In my role, I get introduced to many people looking for their next place of employment. Whether they are new to the professional workforce, mid-career or looking for their last “home” before retirement, they all have one thing in common – angst.
I empathize with them. It’s exhausting to look for a job. Couple that with the financial pressure if you’re out of work or financial goals if you’re a more passive candidate and you have a recipe for increased stress levels. Either way, I’m often asked for advice. So, here it is:
- Play the long game. Be patient and reset your expectations in months, not days…
- Leverage LinkedIn.
- Hopefully you keep your network up to date. If you don’t – get on it! Start connecting and reconnecting with folks from your current and past lives. It’s a great reason to grab a coffee or jump back on the phone and let them know your current goals and if you can help them with theirs!
- Upgrade your LinkedIn account so you can send more InMails and see more profiles. Once on the job search, you want to be introducing yourself and reconnecting with folks constantly.
- Research jobs you want (probably the easiest part of the process — thanks internet).
- Do the detective work, find the hiring managers, leadership in that particular function, Talent Acquisition and HR folks at those companies and start to connect with them via phone calls, emails, InMails, etc.
- When you message these folks, make sure you have a relevant reason to why you’re reaching out as well as an explanation of how you found them, your motivation etc. Remember, you are selling yourself. My favorite opening line to any situation where you going to ask for something comes from John Barrows, “The reason for my call is…”
- Go where your peers are and where your skillset is desired. There are meet ups and networking groups for just about anything these days. Find them, go to them, and don’t be upset when the first few you go to produce no results. The holistic strategy is important and this isn’t a short game we are playing.
- Understand your audience. This “game” isn’t always about the person you are speaking with being the right person. Have a mindset that it might be who they know and be prepared to ask for their help or if they know of anyone they could introduce you to Once you’ve learned to leverage your network to make connections and establish real relationships , you’ve succeeded!
- Lastly, recruiters are your friend. Recruiters are certainly in a crowded marketplace, but the best ones are transparent about potential opportunities and will always be willing to help for a few minutes to discuss their perspective on companies you may be chasing. Equally as important, they have powerful partnerships and can open doors to a new, entirely different network.
Hopefully this summary is actionable for you or someone you know looking for their next endeavor – if you have other great job search tips please comment below!