In today’s tough job market, you need to be diligent, strategic, and thinking outside the box. You can double your opportunities and cut your down time in half by following these three job hunting rules…
1. Think Up, Down and Sideways.
When it comes to getting your next job you need to think outside the box. Since many companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function, you can double your opportunities by applying for jobs in different industries.
For example, if you’ve been working in advertising agencies, then also include businesses that have in-house advertising, marketing, or communications departments. Or, if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a certain industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same jobs in other industries.
The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same title they had in their last job. Instead, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up, as well as larger companies and going one-level down.
Also, it’s not mandatory that you meet 100-percent of the requirements in the job description. Attitude and confidence are also key factors! A good rule of thumb is to have at least 75-percent of the skills and experience required, and express in your cover letter and interviews that you’re a quick learner, flexible, and passionate about the position and the company.
2. Create a strategic job search plan.
You want to fish where the fish are, so find out where your potential employers are by reading trade magazines, industry publications, company websites, and classified ads in your local newspapers. You’ll learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are!
- Company websites.
- Work your netWORK.
Make it a priority to get connected and stay connected to people who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you. Get re-connected with past employers, customers, and colleagues. Meet new contacts by attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events, and association meetings that target the industry (high tech, health care, etc.), or the job role (marketing, finance, management, etc.) you want. Try to attend a couple of events each week.
Also network on-line by joining LinkedIn.com and get connected to networking groups, industry leaders, and company decision makers. Make sure you create a profile that lists your career strengths, results, and successes.
Finally, never give the impression that you’re hungry for a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s resourceful, knowledgeable, and has a wide network. Send out personalized notes and e-mails with links to reports, case studies, press releases, videos, and websites that you think may interest them. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers. Influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful.
The goal is to create a pull relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (not running away from you!)
When you’re searching for a new job, remember to stay focused in what you want, stay positive, and believe in yourself. It takes persistence and patience – but you WILL find those companies who jump at the opportunity to have you join their team! J