If you’re like most people searching for a job, you’ll run into some obstacles. Many of our career coaching clients say they can identify with one or more of these job search obstacles:
- Lacking confidence and not being prepared – When I give speeches only about 13% of people have a solid elevator pitch.
- Falling into a black hole with the HR department – Without the right job search plan and approach, people often don’t get a response from their prospective companies.
- Not being familiar and up-to-date with new ways to job search online – Many people lack planning and overlook their online footprint in their job search.
The key to your job search is to diversify your strategies AND focus on the ones that pay the best dividends…
Get Past the Obstacles
To get past some of the job search obstacles, here are some ways to get your foot in the door with prospective employers that have worked well for my career coaching clients:
- Mail in or FedEx your resume. Client example: Cheryl sent her resume by FedEx and was called quickly for an interview. It helped her stand out from the online resumes for this particular company.
- Network your way into the company through a friend, family member. Client example: Maggie got an interview by finding a connection through a friend on LinkedIn for a company she wanted.
- Call the company to set up an informational interview so you can learn more about the company and get your name out there. Client example: James asked to speak to HR to learn more about his industry. He had a connection there already so used that person’s name, got more contacts and his foot in the door.
- Volunteer your time so you can get familiar with the company, gain work experience, and build a working relationship. Client example: Jackie did this and got a new connection at a company, as well as a reference for her work.
Make a Good Impression
Follow these simple steps to make a good impression with hiring managers and other professionals you meet – whether you meet them online, at an interview or at a networking event!
- Be assertive yet professional and courteous.
- Follow their instructions- don’t be a pest!
- Make sure your resume stands out- have it professionally written, that includes a unique combo of your skills, and has a professional summary at the top! The cover letter highlights those things as well.
- Pick up the phone. This means less email and passive strategies, people hire people- someone with a voice, not a piece of paper.
- Be on and use LinkedIn. This shows you care about your career.
- Know your brand. Have your elevator speech ready and practiced out loud with others.
Network Your Way Into an Organization
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be active in your job search on LinkedIn. Recruiters and employers search for leads all the time on LinkedIn.
- This is a great way to get third-party recommendations that you can use on your resume.
- Leaving an online footprint shows you are serious about your career and your job search.
- It’s an easy way to connect with employers and they can get acquainted with you.
- This allows you to showcase your skill set. Keep your profile accurate and up to date!
Find Networking Events
You need to make sure that you use your resources efficiently so you’re not wasting time. Find the networking events that are most worth your time. How do you do this?
- Look local and look industry specific
- Ask around and see what people know about and look online.
- Look for associations for your specific industry instead of job fairs with all occupations. Find ones where there is a mix of people who are employed and those who are unemployed.
- Check out meetup groups where other people are participating and you have a common interest with them.
- Be strategic! Visit once, evaluate, then decide whether or not to go again.
Remember, do not sit behind your computer. It is estimated that around 70% of jobs are found through networking and the hidden job market. The best way to predict your future is to create it. It’s all about the right action. Consistent, persistent action.