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Today we will be speaking about how to position yourself as a job seeker and sharing some job strategies that will help you in the planning of your next dream role. Because, let’s face it, job searching is hard work. It can also be confusing, frustrating, and disappointing. But it doesn’t have to be. Having a strong plan and strategy in place absolutely can help. Here are some key points to remember.
So what do we mean by strategy anyway? Let's define the term strategy: it’s a method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem. It's also the art and science of planning and using resources for their most efficient and effective use. 80% of jobs are posted, the other 20% are filled internally. A recruiter has about 6 seconds to spend on your resume. You are 5 times more likely to be hired if you are referred. I also want to speak about the 80/20 rule for job searching. 20% of job seekers take a passive approach to job searching by searching job boards, apply online, and then wait to hear back. The other 80% take more of an active approach. They research and target companies, have informational meetings, and develop relationships with advocates who can help them get an interview.
You need to come up with your story as a candidate and connect the dots. Your job search is all about storytelling. One of the ways that you are able to tell your story is in person in networking events or meetings, through your elevator pitch, or through interviews. Next, is on paper through the creation of your resume, cover letter, or portfolio. Last, you are able to tell your story online through LinkedIn, a personal website, or simply google results. You want to tell a consistent story of who you are and why you are different.
Also, another important fact especially these last couple of years is that people are changing careers more often and your path is not necessarily linear. However, it is your job to make it sound that way. You need to “connect” the dots to help the employers understand how your unique blend of experience and skills will meet their needs. You want to tailor your approach to each opportunity. Here are some steps in order to create your story:
Relationships and networking are the most important factors in your job search.
Building the right connections and expanding your network is the single most important factor in your job search success. You also need to remember that you have more control than you think in your job search. You cannot know when, where or how you’ll find your next role but with enough persistence, patience and a plan in place you will eventually get results.
Here are some networking principles that will also help you in your job search. When you are networking, it should be based on give and take--you should do both. It requires you to be strategic yet opportunistic. Remember that it also takes time, patience, and follow through. You have to move beyond your comfort zone and put yourself out there.
When you first start networking, you should start with connectors and supporters. Identify your top 10 target companies that you are interested in. Think beyond the immediate connections--second degree connections are most valuable. Also, you want to follow up on every lead. Remember that your network is bigger than you think and so is your net worth. It's not who you know but who knows you.
There are also three steps in your networking process.
Rule of thumb: always follow up with the connections you make. Just like any other project, your job search needs a plan. You want to decide how much time you can spend and how you will spend it. You want to set goals and milestones and track your time. Find an accountability buddy such as a friend or coach (ideally one who’s going through a job search journey as well). You increase the probability of achieving what you are after by 95% if you have an accountability partner.