9 keys to job search and professional success

9 keys to job search and professional success

In recent months, the job market has become increasingly competitive. But even as the economy slows and there are increasing numbers of job seekers in the job market, there are many professionals who have had incredible success conducting fast and effective job searches. These former job seekers have landed new jobs that are personally, professionally, and financially rewarding. What do they have in common? How are they doing it? Here are nine tips to speed up your own job search and bring it to a quick and successful conclusion.

Know what you want and go after it. Starting a job search without knowing what you want will surely end in frustration. Think about it: if you don’t know what you want and what your career goal is, how will you know who to contact and how to go about your search? If you’re unsure of your career goals, it’s critical that you spend some time and energy now, before you begin your quest, for self-introspection and analysis. Knowing what YOU want, what YOU are passionate about, and what YOU bring to the table will give you a confidence that simply cannot and will not be matched by many of your competitors in the job market. This is the crucial first step to any job search and is also essential for long-term career success.

Know and sell your personal brand. When you think about your next career move, how would things be different for you if employers and recruiters were actually looking for you? Personal branding—the process of clarifying and communicating what makes you and your unique value proposition different and special—allows you to make a name for yourself. It sets you apart from your peers and helps position you as a leader in your field, as a specialist and an authority who knows how to do a job and fill a particular niche in the workplace better than anyone else. Once you’re clear about your personal brand, you can use it to project a cohesive brand image and value proposition across all of your job search activities, and to do so in a way that addresses the specific concerns of your target audience. By knowing and promoting your brand, you achieve instant and precise focus that positions you as the ideal candidate for the specific type of opportunity that interests you. You get an immediate competitive advantage.

Be able to clearly articulate who you are and what you have to offer. While this may be uncomfortable for you, the simple truth is that a job search is a sales and marketing campaign – a sales and marketing campaign in which YOU are the product. Through the personal branding process (recommended above), you need to identify what sets you apart and paint a compelling portrait of your unique value proposition. But don’t just promote this on your resume and then be speechless when someone asks about you and your candidacy. You will hear the “what are you doing?” or “Tell me about yourself?” questions over and over again, both during your job search and throughout your career. Do not ruin it! Preparation is the key to confidence and the key to making a lasting, positive and memorable first impression. Be prepared with a 30-60 second pitch that immediately and confidently conveys to the listener who you are as a professional and what you offer.

Make your first impression your best impression. Take a look at your resume. Like it or not, your resume is your first introduction to most employers and your only chance to make a good first impression. Effective resumes are highly focused marketing pieces that are strategically written and designed to sell YOU as THE best solution to a potential employer’s needs and problems. Your resume should be written to convey and illustrate your unique value proposition, with succinct “stories” that set you apart from your competitors in the job market. Does your resume achieve these goals? Are you focused effectively? Does it accurately present you in the way you want to be presented? If not, it’s time to rewrite.

Net, net, net… and then net some more. The statistics are very clear and while they vary slightly from survey to survey, they are also remarkably consistent. It’s safe to say that at least 80% of all jobs are found through the “hidden” job market, also known as the “unpublished” job market. These are jobs that are generally obtained through word of mouth and referrals rather than the unpredictable method of answering ads, posting your resume to internet databases, or other techniques aimed at targeting the remaining 20% ​​of all jobs in the market. published. market. It stands to reason that if the vast majority of jobs are found in this hidden market, you should spend most of your job hunting time working to figure it out. There is no more effective job search technique than networking. So even if it feels a little awkward at first, just go out there and do it. Make networking a part of your daily routine, and plan to spend most of your job search time on networking activities (about three-quarters of your time is a good estimate). The more you network, the faster your current job search will be successful and the faster and more successful future job searches will be.

Plan and execute a multi-pronged job search campaign. Yes, networking is essential, but other job search techniques are important too. An effective job search campaign is a multi-pronged campaign that includes the strategic, planned, and methodical use of a variety of job search approaches. Responding to ads alone is almost never enough. Neither is working with headhunters, using internet job search sources, or researching and targeting specific employers. But when you combine all of these approaches with networking, carefully evaluate and prioritize approaches based on relative effectiveness, and then launch an integrated, multi-pronged job search campaign, you’ll always win. The best job search is one in which the job seeker approaches it as if it were a job in and of itself.

Create a support team. While your preparation will certainly make the whole process easier, the job search can be an exhausting and highly stressful experience. So, I want to remind you that you don’t have to go through this alone. You need to build a support team around you of people who can help keep you motivated and on track while giving you honest feedback and helping you hold yourself accountable for the goals you’ve set for yourself. Family and friends, former and current managers, your peers and colleagues, financial advisors, and professionals in the career industry such as career counselors, coaches, and resume writers are all great people to add to your team. By gathering a good mix of supporters from a variety of backgrounds and professions, you will receive a variety of different perspectives, ideas, and viewpoints that can be very helpful. You should consider joining a job search support club or group, a local one if one is available, or an online one. If your previous employer provided you with relocation services, take full advantage of the office space and resources on offer. The point is that you don’t have to and shouldn’t conduct your search in isolation. Surround yourself with a team that helps and supports you. Above all, recognize when you need support and don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance.

Always follow up. Tracking all of your contacts and their activities can do more to influence your success in achieving your job goal than anything else. A handwritten thank you note or a more formal typed thank you letter after speaking with a networking contact, attending an informational interview, or after attending an actual job interview can make a lasting positive impression that gives you a clear competitive advantage. A follow-up phone call on every resume you submit, whether it’s a cold-submitted resume, in response to an ad, or based on a referral from one of your networking contacts, can make all the difference in whether your resume actually gets read and considered. or not. A consistent method of follow-up is key, and you must make time in your schedule to do so. Follow-up will positively influence decision makers, help drive the process forward, show your interest and professionalism, and position you above the competition.

Adopt a “failure is not an option” attitude and make finding a job a job in itself. Celebrate your accomplishments daily and weekly, but recognize that a successful job search requires persistence and consistent effort. The more “sensors” you do, the more contacts you make, the more resumes you put in the hands of hiring authorities, and the more face-to-face interviews you do, the faster you’ll achieve your job goal. It can be hard to stay motivated when you don’t see results right away, but remember that job hunting is a process and it takes time. Reward yourself not only for the results, but also for the effort.

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