resume or an email unless you plan on following it up with a phone-call. Otherwise, it indicates that you are not interested.
- Be remembered after an informational interview, be gracious, offer to help the person who is meeting with you and make the offer as specific as possible.
- Always leave an informational interview with other names to contact. Ask at the end of a meeting, for specific people to contact so that you can further expand your network, be ready.
- Never leave an interview without knowing what the next steps of the hiring process will be. It will keep some of the control of the hiring process in your hands and the asking itself will make you feel more confident and self-assured in leaving what can be an anxiety provoking experience. (If you haven’t been told what next steps are to be taken, ask.
Focus, re-evaluate, re-group = tweak, tweak, tweak
Take jobseekers who send out hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes, and never get any results. In any other context this would merit a change in approach, but they just keep sending out more resumes. This tough job market makes it even more important to stop the mindless application-mailing and analyze what isn’t working – because the problem might be devastatingly simple.
~ Priscilla Claman President of Career Strategies, Inc.
During the last 4 months I have redone my resume at least 6 times – and these tweaks involve heavy thinking and introspection on my part. I have been lucky to have had lot’s of help along the way, ask your friends and network for help – sometimes it’s hard to remember your accomplishments.
Try using the STAR Key Achievements as a guideline.
- Situation, describe the situation
- Task or Target, what were the initial targets, goals or objectives
- Action, what you did to achieve that target
- Result, what were the results using specifics and measurements (if possible, otherwise rounds numbers or percentages)
- Be Assertive and Proactive
- Be clear
- Tell everyone in your network about your job search
- Maintain a detailed record of all the jobs you have applied to, including communications, interviews, referrals, and follow-up actions.
- Networking should be at the center of your job search strategy
- Get to go out there and make it happen.
- Be clear on what you want and need, you’re on your way to getting it.
- Be kind to yourself … it takes time and dedication to find the right fit.