If you find yourself actively on the job market, or just starting to think about a job change, you need a job search strategy. It can be a daunting and frustrating process. Many do not know where to start, so they just peruse the job boards and that’s their course of action on finding their next opportunity. You are likely to accelerate your level of frustration by submitting your resume to posted jobs. Chances are you will get an automated message that your resume was received and will never hear anything again. It’s time to take control of your job search.
Here are some action items to help you launch your job search:
1. Nail down your ability to articulate your experience AND your ideal next step
- The most common mistake job seekers make is not being able to communicate their experience AND what they are looking for.
- Even if you are open on what your next step is, you need to have talking points on how your experience has set you for a variety of roles.
- Be concise. The best way to make sure you communicate this effectively is to write down your self-promotion pitch on your career and ideal next step.
- Think about the scope of role you are looking for, size of company, industries of interest and location. Take time to journal about the criteria.
2. Create a target list
- Research companies you are interested in and create a spreadsheet.
- Research functional area leaders and HR within those companies.
- Even if they don’t have a role posted, reach out to the functional area leader/HR and let them know you are interested in what they are doing. Ask for a brief phone call.
- On that call, let them know you are looking at new opportunities and they are on your radar. List the reasons why you are interested in them. From there, find out if they have any immediate opportunities or if they anticipate any that would allow you to make an impact on their growth.
- They may not have anything immediate but you will make an impression. They may even have referrals for you from their network.
3. Network with Recruiters
- You can talk to as many recruiters as you want. There is not a conflict of interest or any need to feel guilty by reaching out to several recruiters.
- Do your research- there are recruiters that specialize in functional areas and industries. Make sure you are reaching out to recruiters that align with your background and interests.
- Recruiters know about opportunities that are not posted online so you want to make sure you are top of mind when they become aware of roles that may fit your background and what you want to do next.
- Send an email to start with your talking points on your experience and ideal next opportunity and attach your resume. Understand that recruiters are inundated with job seekers due to Covid so a response can be delayed if they do not have anything immediate.
- Also, ask recruiters if they have any proactive connections they can make for you. They are usually well networked and can help you continue to grow your network.
4. Job boards- use BUT proceed with caution
- It’s ok to utilize job boards to see what open opportunities are out there.
- It’s ok to apply for jobs.
- It’s NOT ok to send your resume in and wait.
- If you apply to a job online, your next step is following up.
- Most of the time, your resume goes into the declined folder without anyone even looking at your resume (reason #390 AI isn’t always our friend).
- Do your research and determine who the functional area leader is of the open role as well as HR. Send an email letting them know you applied, why you are interested, ask for a call (that part is VERY important… no ask, no get!) AND attach your resume.
Always remember, you are going to be an amazing asset with your next employer. The job search can be discouraging. The feeling of rejection can be tough. Just remember, if you get declined for an opportunity, think of it as a favor. You can have clarity that it was not where your career is going, and you can focus on taking steps to find the right fit.
Do not get stuck in the job board black hole. Use it as a tool but use the above tips to form a strategy. You are in control of your job search! You got this!
Written by: Allie Milbrath, CEO
Bottom Line Growth Recruitment