If progress with your job search is still waiting to be discovered, you may need to start thinking more strategically. Take stock of your job search activities and time spent.
While job searching in a competitive, ever-changing labour market can often feel like a daunting task, it can be simplified to help you get further faster.
--> If you’re applying for numerous advertised opportunities through online job boards and sending generic resumes to hundreds of companies (including unidentified ones), you could expect to be waiting for weeks — even months — for a response, yet receiving few results, including a few rejection notices.
--> If you believe that your dream job solely lies on a job board, then you may be setting yourself up for a challenging job search. Expand your vision and mission!
--> If you're getting overwhelmed with technology to the point that you are establishing few face-to-face networking contacts, you are missing out on valuable leads and resources that may be critical to your career. Take the first step. Seek professional support and boost your job search productivity and career success.
...Spend more time on value-driven activities that will drive your job search in an empowering direction.
Surveys report that 80% or more of jobs are actually found through unadvertised opportunities — the hidden job market. Yet, many people still insist on vying for "any job" online without a clearly defined goal, while disregarding the most critical piece to a successful job search — professional networking.
Conducting a "smart job search" fuelled with some creativity and thoughtfulness breeds greater success.
First, reflect upon what your dream job actually looks like.
What do you want to do? Where do you want to work?
Where would our strengths be best leveraged?
What does your work environment look like?
What are the values that your workplace needs to emulate?
How can you drive meaningful connections to learn more about exciting opportunities out there using social media and direct contact?
How can you connect with the right person at a company who could help you get hired and streamline your job search?
Identify and explore companies you would like to work for through Google, websites (Indeed), company reviews, and business periodicals. Spend time conducting research in the library. Network with professionals, build relationships, and uncover industry prospects through informational interviews. Find out how you could make a unique difference in your field. Once you narrow down the above details, your job search will embody a sharp focus that will lead to a clearer direction ahead.
The cornerstones of a solid job search in a competitive market involve:
Remaining focused while continually working towards your career goal
Observing and tracking labour market trends, and field and industry developments and how they impact your career / job search (i.e. HRDC)
Actively networking outside your comfort zone through various associations, events, seminars, and conferences while communicating your unique value
Being open-minded and flexible regarding career and networking opportunities — think "outside the box"
Monitoring and recording your progress in a detailed log
Reengineering your job search strategy based on professional feedback received and a thorough evaluation of your progressive results
Define Your Mission and Carve Out an Action Plan
Drive your purpose and mission to fuel exciting prospects that are aligned with your personal values. For instance, if you are passionate about helping improve business processes or enhancing environmental awareness, then reach out to those types of companies and consult with professionals who work there. Find out what their typical day looks like and how you could make a difference.
Do strategic forecasting. Invest your time and energy in pursuing opportunities with companies that are aligned with your goals, including your preferred organizational culture. For instance, if you're seeking a high-growth, innovative company that welcomes creative ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, then direct your efforts towards such companies rather than pursuing companies in highly vulnerable positions or with misaligned organizational cultures.
Many career setbacks can be prevented if jobseekers would spend more time refining their goals and researching the organizational culture and prospects before diving headfirst with a company.
Seek professional support with your career goals and carve out an action plan. Have your resume and LinkedIn profile customized by a career professional. Focus on applying for positions with companies that align with your goals and interests. Remember to solidify your references beforehand.
If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different. Consider investing time in community leadership initiatives that could lead to enriching prospects. One of my colleagues found his dream job by volunteering at a local non-profit organization — within a month, he was hired full-time.
Believe in yourself and your unique value. Remind yourself what makes you stand apart rather than focusing on your weaknesses. This will serve as your personal anchor, keeping you grounded. Transform your weaknesses into strengths! If you’re tackling the job search with a negative attitude, you will attract those types of results. Employers appreciate focused, confident, and upbeat professionals with a firm understanding of their offerings and motivation to go the extra mile.
Always strive to follow up in a timely manner and politely initiate an interview rather than waiting until a position gets filled. Following up allows you to receive constructive feedback and informs you on the status of your application. It may also give you a sense of clarity on next steps to address to move forward.
Never Give Up!
Above all else, maintain your morale, especially during a slow period. Remaining resilient, optimistic, and action-focused in the midst of obstacles may likely lead to furthering your expertise, career goals, and networks.
Be patient, but persistent. Job search is often unpredictable and non-linear. The average time of a job search could take between a few weeks to 3-6 months.
However, with marketing tools including a branded resume and a robust employment strategy, you will considerably streamline your job search. The effort towards your career growth is well worth it!
Balance Efficient Job Searching with Quality Personal Time
Be mindful not to spend so much time on job search activities that you neglect the other parts of your personal life. Connecting with friends or colleagues could pave the way towards landing your dream job. Remember to also offer gratitude to those who have helped you along your career path.
Reward yourself for achieving small job search milestones and be proud of your accomplishments. Balance your time; you will feel better and become more productive in your job search. Work out, take a walk, do yoga, and invest in healthy activities that increase your energy. Many jobseekers become stalled in their efforts due to poor time management and networking skills, lack of solid brand marketing collateral, or an overwhelming amount of job search stress.
If you’re in the midst of a career or role transition, solidify your network connections/referrals and begin preparing for that career transition well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute or you may reduce your planning time, job search progress, and possibly limit your opportunities.
Seek support by a trusted career professional who can offer you a refreshing perspective concerning your career. When it comes to job search, employing a clear focus and time management are essential to your growth… discover how my strategic approach will empower you to embrace your next career move with confidence. Visit www.creativeresumestrategist.com.