In talking with career coaching clients and prospective clients, it has become clear that there is a lot of time and effort being wasted on certain job search tactics and strategies. Many of your are spending energy spinning your wheels and wondering why you are not landing a joblet alone getting the interview! So it's time to debunk some of the major myths that are holding you, the professional job seeker, back from success. This may make you squirm or make you uncomfortable but it's time to get you back on track!
Job Search Strategy Myth #1: You Must Scour The Job Boards All Day
It seems that many of your are still following the guidance and advice given from career counselors in high school and collegewhich is to make sure you're combing through job boards all day. You know the ones: Monster.com, Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, TheLadders.com, and so on and so on. Many professional job seekers like you are saying, I don't understand. I've applied to hundreds of jobs online but I haven't heard back from anyone.
Many of you look at these job boards and see thousands of jobs posted and wonder why you can't land an interview for just one. While many of the job postings are real jobs, remember this: hundreds of other job seekers have seen that same job posted. The chances of getting noticed or picked out of the massive resume database are slim. This is not because you're a poor candidate for the job. Rather, it's because you have become the needle in the haystack.'
Job Search Strategy Fact:
If you spend any time at all on the job boards, it should be limited and should be used as a tool to guide you in your networking and referral processes. In other words, if you see a job posted that you feel you are a.) Interested in and, b.) Qualified fordon't just apply for that job blindly online. Make every effort possible to network into that company and to the decision makers so you can get noticed.
Job Search Strategy Myth #2: Tell As Many People As Possible That You Are Looking For a Job
Many of your already know that networking is key in a professional job search. But many of you are doing it the wrong way. Networking is NOT telling everyone and anyone you know that you are looking for a job. While this may seem contrary to what you've heard, what you've been told, or assumptions you have made, it is imperative that you understand this myth.
Many so-called networking conversations go like this: Hi Bob. This is Stan. It's been a while since we've talked. We had a lot of good times when we worked together at ABC Company! I wanted to reach out to let you know I'm in an aggressive job search and wondering if you know of any open Accounting Manager jobs.
So, what's the problem with this? Well, let's layout the second part of this conversation - the response from Bob: Hi Stan. It's good to hear from you. Yes, times were good at ABC Company. [Bob is now scanning his brain for any Accounting Manager jobs he may have heard ofbut not for any other relevant jobs, networking contacts/leads, ideas for hotcompanies, and/or other possible career options.] Geez, I can't think of any open Accounting Manager jobs but I'll keep you in mind in case I hear of anything.Bob is now eager to get off the phone because he feels uncomfortable that he can't help Stan.
Job Search Strategy Fact:
Effective networking is about engaging people in thoughtful conversations, reconnecting (or connecting for the first time) in a deliberate and in-depth method, and an exchange of ideas. It is about leveraging the intelligence, the network, and the ideas of the other person you are networking with. It is a two-way conversation about expanding your options versus asking yes/no questions.
Yes, eventually you need to tell people you are looking for a job. But when you lead with this, the conversation quickly comes to a screeching halt when the other person doesn't know how to help you. Your network is full of ideas, options, and connections. It just takes a much richer conversation to get to the golden nuggets.
Job Search Strategy Myth #3: There Aren't Many Good Jobs Out There
While there may be more competition for the same jobs during a down economy, there are jobs out there. While you shouldn't be surfing job sites all day, you only need to glance at one of them to realize that there are a variety of options for the professional job seeker. Add to this that unemployment rates run significantly lower for those who hold bachelor's degrees and/or for professionals within certain industries such as IT.
So, why does it seem so hard? Why is it taking so much longer?
Job Search Strategy Fact:
Since there is more competition for the same jobs you, therefore, risk the becoming the needle in the haystack'. Therefore, it is imperative that you attack your job search with a full, well-rounded strategy. This strategy is much the same as a small business marketing plan. Some ideas you can execute on right away:
- Get clear on what your most ideal job/career is
- Have clear sound bites to give others about your ideal job that still leaves room for alterative ideas.
- Get out there. Leave the house. Talk to people in a thoughtful way. Pick their brains. Ask how you can help them.
- Prioritize your network and develop a plan and approach.
- Create a follow-up plan for those you network with.
- Leverage social media.
- Contact recruiting agencies that are a good fit for you.
- Become a well-known industry expert (even while unemployed).
- Leverage employee referrals.
- Network Inwhenever you see an open, posted job.
- Be great at interviewing.
- Make sure your resume is results-focused and impact-oriented.
- Attend networking functions where there are employed professionals.
- Stay positive and have good self-care.
These are just some of the ways that you can create and attack a well-rounded job search strategy with vigor to help accelerate your progress and get you into that most ideal job and career for you.
So, there you have it. Three major job search strategy myths debunked and clarified so that you can get moving towards creating your ideal job in rapid fashion.
About the Author:
Diva Toolbox Contributor, Kelly Harrington is a Professional Career Coach who is passionate about helping experienced professionals like you to achieve the next, most ideal step in your most happy and successful career. With more than 15 years of prior experience as a senior HR and recruiting professional at successful corporations, she also provides you with insights, tools, coaching, and strategies to understand what executives, hiring managers, and companies are seeking in the ideal employee. Before you spin your wheels any longer, contact her for a complimentary job search strategy consultation: http://www.careermaxgroup.com/