Years ago I expanded my business, advancing beyond resume writing to job search coaching as I realized how passive and uninformed my clients were in searching for their next career opportunity. Whether you are presently employed and wanting to advance, or unemployed and in need of a job, you need to create a job search plan.
Any good plan starts with research. Get to know the market, your competition, your unique differentiators, where and how to be found.
Think of yourself as a product that needs to be marketed. Define what you are expert at and market that in your resume, cover letter, elevator speech, infomercial, online profile, blog, personal website, industry associations, networking business card, and signature line, to name a few possibilities.
Define what is your “ideal” job. What does the job and employer culture look like? Is there room for internal advancement? Do you have the skills (hard and soft) to perform the job? If not, identify the skills gap and enrol in courses to position yourself for future opportunities.
Make a list of companies you would like to work for. Start networking to connect with former and current employees, research the names and titles of potential decision makers, and prepare a compelling message relaying what you are seeking and why you would be a valuable addition to the team.
It’s not always about you hunting for a job. Everyday there is a hiring manager seeking potential candidates so you must also prepare to be “hunted”. Can you be found online? At a minimum, you MUST have an active profile on LinkedIn. Other active social media sites include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Further boost your online exposure by creating a profile on static websites including: ZoomInfo, About.me, Flavors, Ziggs, Naymz, and Google Profiles.
While many people seem to rely on job postings, advertised jobs and job boards account for only 9% of total available jobs, with 12% of jobs stemming from recruiters and the remaining 79% of jobs found through networking and direct mail. Network online by joining discussion groups, industry associations, posting blogs, connecting with others in your field of interest. Network in-person at industry events, formal job search networks such as Happen and ExecuNet, request coffee meetings and informational interviews, use every opportunity to share your unique value and target role. Always dress for success, even wearing business appropriate attire when networking online can make a difference in your attitude and approach to a job search.
Plan your job search to encompass 12 hours daily, 5 days a week involving a minimum of 4.5 hours of social media engagement PLUS 3 in-person networking meetings.