5 Ways to Job Search Jump Start (Hold the Job Postings)
Planning to look for a new job in 2011? If yes, here are five ways to get started:
1. Enlist the help of a mentor - none of whom currently work with you now at your place of employment. Even better: Recruit one or two additional mentors.
2. Identify 3-4 friends who you trust more than anyone else. Ask for their help.
3. Isolate what you enjoy most professionally and what comes easiest to you naturally. This is your sweet spot, and may be your best target for future work.
4. Look at job listings. What's available? Who is hiring? Create a short list of positions that align with what you'd like to do.
5. Don't do anything until you know what matters to your audience. Don't revise your resume, write a cover letter, or apply for any positions.
Don't ever customize your resume, cover letter or develop an interview strategy until you know the job you are applying for and have a sense of the company culture. Glassdoor.com, Hoovers, and employer websites are all good sources of company information
Your network—and others who have worked in similar positions, are also a great source of information. Seek out and have coffee with people who work in jobs similar to the one you'd like to have. Ask them what it is like—and what they look for before they make a hire. Once you know the needs and interests of your audience, it will be easier to successfully apply for positions.
Does it strike you as odd that none of the five strategies, above, actually involve applying for a job?
If yes, consider these two data points:
- According to ManPower, 84% of Americans will be looking for a new job in 2011.
- Now consider the fact that a majority of Americans are also unhappy with the jobs they do have. Take a look at this video in which career expert (and Job-Hunt Career Assessment Expert), Susan Guarneri assesses the collective state of workplace unhappiness.
You want to have a job that makes you happy in 2011, right? So why not surround yourself with friends who can provide leads and support? Why not put your best skills on display and demonstrate how you walk into a new job and contribute?
Why not start out with a push to land the job that you want—not the job that just happens to be there?
Need a little help to get started and make this all happen? Here are four of my favorite, go-to resources:
1. Who's Got Your Back by networking guru Keith Ferrazzi
This book provides you with a blueprint for how to develop relationships and pools of support from mentors and your peers (or, as Ferrazzi calls them—lifelines)
2. Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
This book will help you isolate and identify the traits and skills that come naturally to you. (So that you can decide which strengths you want to use most frequently.)
3. How Did You Score that Gig?
Alexandra Levit provides profiles of hot career options and shows you how to get there. Why this book works? There's a quiz in the beginning that assesses your preferences and interests…you can then read the profiles that match. It's like Cliff Notes for your career.
4. Job Search Magic
How to identify your best career fit and design a strategic path to your next job. Written by Susan Whitcomb, author of the top-selling resume book on Amazon, Resume Magic.
Before you even think about looking at job postings, fire up your network, and identify and analyze your audience.
© Copyright Chandlee Bryan, 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.