Developing Your Career


Three Ways to Spark a Stalled Job Search

By Lee Hecht Harrison on April 17, 2015

Conducting a job search can be intense—even overwhelming. To avoid falling into that trap, the most successful job seekers are those who approach the search just as they would any work project—breaking down a large project into manageable subprojects so that their strategy is focused and takes them to their goals. In order to achieve your career goals, you’ll need to harness your desire, craft a plan with actionable goals, make a commitment to taking action, and measure and evaluate activities along the way.

If your job search is lacking focus, feels stalled or unproductive, it may be time to evaluate your own strategy and refocus your activity:

  1. Be prepared to invest 30 hours per week to find a new job. LHH research indicates that an effective search can be conducted in 30 hours a week—provided the job seeker concentrates on meaningful activities. To determine the activities with the greatest ROI, maintain a spreadsheet or tracking report that captures the activity, the completion date, the amount of time invested, and outcomes. Track activities like networking calls, meetings, and letters; job board responses; calls to hiring managers; discussions on social media; research; and job fairs. On a weekly basis evaluate your activities to see which are generating the best results. Then adjust your strategy accordingly.
  2. Make 30 networking connections each week. LHH research has consistently shown networking is the most successful technique for landing a new position; therefore, a savvy job seeker focuses on tapping his or her network for key introductions, referrals, information about open positions, as well as support or ideas to help in the job search. Job seekers who come recommended have a much better chance getting the attention of hiring managers.
  3. Spend three hours each week contacting employers directly. It’s estimated that 80% of positions are never advertised. To tap into the “hidden” job market, job seekers should identify and contact employers directly. Whether in person, by phone, via social media or email, take the time to do some research to ensure you are contacting the person with hiring authority. Show you’re interested by being prepared to hold a discussion that demonstrates you have an understanding of the needs of the organization and how your skills and experience would be a good fit.

Searching for a job is like any other project that requires focus and discipline, so set firm goals and concentrate on high-impact efforts like networking. For more information on employment trends that could impact your search, download LHH’s Job Market Perspectives report.

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