This month, we’re talking about the nuts and bolts of your job search. Are you only scrolling through openings on LinkedIn or watching for the results of job alerts in your inbox? Are you tired of filling in endless online applications?
Even though online job searching has become more conventional over the years, you should know that its success rate falls somewhere between 2-5%. However, 85% of jobs are filled through networking and up to 70% of jobs are not even posted publicly (see CNBC article). So stop being REactive and be PROactive! Take control of your search and you’ll be more successful and feel better while doing it.
The most effective way to view a job search is from the point of view of a salesperson. You are the product. All you need to do is find a buyer. But your product is not for every buyer.
First, take an objective look at you and your skills (the product). Ask yourself the following questions:
KSAs: Knowledge, skills and abilities. What are yours? Do you prefer to lead or contribute? What level of job are you looking for? What is your superpower at work?
Are you willing/able to travel? Are you looking for a fully remote, hybrid or in the office role?
Elevator pitch: What would you say if you were in the elevator with the CEOs of five companies in your field? What makes you different, valuable? Make it short - 30 seconds to a minute. Record it on your phone and listen to yourself. SMILE when you pitch. It makes a difference.
Who has a need for your skillsets? Where would you like to work? What are the titles of positions you'd like to pursue? Who are the big employers in your area? Could your job be done remotely?
Next, you’re going to come up with a marketing plan.
You hear this a lot in sales: “Plan your work then work your plan.” You should do the same thing in your job search. Going back to my first blog post, set aside dedicated time to “fill your funnel.”
How much time each day will you devote to your search?
When each day? Schedule on your calendar.
DEVELOP A MARKET LANDSCAPE
Now that you've assessed your skills, what companies are in your target locations and industries? If you have access to outplacement, they will help you do this. If not, you can start by finding lists of companies by industry through Google searches. Both NJBiz and Crains publish a useful Book of Lists organized by industry that you can get from the library. When you drive around locally, take note of the names on the buildings and add them to your list if they interest you. To start, you want a list of 50 -100 companies.
Here’s an example of what this market landscape can look like as you start building it:
Now, the work begins. Develop your plan and work the plan. Set goals. Your own KPIs.
Set a goal of making a certain number of connections per day, on Linkedin and on the phone.
Networking: how many meetings per week? (Coffee/lunch/dinners)
Events: how many per week/month? (Don’t go to too many as you need to follow up with everyone you meet.)
Research a certain number of companies each day from your market landscape. We’ll talk more next month about how to research, specifically around how to use LinkedIn for this.
Set up a tracking system (Excel or Outlook). Here's a sample:
It pays to get organized in your job search. You won’t lose sight of the companies or people you’ve contacted or positions you’ve applied to. Consistently filling in the spreadsheet each day should also help you stay motivated rather than waiting for an alert or a response from the black hole of Applicant Tracking Systems.
Next month, we’ll explore ways in which you can leverage your LinkedIn connections to help in your search! Know someone who could benefit from this blog? Feel free to share it with them!