Coaches Guide To job search

The Coaches Guide to Job Search

Coaches Guide To job search

Job search is an art that few people know how to navigate well.  Over my time as a career coach, I’ve seen many people fumble and fail to land a job simply because they are unaware of how to plan and execute a job search.

Job search is an art that few people know how to navigate well.  Over my time as a career coach, I’ve seen many people fumble and fail to land a job simply because they are unaware of how to plan and execute a job search.

Here are some simple steps that will help you optimize your search and minimize the time in career transition.

1.  Know yourself!  Who are you?

Start with a thorough self-analysis asking yourself some reflective questions:

  • What are my values?
  • How do I make decisions?
  • What are my priorities and career goals for the forthcoming year and five years from now?
  • What are my core strengths and key skills?
  • What is my purpose and meaning in life?

It might benefit you to complete a career assessment to help you answer these questions.  There are many available but ensure that you engage a coach certified in career assessments.

2.  Are your career dreams aligned with your research and reality?

Research options, narrowing down industries, jobs and organizations to set your target.  Answer these questions as your research into industries and careers unfolds:

  • Who are the major players and who are the emerging companies?
  • What is the outlook for hiring in this industry, not just now but five years down the road?
  • What type of individual talent does the industry attract and need?
  • What services or products does the industry offer?

Deepen your thoughts when researching companies and ask:

  • What differentiators does the target company have over the competition in the industry?
  • What is the company’s value and culture?
  • Who is the C Suite team and what is their vision and mission?
  • How does the company treat their employees?
  • What is the company’s brand reputation in the market?
  • Why would I be the perfect candidate to work here?

There is a wealth of information available today to conduct research.  Sites with company and industry profiles could generate the best ROI for your time.  Networking is also a premier resource to learn about target companies.  Tap into former and current employees using LinkedIn.

3.  Draft your plan.

Be ambitious!  Set yourself a new challenge!  Clearly define your options in a list, focus around the assessment of the industry and roles where you believe you could make a difference, bring value, be purposeful and be happy.

Set a timeline for your job search.  Bear in mind this can be very fluid.  There was a time when you would be one month for every $10,000 in targeted salary, however, in today’s robust economy that timeline is invariably, dramatically decreased.

4.  Develop a robust viable self-marketing campaign.

You are a product and you are sending yourself to the market.  Keep at the forefront of your mind the four marketing P’s.

Product: What does this product look like?  What does this product have to offer in skills and attributes?

Price:  What, based on research, is your value, don’t undersell yourself.  Aim high and come lower, you can’t go low and then try and attempt to go higher.  Do you have the experience and academic qualifications?  You are not a discount product.

Promotion: What is your personal brand?  What would engage and entice a decision maker to pick up the phone and give you a call?  Why should they choose you over the competition?

Place: How do you spread your name and brand to the defined market?  What platforms and strategies are you using to drive the targeted campaign?  Is it adverts, career fairs, executive recruiters or are you going to furiously network?

Your marketing collateral, a resume, cover letter, bio and portfolio are your marketing tools supported by a powerful, striking and fully complete LinkedIn profile with a customized URL and professional head shot.  Back this up with adoption and engagement across other social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

5.  Interview preparation.

Once in the groove, informational interviewing can bring huge value.  Select people who you believe will share details about the culture, company and its direction.  This is your chance to informally participate in an interview asking some of the following questions:

  • Tell me about your background?
  • What is the company culture?
  • How did you start in this industry?
  • What is a typical day or week?
  • Please share your advice for someone trying to break into this industry?
  • How would you approach a job search in this company or industry?
  • Please share leads to colleagues where I can further advance my knowledge?

During the informational interviewing, clarity and confidence would be gained.  Now it’s on to the real make or break interview where you are on the stand to see if there is a relationship and a cultural fit.

6.  Job search Execution.

The groundwork has now been laid.  Spread the news about your intention and goals.  The further you stick your head above the water, the more the opportunities will pass your way.  As the job search unfolds initiate a self-evaluation asking:

  • Where can I improve?
  • What is or isn’t working?
  • Where can I seek additional advice?
  • How can I stay motivated and maintain the course, avoiding all the pitfalls?

With these tools you should now be prepared to take an aggressive approach to reach your career goals.


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