Job searching can be overwhelming, for new career seekers and for seasoned professionals alike. With so many new apps, updated processes for submitting your application, and a wealth of information and opinions online, it can be hard to know how to stand out to land your next job. And if you are still working while you job search, you may feel that you just don’t have the time to deal with all of the steps you need to take. In fact, a study in 2016 found that 43% of Americans had given up on the job search process.
Don’t let that be you. You can find a satisfying job. You just need a plan, dedication, positivity, and realistic goals. Consider the following strategies to help you find your next position…
Identify what kind of job you want. To ensure an effective job search, you must determine what your ideal next job is and the types of positions you want to apply for. Too often people will come to us for a resume update but they haven’t yet determined their career direction. That does not work! You have to know which jobs you want to apply for and what your ideal career is before you start searching because everything you do and each step you take needs to support that direction.
To become clearer on your direction, make a list of the top 5 things you want in your next job and see what themes appear. Write down keywords that will help you filter your search. Plug those keywords into job boards like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com, as well as career brainstorming sites like MyPlan.com.
Need help staying organized during your job search? Download our free Job Search Worksheet!
Network actively. At least 60% of jobs are found and secured through networking, so it is not something to take lightly. We recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Meetup.com. You can find also networking events through local associations, chambers of commerce, churches, community organizations, and listings online in your area. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your network.
Join groups. If you’re not a part of any groups that could enable to you expand your network, we recommend choosing two or three groups right away. Avoid joining too many groups, because you want to ensure you have time to participate in them regularly and effectively. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Try them out for a few months to see if they are helpful and effective. If they’re not, drop out and find other ones.
Connect with new people. Set the goal of connecting with at least one new person every week. However, don’t connect with someone simply because other people in your network know them or to enlarge the number of your connections. Pick someone that you would honestly like to connect with and try to learn something from. It could be a business professional that you admire because they have achieved their career goals at a young age, a successful entrepreneur, or someone in a management position that you would like to have someday.
Be strategic with each new connection and put thought into your emails, conversations and requests, written or otherwise. Ask yourself the following:
- What am I trying to achieve through this communication? What do I want?
- How can I help them in return?
- What’s the best way to communicate this message (email, phone, in person)?
- Based on how well I know this person and the situation, how do I handle communicating with them?
Perfect your elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch is basically a statement about who you are, what you’re looking for and the results you bring to the table or to an organization. You need to have this for your transition when you’re at networking events and when you’re conducting informational interviews. Make sure that your elevator pitch is focused on results, otherwise, you will lose your audience. Out of events I’ve presented at, only 12% of people have a correct elevator pitch.
For more job search tips, get your copy of our Job Search Workbook today!