Step 1 in Part 2 are these seven tasks that will focus your job search activities for success.
1. Shift Your Networking into High Gear
Data and people tell us, networking is THE way a successful job search ends for most successful job seekers. Yes, you will hear stories and know a few people who found a job through LinkedIn or Monster. That definitely happens, but it is estimated to happen less than 10% of the time.
The # 1 way employers fill jobs is through employee referrals, according to a major "sources of hires" survey which asked employers how they filled their jobs. An employee knows someone who would be a good fit for the employer, and they hand the resume to the hiring manager or the recruiter..
So start reaching out to your network and expand your network.If you belong
to a professional association, look for a "career center"
(or something similar) on the association's Website, or go to
a few meetings to see if you can connect with other job seekers.
- Also check out Job-Hunt's links to company and military "alumni" (former employees) to reconnect with former co-workers.
- Check out Job-Hunt's list of over 1,100 national and international associations and societies by industry or profession.
- If you worked for the U.S. Federal Government, the U.S. Military, or for a company (or companies) in the U.S., look for an "alumni" group where former employees or members stay in touch. See Job-Hunt's Corporate, Military, & Government Alumni Groups to find a list of over 250 groups.
- Liz Ryan and Robyn Greenspan, Job-Hunt's Job Search Networking Experts, have written an excellent series of articles about job search networking, including the tools and tactics to help you succeed.
- Miriam Salpeter, Joshua Waldman, Marci Reynolds, and Jason Alba, Job-Hunt's Social Media & Job Search Experts, have written a series of articles to help you understand and leverage the emerging social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Check the LinkedIn and Facebook Groups, too, for wonderful ways to connect and re-connect with people in your profession, industry, or past (and future!), like Job-Hunt's Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group.
2. Make a Job Search Plan
Based on your ground work in Part 1, you know what job you want and who you want to work for. Now, prioritize the job you really, REALLY want and the employer which looks like the best (and most secure) place to work, and plan your campaign to get employed there. Then, do a Plan B, in case the timing is bad for your first choice (don't assume it's bad - check!). And a Plan C.
Using your job search tracking system (# 1 above), plan your job search campaign. Through your network (off-line as well as online), find the people who work at the target employer and reach out to them. Do NOT bluntly ask if they know of any jobs open, unless you know them really well. Read Job-Hunt's job search networking articles for more tips, and see Step 7 below for more resources.
3. Increase Online Reputation Management and Personal Branding Efforts (Google+ Profile, LinkedIn, Indeed Resume, Twitter, VisualCV, ZoomInfo, Ziggs)
If you don’t Google yourself regularly, you are at a severe disadvantage. In 2010, Microsoft released a online reputation study indicating that employers conduct online research about job applicants 80% of the time! So, you will be Googled, and if you don’t know what they will find, you are defenseless. A strong personal brand will help you stand out as the real you, and help you put your best foot forward.
Further, as mentioned in Part 1, if you don’t have a good LinkedIn Profile, you are at an increasing disadvantage in the job marketplace. In 2011, a Jobvite recruiting study has shown that 89% of recruiters are using, or planning to use, LinkedIn and other social media for recruiting. Can you afford to be invisible for all those recruiters? No, you really can't.
- For concrete suggestions on building your personal brand, read the articles written by Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert. Also, download Meg's free Job-Hunt ebook, see Meg's Executive Resume Branding Blog for more ideas, even if you're not an "executive."
- Miriam Salpeter, Marci Reynolds, and Jason Alba, Job-Hunt's Social Media & Job Search Experts (present and past), offer excellent ideas for leveraging the social networks for your job search including LinkedIn (of course), Twitter (really!), Google+, and Facebook.
- See the Add Misspellings to Your LinkedIn Profile posting on the Job Search News Blog for ideas on how to be found if you have an uncommon name, have changed your name (via marriage or some other method), or have a name that is just often misspelled.
a FEW Job Sites to Use
It has been
estimated that there are 80,000 Web job sites. And there are thousands
of other sites that have job openings -- company Web sites, professional
association websites, Chamber of Commerce websites, college
alumni/ae websites, etc. That's more options than you could probably
use in a lifetime!
