In recent weeks, several of my clients have asked my help in finding them a new job. They each have different reasons for wanting to change jobs. Some just want more money. A few are not comfortable with the financial health of their current employer. And, I have one entry level client and one recently "outplaced" client that just need help getting started. Finding a job is not necessary that hard, but finding the right job does take a plan.
There was a time in the recent past when people would just shotgun resumes or respond to every job ad they saw. That method does work, but it is a lot more painful in terms of time, and success. If you think about it, you need to hit the right company at the right time looking for your credentials. Odds seem a little against you. So, it is best to create a plan of attack, and to work your plan.
The first rule of thumb that people need to know in the job search is that, as non-scientific it may be, you should expect to spend about one month per $ 10,000 of salary hunting for that new job. If you do a quick calculation, that means it would take about 6 months of job searching, sending resumes, and interviewing to find a $ 60,000 job. That is pretty long, so it is important that you are organized. The reason is that there is more competition for those jobs, and like sales, you need to fill the job search pipe line. It takes a while for companies and recruiters to know that you are on the job market and for them to receive and filter the hundreds, if not thousands of seats they receive.
Second, depending upon your current job status, looking for a job can be a full time job. If you are currently employed, you can look part-time by searching job boards, answering ads, and networking, etc. You can work with a couple of recruiters in your industry, but do not work with more than two or three. Since you are employed, you can take the time to find a specific job by targeting your industry, certain companies and certain geographic areas.
If you are out of work, then you need to treat your job search as a full-time job. Each day you need to get up early enough to start your job search at 8:30 in the morning. You need to have shaved, shaved (if you are male), and dress in clothes, not sweats or pajamas. You need to work your job search for eight hours a day. You should create an work schedule. For example from 8:30 to 9:30, work the jobs boards. From 9:30 to 10:30 you should check all of the HR sites of your targeted companies. From 10:30 to noon should be your time to follow-up on all of your prospects.
After lunch, call and email all of your friends to follow-up on any leads they may have. Ask them to contact their colleagues and their HR department. Many times a company may not have an opening, but may know of an opening at another company. Apply to every job that is even close to what you want, and go on interviews. You can practice interviewing by going on interviews for jobs you do not needarily want. You need to keep you mind active, your attitude healthy and positive, and stay connected to the market. Make sure you are upbeat with everyone you speak with. No one wants to hear how bad it is or your calls will go unanswered and not returned.
Networking is probably the best way to find a job. Basically that means telling each single person that might be able to help you that you are looking for work. Often a guy that knows a guy that knows a girl that's hiring, can get you an interview where a recruiter can not. I can not emphasize enough the value of networking. Working people know where the opportunities are and hear about them first, so make sure your network of friends and colleagues know that you need their help.
Keep your resume current. Do not wait until the last minute to throw it together. You will also be surprised how quickly your responsibilities change every six months. For example, have you learned a new computer system, did you participate in training, were you part of a committee that designed a new process? Stop and smell the roses to see what you have accomplished since you last updated your resume. Also, read my other articles on formatting your resume for tips. And do not be afraid to use a professional to write it. I have links to several, reasonably priced well known professionals on my web site.
Work those job boards and forums. They are fantastic for finding opportunities. Keep track of who you sent resumes to and follow up. Use the free boards first like monster.com, but do not be afraid to pay for one or two sites like TheLadders. They are not that expensive and are full of great advice as well.
And do not be afraid to tell your friends you are looking for work. Not co-workers, but outside friends. We all want to help you, but can not if you do not tell us what you are going through.
Ok, let me know what you think. If you would like to read more of my musings, I write a post everyday on my 100% free blog. See my address below, and feel free to email me. I love emails and I just want to help you no matter where you are in our career !!
Make it a great day!