Posts Tagged ‘goals’

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!

Networking is an art.  It takes some time to cultivate the connections and the methodologies.  Networking should not be done just for the sake of collecting contacts, but with forethought – a goal in mind.  The excuses that some people use to NOT network are just holding them back.  You don’t have to be an extrovert or an “E” on the Myers-Briggs personality scale to be able to connect with people.  Even introverts can network if they understand the reasons and tactics behind the science of networking.

You have to make a conscious decision of what you want to accomplish by networking.  Let’s say it is to make contact with certain professionals at specific companies in which you are interested in working.  Perhaps you just want information about what the culture is like at a specific company or you want to know about their business prospects for the next six to 12 months.  You network in order to gain valuable information to position yourself as the person they want to hire next.

Networking can be done anywhere and at any time.  Here are some tips:

  • Use social skills – make eye contact, have a firm handshake – web to web, smile, and nod your head
  • Attend functions – seminars, workshops, conferences, lectures and group meetings, job fairs, entrepreneurial events, business launches
  • Join professional organizations in or related to your career path
  • Create a killer profile and put it up on LinkedIn, Google Profile or other professional sites
  • Use social media to get yourself out there – Facebook. Twitter, etc.
  • Read blogs and comment on them
  • Create your own blog and share your knowledge
  • Listen to Podcasts and join the discussions
  • Start working your existing network in order to create more useful connections
  • Shy people can network just as easily as extroverts by being great listeners – everyone else loves to talk about themselves
  • Network with everyone, not just people in your field of expertise or knowledge

I started attending regular sessions on Podcasts and discussion groups.  The purpose was to network and to build my brand in order to create a buzz.  This is one method you can use when you want to get out there.  You could try attending business presentations and try your hand at business small talk.  You start with listening intently and then move onto offering your opinion.  One always networks with a purpose and it pays off.

Remember, networking is not done for just for networking sake.  The idea is to gain useful contacts who can further you in your career path.  It works both ways.  People will want to connect to you for your contacts, knowledge, position and expertise as well.  You soon become known as a subject matter expert and are in hot demand, all because you are networking.

I network online, in person, on the phone and via email.  Many people only use one or two forms of communication.  Don’t forget those old contacts that you have not spoken with in a long time.  What about the people whom you worked with four or five jobs ago?  All of these contacts need to be nurtured, cultivated and worked upon, like a garden.  Networking takes work and is a job that should be in constant motion.

To become an efficient networker, like Queen Schmooze, you need to put in the effort.  Your return on investment will show when colleagues will turn to you as a valuable resource.  Managers will notice your efforts and promotions will be forthcoming.  Other people in your field will look to you for your knowledge.  You will be asked for your opinion as a Subject Matter Expert.  The rewards for your hard work are countless, so why not start today!  Networking is easy when you put in the effort.  

Here is my presentation on Networking: Learning How to Network Final

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