Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

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!

How do you handle rejection in the job search? Do you need some down-time so that you can recoup your energy in order to refocus your job hunt? Staying motivated to push past the WALL of rejection is hard, but as long distance runners know, a lot of the motivation is mind over matter.

Many of us take a bit of time out when the going gets tough, but knowing how to handle this while on the job search is crucial. It’s not that easy to just ignore the situation and remain out of work. We need to feel good about ourselves by being productive. So, how does one stay motivated when faced with yet another resume re-write targeting a specific job or the derogatory rejection email that says thanks but NO THANKS?

Many people like to run and hide when that happens. Job seekers work long and hard on their applications only to have them summarily turned down without knowing the reason as to why. Anyone who has been out of work knows the frustration of the job hunt and the amazing number of rejections one amasses.

Here are some helpful tips that can make the time away from gainful employment easier:

  • Network – stay connected to colleagues, organizations, follow the business news
  • Skills Set – Personal Brand – identify and start working on marketing yourself
  • Research the company to which you want to apply
  • Target each resume to specific job applications
  • Do research into the hidden job market
  • Record all activities – including coffee meetings, conversations, emails, applications, resumes, results, networking, companies, and prospects
  • Get social – connect to social media as a way of staying in touch while taking a break
  • Take a break and don’t beat yourself up about it – you need to recharge your batteries – job hunting is FULL-TIME
  • Talk to a professional – career coach, recruiter, talent scout, resume writer, etc.
  • Re-evaluate your priorities                                                                                                                   
  • Read books that can help
  • Join a support group
  • Listen to music to calm the nerves and rev you up for the job hunt
  • Do something very different to take your mind off of the pressure of the search
  • Set goals and make them achievable – e.g. today I will research three companies or three CEO’s
  • Imagine going hiking and climbing that unbelievable hill – the power of mind over matter – The Little Engine That Could

When you start setting realistic goals and achieve them, suddenly the world will not seem like such a dark and scary place. Sometimes a jobseeker just needs to take perspective and see the long term picture. Plan ahead and work towards your dream – being gainfully employed.

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