Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneurs’

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!

Continued from part 1 of Filling Gaps in Your Resume – First 5 Tips

Part 2 – Next 5 tips

  1. Always Update Your Resume                        
    • Keep track of your full-time job search
    • Use a database or a CRM to track all of your contacts – useful in interviews and later on when that potential employer you applied to eight months ago finally calls (I recommend using Jibber Jobber – www.jibberjobber.com)
    • Consider changing careers – do research on new careers / companies
    • Go on Information Interviews – to research into new markets and potential employers
    • Go after the Hidden Job Market
  2. Try Job Sharing or Part-Time Work
    • Consider job sharing – will help you keep your skills current
    • Find contracts as opposed to only looking for full-time work
    • Take a part-time job to keep yourself afloat, keep yourself networked, and keep your spirits up 
  3.  Work with Former Employers and Colleagues
    • Call up a former employer and offer to help them with their latest projects
    • Do some free-lance work
    • Support former colleagues by offering your assistance 
  4. Join Professional Organizations
    • Maintain contacts and find new ones by joining professional organizations in your field and in your community 
      •  Examples of such organizations are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) {or the one for your province or state}, Certified  Human Resources Professional (CHRP) {or the one for your province or state}, Project Management Institute (PMI), etc.
    • Find mentors, co-workers and new projects to work on
    • Network through these organizations – search their job boards and databases
    • Work on a Board of Directors of a professional organization in order to get noticed
  5. Build and Work on Your Network
    • Always work on your network before you need it and continue to work on it when you get laid-off
    • Consider becoming a Mentor
    • Attend meetings of local community groups that support laid-off workers and find new ways to expand your network, knowledge and your field i.e. Kanata Kareer Group (KKG in Ottawa, Canada), OCRI – Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation,  The Ottawa Network (TON), etc.
    • Find community groups in your city or town where you can expand your knowledge and obtain support while looking for a new opportunity
    • Listen and join podcasts, read blogs, join LinkedIn discussion groups – make comments on all and get noticed

It’s really hard to find full-time work unless you are actively working at the job hunt everyday. When job seekers have not tried to fill the gaps and say that they have been ACTIVELY JOB SEEKING, potential employers are turned off.  Companies who might be hiring do not even consider qualified job seekers for an interview when they have large gaps in their resumes. It is better to fill the gap with relevant and useful work rather than to leave breaks where you could have been doing something useful and proactive   

Your resume is one of your best marketing tools, so try to show potential employers just how skilled and accomplished you really are by “Filling Gaps in Your Resume”.

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