I like to think of a job search as a puzzle consisting of many important parts, and you must include each part of the puzzle if you are to land the job of your dreams. The puzzle should include all of the “pieces” shown below on the effective job search graph. The problem that I see with many people looking for employment is that they don’t fully understand that conducting a job search is a process, or they simply don’t respect the process. It’s understandable why some people feel they don’t have time to address each area when it comes to conducting a proper job search. They may have mounting bills if they are unemployed, dwindling savings, feeling the pressure of providing for a family, or it might be as simple as they hate going to their current job. At some point these people revert back to their old habits and most end up applying to random jobs listed on job boards—completely abandoning their target job list. Unfortunately, if the job search process is rushed, it can lead to long-term unemployment since the much needed time has not been dedicated towards making sure that their efforts are effective. As it relates to seeking employment, quality or quantity is the key.
Check out this graph I created that includes all the pieces of what makes a successful job search to ensure that you are not leaving out a critical area.
There are two things that are not listed on the graph, but they are very important before starting a job search are:
1. You must have clear direction and know what kind of positions you are looking for. I know it’s tempting to begin to apply for random jobs listed on job boards if you have been applying for opportunities you are interested in and have not had any responses. But if you are to be successful, I recommend narrowing your target jobs down to a few related industries as opposed to conducting a search where there is no clear direction. Without clear direction, your search is destined to fail. If you are not securing job interviews after narrowing your target industry down, it may be time to consult a Professional Resume Writer or Career Coach.
2. You must prepare your marketing materials. It’s very important to ensure that your marketing materials (Resume, Cover-Letter, and LinkedIn Profile) represent you in the best light. You also need to be able to speak to your brand in person. Your resume should tell your story, highlight your accomplishments to set you apart from other candidates, and be key word optimized to guarantee they show well with applicant tracking systems. If you are unsure how to do this on your own, consult a Professional Resume Writer—it may be the difference you need to land an interview. I have spoken to many people who don’t understand the importance of including valuable information related to their accomplishments in their marketing materials. Sometimes it can be hard thinking back on what you did at positions years ago (especially if you haven’t adopted a new way of thinking where you pay more attention to what you are known for or really good at when at work). Most people go to work each day, do their job well, but never take the time to look at the positive impact they make for an organization. It’s easy to just want to get something down on paper and send it out to employers, but if it does not highlight your brand, you probably won’t get a call back.
Be sure to target companies that you are interested in and do some research to make sure it’s a place you can see yourself dedicating a lot of your time. As you can see from the graph, the majority of your time should be focused on direct interactions with hiring managers and networking with industry professionals and people inside of the companies you want to work for.
People tend to fall into habits they have been practicing for years. Based on their current situations they want to rush for immediate gratification. I understand and you should not expect to wait months to land the job you want. There are many variables that affect a job search, such as the job market, economy, the number of open positions in a particular field and area, and the qualifications of the seeker. There is no standard time one can expect to land a job. However, people tend to hire people that they think can solve problems for their organization as well as people who fit into the company culture. If you are including the “pieces” mentioned on the graph you can find that you can land a job with much more ease. The key is that you build a plan that works for you around your strengths. For example if you are not very comfortable going to networking events, instead focus on targeting a single person at a time. This will allow you to still network but in a way in which you are more comfortable. You could also choose to network using social media, email, or even sending an invite in the mail. Getting in front of the people responsible for hiring is the best way to secure interviews, so focus on these types of relationships and you will be just fine.
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Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing, career coaching, and training service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me here on LinkedIn.