1. Have a plan:
The difference between one person’s success in a job search and another’s can simply be that the former has a workable plan; though a job seeker may be taking many of the right steps, if he or she does not have a plan, then the plan is incomplete, steps are missed, and the job seeker may give up because he or she does not have enough direction to carry a job search through to completion.
2. Be organized:
There are many methods of organization that you can use to accomplish things. One of the most basic methods is to create a check list each day before you begin your job search to keep you on track. For example:
- Go on job boards and find jobs 9 – 10 a.m.
- Go on LinkedIn and find jobs 10 – 11 a.m.
- Follow up with companies you apply to 11 – 12 a.m.
Map out your day in the best manner you can. Of course, conditions may change, you may get a call for an interview or spend more time on one step or another, but as long as you have some plan in place that keeps you on track, you will have a much better chance of being successful.
3. Track your progress:
During your job search, it is easy to find yourself questioning whether you are being successful or not, especially if you have been looking for a new job for quite a while. An excellent way to keep to measuring your success on your steps along the way is to track your progress. Maintaining a chart or spreadsheet in Microsoft Word or Excel is an excellent measurement tool.
- Companies applied today: 25
- Companies applied to this week: 100
- Total companies applied to thus far: 325
- Number of responses: 30
- Number of phone interviews: 12
- Number of face to face interviews: 4
Why does keeping track of all these activities and recording specific numbers matter? This method offers you a true representation of how much effort is actually needed to get a job. Based on the example above, this person has averaged 1 face-to-face interview a week, or 4 in a month. These type of numbers will probably not result in getting you a job; 1300 applications in a month would be more likely to produce 4 face-to-face interviews a week. As long as these interviews are indicative of the right jobs for your skill sets, chances are you will be hired.
4. Apply in volume:
If you honestly think that applying to a few jobs online and casually networking to a few other folks will get you a job, then you are sadly mistaken. If this method actually works for you, then you don’t need to be reading this. However, I’m skeptical that anybody can casually look for a professional or management position and actually get hired. But, if you are like most serious job seekers conducting a job search, it is critical to let companies knowing you are looking and are a strong and viable candidate.
5. Diversify your search:
Not that long ago, the most common way to find a job was to read the job section in the newspaper. Now there are several ways to search for a job, and a newspaper is not one that any true job seeker uses. Here are some others that are worth trying:
- Major job boards like Dice or CareerBuilder.
- Mega job search engines like indeed, Simply hired or Juju.
- LinkedIn’s job board.
- Industry specific job boards. Just put the description of your industry into Google with the
- word “jobs” or “careers” and you will see that there is a job board specific to your background.
- Approach companies directly that you would like to work for. Many companies don’t post their jobs but are still hiring.
- Send your resume to recruiters.
6. Research the companies you apply to:
There are some jobs you may apply to that only stimulate a mild interest, and others you would kill to get. On the positions that most interest you, research the company and the position. You can even Google the hiring manager or contact him or her through LinkedIn, which can be helpful in increasing your chance of actually getting hired if you can talk to the hiring manager directly.
7. Online social networking:
With online social networking, you no longer do you have to go to weekly “business mixers” designated physical location to meet people who could lead you to your next job. It’s much easier than that. Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of other social networking sights provide ways to connect with people for very little if any cost.
8. Follow up with a phone call:
I have often been asked: “I applied for a job recently and got a first interview on the phone, but it has been a week since I got a call from the employer. What do I do?”
It’s simple. Call the employer! Take initiative! What do you have to lose? Get your name in front of the employer. Let the employer know who you are. Be not afraid.
9. Getting a job is sales and marketing:
Your resume is a marketing tool that sells you and gets you an interview.
This is the same tool that a salesman uses to sell a product, a collateral, a brochure, a supportive marketing tool. The only real difference is that you are the product.
10. Make getting a job your full time job:
Some years ago, I was given some excellent advice on how to find a job:
Make sure that looking for a job becomes your full-time job. If you are already employed, then this would not apply to you, as your full-time job is your job. Unless, of course, it is really important to get another job.
If so, then be prepared to hold down two jobs, because “looking for a job becomes your full-time job.” If you are out of work, then it is imperative that you treat your job search as a full-time job. Get up early in the morning, and make your priority looking for a job. If you wake up at 10:00 a.m., and don’t get started looking for a job until after 12:00, then it is obvious why you are not successful in obtaining a job. Enough said.
Carl Schumacher – Career Coach, Executive & Technical Recruiter