It can be like nails on a chalkboard. For me, can cause my eye to twitch just thinking about it. The dreaded job hunt. But where to start such an exhausting journey? First, I hope that you are as dismal as I am about change. A new job is opportunity! You have the chance to learn new things, meet new people, and achieve new goals. Congratulations on your job hunt, and the exciting adventure that follows!
When setting out on your plan of attack, you may automatically turn to the comfortable advice Grandpa gave you at the Thanksgiving table. You know, the age old tradition of buying the nice thick resume paper. Typing up the traditional resume, with pretty pretty formatting to be sent off into the big bad internet. Then, you finally get the call for the interview. After putting on your Sunday best, you plaster on a smile while nodding and politely answering some “Tell me about a time…”questions. Do I have you pumped up yet? I didn’t think so.
Disclaimer- These items are an important part of the job search. A crisp suit and a proofread resume are basic signs of professionalism. If you’re looking for someone to pay you for your time, you better have your best foot forward.
Now that we have the dusty old career advice out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. If you intend to get a new job, casting a wide net will help you find that perfect opportunity.
Use your network!
As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In my experience of helping people find a big break in their careers, I have found this secret can be a job seekers best friend. First, jot down a list of people in all areas of your life that you trust. If you can, reach out to everyone individually to let them know you’re launching your job search. Share the basics of what kind of job you’re looking for and ask them to get you in contact with anyone that may be able to help. Be sure to thank them and keep them updated on any leads that result from their help. Well done, now you are flexing your network to launch your job search!
The Big Bad Internet
The internet is the common vein that employers use to collect candidates for open positions. This is a good strategy for the employer because they can pull in tons of candidates for a low price and minimal effort. It may be the choice method for employers, but this is not a good stand alone strategy for the job seeker. When sending your resume off into the sunset of the internet, it’s common to never hear anything about your application again. I’m not saying to abandon online resume submissions completely. Learn to view online job postings as only one part of a multi approach job search strategy. I fill jobs all the time with job seekers who have applied online. The problem for the job seeker is that odds are against you because of the number of applications received through online postings, so you’ve got to use other avenues to launch a new job.
Go Straight to the Source
I work for a big organization with lots of red tape and rules. So – you will not hear me say the following while on the clock or when talking to my candidates. But the truth is, a recruiter is a middle man. We are not the stakeholders of your long term success, and we only have a surface understanding of the job we’re recruiting for. When you can, go straight to the hiring manager. Preferably in writing, whether through mail or email, tell them about how your skills will help make their lives easier. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get the manager’s contact information from one of your connections. If you’re not being handed the information on a silver platter, it’s okay to be creative. Lots of companies have a directory of key contacts or leadership listed on their webpage, you should also be able to find hiring managers on LinkedIn. There are lots of guides out there with tips on how to search LinkedIn profiles to find what your looking for.
Now you have a little more insight on how to get started on your job search, good luck! Use your network and your confidence to find the perfect opportunity for you!