The job search is a topic everyone likes to share their opinion about. Whether young or old everyone has their two cents and hear comments such as “If only they did this or heard this particular piece of advice when they were younger”. My opinion, which has been formed through learning the hard way, is that finding employment comes down to luck but luck favours the prepared and well-strategized.
For starters, I would recommend setting up your profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the professional social media platform and beyond that your professional identity. The first place employers research a candidate when they receive an application is LinkedIn. It is also a fabulous networking tool. Connect to people you know or have things in common with like alma matters or friends of friends. Once you connect do not hesitate to start a conversation by asking questions. You can ask about their jobs, what helped them in their job search, whom they would recommend reaching out to etc.
There is a concept I learned, working in sales, that in order to get the results you are looking for you have to put in a certain amount of input. Meaning relevant to the amount of results you hope for there is a much larger amount of input needed.
To put it in job hunting terms: for every certain amount of applications, you submit you may get one positive response from an employer. This response is usually an initial conversation to determine fit and mutual interest. For every number of initial conversations, you will get invited to a first-round interview, some of which will lead you to the next step on the interview ladder. A very minute amount of those second-round interviews may result in the goal of a coveted job offer.
Volume is definitely the name of the game in the aim of getting your resume to as many decision-makers as possible. In service of that aim, there are a number of great platforms that have a feature that lets you tap once and send out your application. Sites like Angel List and Dice allow you to create profiles with your work experience and company preferences. These profiles then unlock for you the ability to with one tap apply to relevant roles. They also can be used to create custom job alerts that come straight to your inbox. Utilizing filters and search terms, on these platforms, helps you target more relevant roles. Filters include location, years of experience, company size, compensation amount and industry amongst others. Keyword search terms can help you track down individual job titles or companies.
The classic cold call is another tool that should be used. Some tips for this process are: Line up your LinkedIn connections who list their phone number on their LinkedIn profile and haven’t responded to messages or emails. On that note: cold emailing and LinkedIn messaging are also skillsets you can use to start conversations with people you wouldn’t ordinarily interact with.
Do a Google Maps and Yelp search of staffing agencies in your area. Using different keywords can help filter for agencies in the field you are targeting. Agencies can help with both short term employment and as a way for a company to try out your services before they hire you full time.
Another wonderful feature of both Google Maps and Yelp is the reviews section. Reading those reviews can help you get a feel for what working with that agency is like.
Start going down your list and calling all those numbers, all while knowing your limits. Pacing yourself and setting daily goals are good ways to keep yourself motivated, establishing a forward-moving momentum.
Following up, your job hunt conversations and the process can take some time. Check in again with people you have talked to before, maybe they know of new openings or other people to introduce you to.
Some people find a spreadsheet helpful in tracking conversations, others a regular to-do list document. These tools can help you stay on top of your game during initial outreach and beyond — during the multiple rounds of followups.
In summation, these are some tips I have found helpful in my personal job searches. Use them to figure out your own secret sauce in your unique career story. Most importantly keep in mind that old saying “It’s a sprint, not a marathon”.