Let's talk about your job search

How far along are you in your job search?

Getting started or far enough that it’s demotivating you to continue it?

Don’t feel overwhelmed or disheartened, most people aren’t taught how to look for the right job. The good news is that this article is here to get you to started or relook at your job search strategy that might have not got you too far.

It is important to know that the first few months of the year is the perfect time to apply for jobs. With newly approved budgets and sales forecasts in place, companies have a better sense of their recruitment plans. You will notice an increase in job postings on job boards and company career sites. So stop procrastinating and get that job search plan in action.

Start with prioritising yourself and keep in mind your reason to look for a new job - better growth, toxic work environment, better leadership or an empowering manager. Landing an ideal job can get exhausting so break down your job search in smaller and more achievable goals. Spend a minimum of 20 hours a week and a maximum of 40 hours to your job search campaign.

Keep an open mind and a positive outlook as you apply some of these approaches

Draft out your key responsibilities

List your key accomplishments over the past year(s) that help you identify your areas of strength. Let’s be real, there are hundreds and thousands of professionals with the same role as yours but your work style and approach to resolving a business problem is what makes you unique so draft a career narrative around it. Your career narrative is nothing but a compelling story that speaks of the work you’ve done, how you’ve done it and what impact you’ve created. If you don’t know where to start, dive into your past performance review reports and see how your co-workers, managers have described your work on projects.

Remote job-seeker tip : If you've introduced new tools or streamlined processes that helped your team in working and communicating better in a remote environment, you should state it out among your other achievements

Learn to tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile

Noone can write your professional documents better than you! Trust me you have it in you to get it right. When you craft your resume and LinkedIn profile yourself, you gain confidence which reflects in your interviews.

Move away from only listing your responsibilities in your resume. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying to by stating the challenges, actions taken and listing out your quantifiable achievements. In an age where everyone is data-driven, adding numbers to your documents makes it more engaging. Treat the job description as a questionnaire and the answers need to appear on your documents.

Learn about the ATS system, keep it simple with nothing but your name in the header, no tables, use of simple yet consistent fonts, clean white space with statements in bullet points. Weave in the right keywords under the right context. Keep in mind, once it does pass through the system, an actual human will be assessing your resume.

Paint a picture for your future employers on who you are, what you do and why they should hire you. Turn the tables and have recruiters reach out to you by optimising your LinkedIn profile from your "Headline" all the way down to the "Accomplishment" section

Remote job-seeker tip : Make sure to showcase your remote-readiness by highlighting soft-skills in the right context while stating your accomplishments. Avoid stating strong communication skills or team work instead lead by example, use strong action verbs that describe that skill

Design your future

One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is by applying “the spray and pray” method. They apply to every company or job role they think they might be a fit for on job boards and company websites with the hope they will hear back from them. While the right way to go about it is to be focused and target your next job to your future goals. Ask yourself where you see yourself 5-10 years from now and in what kind of role, function, industry? Create a list of job titles and companies that offer similar roles and growth opportunities. Make sure to not overlook the company values and culture, see if it resonates with yours. After all landing a new job is a long term goal and should be done right.

Remote job-seeker tip : Besides resonating with the company's value and culture, understand what kind of remote company you would like to work for - remote first or remote-friendly, understand their communication style and tools they use to work.

Focus more on networking and informational interviews

Get out of your comfort zone and get talking! According to LinkedIn, 48 % of jobs are closed through referrals and never published on the company website. So let your family and friends know that you are looking for opportunities, you’ll be surprised that they might know a suitable opportunity or introduce you to someone who might be of help.

Spend time in evaluating connections on LinkedIn, reach out to them and conduct informational interviews. Take them out for a coffee, virtual if necessary. Get to know their professional journey while you tell them yours. The main goal of informational interviews is to build valuable connections and eliminate the hope that it will land you a job immediately. Be patient through the process.

Remote job seekers - You'll be surprised how many remote workers are open to virtual coffee chat, so just go for it!

Build your own team

Life is easier when you have support. Build your own team of reviewers, friends or work with a professional coach that can review your professional documents. An extra pair of eyes only brings things in perspective. You also need to be prepared for what comes after applying that’s interviewing. Hone your interviewing skills by practicing your elevator pitch with a coach. Through honest feedback in mock interviews, you not only build your confidence by understanding your areas of strengths but also identify areas of improvement. Behavioural interviews don’t need to be tough, with the help of professional guidance you learn the skill of interviewing.

Choose an accountability partner, someone that can hold you accountable for your job search and bring you back on track if you steer away. This can be a friend or a coach. This role might be difficult for a spouse/partner. Work with someone who can be honest, objective and critique of your efforts

Stay strong

Rejection is a part of the job search game. You’ll get ahead in some interview process or sometimes never know how far you’ve got with some companies - stay strong through it all. In retrospect when you do get a new job, all the past rejections make sense. Treat every rejection as a learning curve. You may have received a rejection email don’t hesitate to seek feedback. Some might be open to providing feedback while some won’t and that’s okay too. Always have a steady pipeline of jobs to apply to or interviews to attend. When you have better plans in place, the impact of rejection is usually lesser. To bring about structure, maintain a job search tracker to capture all details from the job title, application dates to your learnings after each interview.

If you're looking for professional advise on your resume, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills, feel free to contact me.