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Job Search Strategies

Job Search Mind Map

Job Search Mind Map © Queen Schmooze

WHAT IF your circumstances have changed and you are faced with the prospect of looking for a new job? Do you know where to start? Have you figured out your destination? Do you even have a job strategy? Can you navigate the 21st century methodologies of looking for a job? All of these questions and more face job seekers who are looking to capitalize on the new wave of job hunting.

Several years ago, a friend of mine came to me out of a job in which he had been working for 28 years. He was faced with the new and unknown world of the job search. It was kind of like dating for the first time after a divorce. It was scary. The first thing that we did was to create a job strategy. I recommend that anyone who is: on the hunt for a new  job, changing jobs or careers, or perhaps wants to leave the employment world to become an entrepreneur, create a job strategy. I like to use a mind map like this graphic.

Some of the best ideas come from brain storming. This is a necessary piece of the puzzle that we all should do in order to find our path. What if you don’t know what you should really be doing or where to search for that elusive job? Start with a plan of action and then from there you can develop a full job strategy. Starting off organized and goal-oriented will ease the burden of your job search, making it much less painful.

Here are some ideas of how to plan your job search.

  • Find your target market audience and define their needs
  • Identify your profile / brand and what you can bring to the table
  • Use specific strategies and set a goal – what is your time frame and what do you hope to accomplish
Yellow Brick Road

Pathway to YOU

Next, you will probably need to identify the types of jobs you are going after and whether or not you want to work full-time, part-time, or do some consulting.  How many times have you run across someone who says that they just had to get out of the rat race? They had a burning passion and decided to go into business for themselves. Perhaps not being an employee but becoming an entrepreneur is more up your alley.

How you conduct your job search and where you search defines what type of search you doing.  Are you doing a traditional search and hoping to find a job that will just land in your lap? Or, are you being proactive, searching the hidden job market, using your networking skills, and social media tools to lay a path of breadcrumbs to your door? Have you engaged the services of a coach to help guide you, prep you and show you some of the unseen pathways that you can follow?

Using tools, such as a guerrilla resume or social media, can enhance your job search. These marketing tools make you a much more viable and visible product. Marketing is a very important aspect of the job search.  Most job seekers don’t realize how much they have to market their skills and highlight their accomplishments in order to compete in the job market these days. Make sure that you set your sights on the right prize.

Online Job Search

Your Online Job Search

Try some of these proactive strategies.

  • Start networking or attend Meetups – online or in person
  • Make sure that you have a good online presence with a LinkedIn profile or perhaps a Visual CV
  • Know where to search, put in job alerts, and possibly use recruiting agencies to help market you
  • Set yourself apart from other job seekers as the better choice by joining professional orgs or put yourself out there as a subject matter expert
  • Use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, SlideShare and other tools to find jobs, post about yourself, ask and answer questions – get noticed
  • Look for ways to engage your target market audience, either in face-to-face meetings, online Meetups or requests for information

By doing a proactive job search and being prepared, you set yourself apart from the masses as the better choice for that job. You may even be able to work your way into a job that is not yet posted.  Sometimes just knowing who to talk to can land you in front of a hiring manager, who suddenly realizes that they desperately need your skills and want to create a job just for you!

Does Your Resume Sell Your Key Skills?

Does your resume or online profile tell the world all about you? Does it sell your skills? Are you using key words that help it stand out in a search? Have you defined your brand? If not, now is the time to do it.

I put my website into a tool called Wordle, which creates word pictures based on key words. The picture below is what was created. It tells me that I am positioning my work exactly where it is supposed to be, helping job seekers and career changers find new opportunities.

Go to Wordle, put in your resume or better yet, your profile (who you are and what you can do) and make sure that what comes back is the right message. Key word searches, meta tags, and inherent messages in online profiles will ultimately sell job seekers to their next employers. Take your LinkedIn profile and put it through Wordle to check and define your skills set.

Create a profile that is imaginative, uses key words, and picks up the language of the employer in their job application. Better yet, make sure that you think like the employer and do research on their company. Do a Wordle picture of your next potential employer and compare it to the resume that you are sending in. When they match very closely, your message is on point. Use a key words search to define and ultimately sell your skills set as a solution person to the employers need or problem.

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