Here’s the 411 on Conducting an Effective Job Search
By Greg Simpson on February 3, 2014
Job seekers have one goal in mind: to find a job. Yet, many are uncertain about what needs to be done to achieve that goal, so they spend a lot of time focused on one tactic: searching and responding to job postings on job boards. Mostly, they become frustrated and discouraged by lackluster results. However, if you ask anyone who’s just landed a job, they’ll tell you that getting hired depends on implementing a creative plan that uses a multi-pronged strategy. Applying a project management approach and focusing your efforts on a variety of tactics will add up to one smart job search.
- Plan your job search just as you would any work project—with action steps and timeline, a daily record of tasks completed, and an ongoing progress assessment.
- Keep your network informed about your search efforts and the type of job(s) and companies you’re targeting.
- Set up informational interviews with hiring managers. LHH research consistently shows that a typical candidate talks to as many as 20 to 30 hiring managers before landing a job. Talking to only one hiring manager a month—or not talking to any—can prolong your search.
- Get your name and credentials in front of decisions makers so they feel confident bringing you on board. Employers prefer hiring a candidate who is known. Use social media to raise your visibility and enhance your personal brand. Participate in online forums, help others in your network, facilitate introductions and seek referrals.
- Make networking a priority. More than 60 percent of candidates land their jobs through networking. Use your network to identify opportunities, gain introductions and get the inside scoop on targeted companies.
Here’s how to start the career transition goal-setting process. Throughout the search, keep a written record of your weekly job search activities to determine where you’re investing time and effort. For each of the following search activities, include the number completed and the amount of time spent:
- Networking calls
- Networking letters/emails
- Networking meetings
- Job board postings and responses
- Calls to hiring managers
- Networking/connecting through social media
- Participation in discussions on social media sites
- Letters/emails to hiring managers
- Industry or professional meetings/networking events
- Telephone interviews
- In-person interviews
- Other search-related activities, e.g. research, job fairs, job search education, etc.
At the end of each week, evaluate your record and make note of the areas with high numbers and those with low. This can help you assess where you might shift your attention and what activities you may want to consider increasing. Monitoring weekly goals will keep you focused and active, looking forward and positioning you to achieve that ultimate goal.
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