How To Prepare For An Effective Job Search Step By Step
You might wonder why in today's job market, where employers are experiencing the after-effects of the "Great Resignation" and a severe shortage of candidates, it is difficult for a lot of people to find good employment. Unless you are in some high-demand job market, chances are you not hearing from recruiters after applying to hundreds of jobs or are being ghosted after one or two rounds of interviews. This could be because the hiring process works in a certain way which you as a job seeker may not be aware of. However, there are some things that you can do to make this process work in your favor.
Be clear on what job you want
When you're job hunting, it's important to be clear on what job you want. This will help you target your search, your branding, and your pitch and make the process more efficient. Consider what you're looking for in a job, such as the type of work, salary, level, location, industry, company, environment, and benefits. This is especially important if you are considering transitioning into a different area or your skills are such that you could potentially move into different industries.
Research the job market
Once you have the clarity, the next step is to start researching such jobs on job platforms or on social media channels. Look at the Job descriptions, and try to figure out what employers are looking. Try to gauge the interest companies might have in you once you present yourself as it is or if you need to present yourself differently. It is important to understand what from your past experience may resonate with them and how that needs to be highlighted. Learn what results they expect the ideal candidate to deliver.
Brand yourself and create marketing collaterals to position yourself as a great candidate
Now that you know what they are specifically looking for, and what you can deliver based on the skills and the past experience you have, it is time for you to create your branding. Branding in this context means highlighting your value proposition in such a way that anyone interacting with you directly or through your resume or profile is able to immediately see how you are uniquely qualified to meet their needs in ways other candidates are not.
It is about telling your story by creating the marketing collaterals that you will be sharing with others including recruiters and hiring managers. Yes, you heard right! If you really want to stand out you need to really market yourself effectively by creating resumes and social media profiles including one on LinkedIn that speaks to your accomplishments and contributions vs. the responsibilities you had in your previous jobs. Depending upon your profession, you could also create a website or blog that demonstrates your expertise in your field.
Recruiters have a very limited attention span. Design your resume and LinkedIn profile in such a way that intrigues them when they start reading it and they want to learn more about you. Leverage everything you learned about what employers are looking for while doing so.
Create a job search strategy
There are many sources of jobs, including job platforms and people that you can leverage to search for jobs. However, you may still have a difficult time finding a job. It is possible that you will not get a response even after applying at hundreds of places. It is also possible that you will be searching for jobs in the wrong places or getting in touch with the wrong people for help.
To find a job, it is important to create a job search strategy. This may include researching different sources of jobs such as large online job platforms, niche job platforms, diversity, and community organizations, recruiting agencies, search firms, search engines, groups and forums, and social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, etc.
In addition, your job search strategy must include the identification of people who might help.
Create a target list of companies and individuals in those companies
In order to identify the right people who can help you with job leads or recommend you to others for jobs, you need to be strategic. Start by creating a target list of companies and individuals in those companies who might be able to help. These are typically the hiring managers, recruiters, and decision-makers within those companies. Also, find people in your existing network who can introduce you to the right contacts within those companies.
Create a networking and outreach strategy
Networking is extremely important. 70% of the jobs are never advertised or are filled through referrals. To network effectively, create two sets of messaging. One for people you already know - sharing with them your current job situation and asking for leads. For those, you do not know yet, create notes, ask for informational interviews or seek guidance. Parallelly keep building your LinkedIn network. The larger your network is of the right type of people, the better are your chances of getting job leads. Remember people are busy so be respectful of their time. If required seek help from Career coaches to help with the networking and outreach strategy as this strategy is likely to be more useful than other strategies in your job search. They may also be able to recommend appropriate resources for you to use for job leads.
Prepare for initial screening and multiple rounds of interviews
It's important to be prepared for your initial screening and subsequent rounds of interviews. Be sure to anticipate questions, research your interviewers, and do mock interviews to rehearse. You should also prepare using the job description as a guide. Always be ready with examples to substantiate your past experience. These days most of the questions are situational or behavioral. Before you answer, pause! Think of what the interviewer is wanting to gauge from your response and answer accordingly. Research each interviewer to understand what their questions and concerns might be so that you can address those appropriately.
Prepare to negotiate and close the deal
When you are preparing to negotiate and close the deal, it is important to remember why you are the best candidate. You should reiterate your interest and excitement in the opportunity, and show why you are the best person for the job. Negotiate on key items so that it is a win-win for both parties.
A job search does not need to be frustrating. With the proper strategy, you can find your dream job quickly. Remember it is a process. Ensure that you are strategic about each element of the job search process and you will be successful. The longer the delay is in finding a job, the more frustrating and financially impactful it can be for you. Don't hesitate to seek help from an experienced career coach who can save you a considerable amount of time, effort, and energy by providing you step by step guidance.