The groundwork is done and you are ready to start your job hunt. The question is, where do you begin? (If you haven’t already, check out last weeks blog post here before reading on).
It’s important to remember that this is going to be the most challenging part of finding your next job. It will require patience, determination, and grit. Everyday you will need to set aside a certain number of hours strictly focusing on looking for your next job. So where do you start?
One of the most cliche sayings I have heard many times is (and I am sure you have as well) : “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” However cliche it might sound, there is no denying the truth in the statement. Networking is going to be one of – if not the most – powerful tool in your job hunt, and the first place you need to start. Since you already have your network mapped out (if you followed along from last weeks blog post), it’s time to start using it.
- Reach out to those you know first: this could be colleagues, family, friends. Send them emails and schedule times to catch up and explain to them what has happened. Ask if their company is hiring or if they know of anyone in their network that is hiring. The key here is respectful persistence and follow up. Be sure to follow up with everyone you have talked to to check in or to see if anyone in their network has a need.
- Attend Local Conferences or Seminars: spend some time researching and find some local conferences and seminars to attend. This is a great way to network with similar people and exchange information. Be sure to bring copies of your resume to pass out to those who may have an opening or know someone who does.
- LinkedIn: I could spend a whole blog post on this, but here are some key takeaways
- Write a brief post explaining what happened and that you are looking for a new job, and then ask colleagues and friends to share your post. This is a great passive way to search for your next job, as not only will people in your network see this, the network of those who have shared it will see it as well.
- Set a goal each day on how many people you plan on sending InMails to and do it. Pro tip: create a template that you can copy, paste, and send. Keep it short and to the point, and be sure to ask if they know of anyone that is hiring.
- Connect with 5 people a day on LinkedIn. Once they have connected with you, reach out and ask if they know of anyone in their network that might be hiring. This way you are expanding your network outside of what you already have.
- Connect with hiring managers of companies that you have applied or plan on applying to. This is a great way to help you stand out against other candidates. You would be surprised how many professionals do not do this.
Networking is a huge part of the job hunt. Be sure to be persistent and follow up with those you have reached out to. I recommend setting up calendar reminders on when to follow up with people in your network. And, remember, do not be afraid to reach out or connect with anyone. You never know who they might know or what they might have available.
Applying to Jobs and Posting your Resume
While networking is going to be a powerful tool, applying for jobs is still something you will have to do. And yes, it can be daunting – but only if you let it. The key here is persistence and grit. Remember that resume you updated? It’s time to put it to good use.
First, make a list of positions that your skill set matches. Once you have this list, start your job search based on those positions. Start your search very exact and expand out from there, and apply away. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO APPLY! Now, I don’t recommend applying to every position a company has open, however apply to any opening you think you might be qualified for. What does that mean? Many job descriptions provide a high level of detail that makes it seem like no one would ever be qualified for the job. Do not let this deter you from applying. What you don’t see is what is happening on the backend, or what the company is actually looking for. Don’t have enough experience for a particular role based on the job description? Apply anyways – they might actually be looking to hire someone with less experience, or have a different opening that fits your experience level. Overqualified for a role? Apply. They could have a position not posted that requires a higher level of experience. The truth is, you don’t really know until you apply. And if you have a fantastic resume with the experience to back it up, you could get hired for something coming down the pipeline.
After you have applied, be sure to connect on LinkedIn with hiring managers and recruiters from the company you applied to and follow up. Let them know you applied and send them a copy of your resume as well. There is no guarantee they will respond to you, but it keeps your name top of mind with those making the hiring decisions.
Along with applying, be sure to post your resume to databases such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc. This is a great way to passively job hunt, as recruiters now have the ability to find your information on these sites for positions they are recruiting for.
Reach Out to Staffing Agencies
Staffing Agencies are one of the greatest resources for those in the job hunt, they can help accelerate finding your next role. Generally, staffing agencies have a large number of openings they are actively recruiting on for clients. This is a plus, as some companies only use staffing agencies to fill their openings, meaning they may or may not show up in your job searches. On top of that, staffing agencies want to find you a job, as it is a mutually beneficial relationship: they only make money when their clients hire their candidates. Now, there are some caveats to using a staffing agency. Depending in the industry, there could be a high number of contract positions vs full time salary positions. Though not necessarily a bad thing, contracts can end at any time. However, what contract work does allow you to do is create a revenue stream while you look for full time work. On top of that, some contracts do turn into full time positions, giving you the in you needed to land that full time job.
Focusing on these key areas for your job hunt are crucial to finding that next role. Most importantly, though, is the persistence, grit, and hope that you will need to have every single day to make this happen. The hardest part about finding your next job isn’t the steps you need to take, its overcoming the emotions in your head telling you it’s never going to happen. Don’t let your emotions control you – become that master of your emotions, and tell yourself every day that you can do this.
Are you stuck in your job hunt? Feel free to reach out, we would be more than happy to help