How do you
navigate through all of this to your new job? Pick the ones that are best for you - that have the jobs and employers you want in the locations you want.
Read this article to learn about all the many places that jobs
are listed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
You'll want to check them all out to find the ones that work
best for you.
a Job Site
post your resume or leave a profile on any site until you have
read this article. Not every job site is a good, or even
a safe, place for you to post your resume or to leave
contact information! So, learn how to spot an unsafe site
before you get started.
Web Job Sites
Job-Hunt's article to see how Web job sites usually work,
what services to use and what services to avoid.
- Watch Out for the Scams
Take this quiz and then read the answers to see how well you can spot the job scams. On the Internet, even on otherwise trustworthy sites, you will find that bogus jobs have been posted by bogus employers. Be careful!
Dozen Online Job Search Mistakes
Job-Hunt's famous list of pitfalls (with some solutions, too).
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5. Visit Employer Websites
If you have
identified potential employers of interest to you, track down
and visit the employer's Web site. Frequently, particularly for
larger employers, the company Web site will also have job opportunities
posted. Job-Hunt links to over 8,000 employers by state, so check your state's listings to see what you can find.
To find out which employers are hiring in your target location right now, be sure to check out Job-Hunt's sponsor Indeed.com to see what they have found for you.
Up Relentlessly and Politely (Off-line, too)
Follow up tells the potential employer that you really are interested in working for them.
- When you have
identified a job you want or a company you want to work for and
submitted your online application, customize your resume for the opportunity and send it, with a targeted
cover letter, to the recruiter and hiring manager (using paper
and a postage stamp). Then, call to see if they've received it,
and what is happening with the job that interests you.
- Don't assume
that every e-mail message you send is received and read! Currently,
spam (bulk unsolicited commercial e-mail) and computer virus-generated
messages in circulation comprise an estimated 70% to 80% of all
e-mail traffic. Companies and people have responded to this deluge
of junk e-mail by using filtering software in an attempt to separate
the "good" mail from the "bad." So your message
and resume may be deleted or diverted by one of these electronic
gate keepers. Following up via phone and "snail mail"
is a necessity. Be politely persistent.
- Also, immediately sending formal written thank you's after an interview makes a big impression since fewer than 5% of job seekers bother with this step.
- To further distinguish yourself from run-of-the-mill job seekers, send a thank you for the dreaded thanks-but-no-thanks rejection letter, when you receive one from an employer you really liked. Sometimes the person hired doesn't work out, and the person who sent the thank you after being rejected gets the offer next. See Job-Hunt's article on Turning Rejection into Opportunity - it definitely works!
See Job-Hunt's Pro-Active Job Search article for more ideas.
More Time OFF-Line than ON-Line >> Off-Line is Where the Jobs
is an awesome information source, but think of it as a "tool"
in your job search toolbox. You will be hired by a person who
will probably want to meet you and talk with you before offering
you a job. So, use the Internet's vast information resources to
help you, but don't limit your efforts to this on-line world.
that the vast majority of jobs (estimated at 85% or 90% of them!)
are NOT posted on a Web site or even advertised in your local
newspaper. They are never advertised at all! These jobs comprise
"The Hidden Job Market."
hired in the HIdden Job Market jobs are known to the organization
before a job opportunity has been documented or, sometimes, even
recognized. They are the "friends of the friends" of
the hiring manager or of another employee. Don't be discouraged!
You can find those jobs, and the Internet can help you
network is one of the best ways to find that next job (and the
job after that, and the job after that!). Read the articles in Job-Hunt's Job Search
Networking section, the "Tapping the
Hidden Job Market" article, and the Hidden
Job Market section of California's wonderful JobStar site.
of people are job hunting right now. We have some recommendations
for how you can Stand Out
From the Crowd. And, you've probably heard this message hundreds
of times, because it's true, back to the first task on this page - networking is the most effective
way to find a job.
Next: Part Three or Back: Part One
© Copyright, 1998 - 2012, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+
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