Job Search, Networking, career advice

Magic Bullets? No. Necessary Steps? Absolutely. Job Search Advice.

Mary Rosenbaum | November 21st, 2013

A job search, even in the best of times can take upwards of 6 months. And depending on the type of job, the job market and the economy, it can take even longer. The reality is, looking for a job IS a job and involves a lot of work.  Taking short cuts can only hurt you as you burn your way through contacts rather than solidifying them and turning them into connections.

Would you go into a meeting or presentation without the right materials, without knowing what has to be emphasized, without a full understanding of the topic you will be addressing? Of course not. Yet, many people go into a job search or into an interview without the right collateral materials, the right pitch, or even without a game plan.

Based on my experience as a coach and as a recruiter, I have listed some basics you have to have in place to run a successful search. These basics are not magic bullets nor is this list comprehensive. But if you can check them off, the search process will run more smoothly, will provide a better foundation for your career moves in the future, and may even shorten the time it takes to find what you’re looking for.

Here goes:

1. A branded resume that focuses on your successes and achievements, one that is written with your desired job in mind. This isn’t about providing a laundry list of each and every responsibility you had in your past jobs. It should be focused on your accomplishments, what you are known for, and how you want to be described.

2. A targeted networking plan. Who needs to know about you? Who can help you get in front of those people? Who can provide you with insight into the industry and the current employment situation? Who is well connected, not only in the industry but in general? Remember that second and third degree contacts are critical to expanding your network.

3. A few sentences that other people can use when describing who you are, what you do, the value you provide and what you are looking for. You have to brand these words into the minds of everyone you meet so they can then repeat them when describing you to others.

4. A great introductory email/bio/letter to send to those people that don’t know you. In as few words as possible, make what you write compelling enough for them to want to respond. I am not advocating sending out cold emails. In fact, I think that’s not a great way to go. This type of communication should be used when someone is lending their name to the introduction – that way, you have a better chance that someone will read it and respond to it.

5. Know what your “ask” is of every meeting, encounter, email. Connect the dots and don’t assume someone will connect them for you.

6. Create a follow up plan for every successful contact you make. This doesn’t mean you should make a pest of yourself but rather that you ensure that potential meaningful relationships don’t fall through the cracks and disappear.

7. Pull together your story of where you have been, where you are, and where you want to go so that it all ties together and lets the listener know that you are in control of your career and that each decision had a purpose.

8. Turn your current style of networking into a more forward thinking approach of building foundations for relationships that last beyond your next job.

If you have anything else you want to add or have some additional job search tips, please let us know.

Need help articulating your value and developing your plan, contact me.