Is finding a new position important to you? Are you unemployed and need to find a job? Are you currently working, but need to change jobs, either within your company or outside? Are you a college graduate with huge loans? There are hundreds of scenarios that make this job search effort THE most important project of your life.
But how come you are treating it as a hobby? Why do you dabble in your search with a few hours here and there, sending off resume after resume to anything that looks “do-able”?
STOP. Stop the insanity.
Soon, I will publish a book called “Cut the Crap, Get a Job”, but allow me to provide some recommendations. After 30+ years in executive sales and marketing positions in Fortune 500 companies while interviewing, hiring and helping thousands of job-seekers, I have developed a new job search process for this new era.
Here are some rules for running your job search process like a business:
Rule #1: Block as many hours as possible in your calendar. Be much more disciplined about finding a place you can concentrate, accomplish certain tasks, and set more tasks for yourself going forward. Every day that you wake up, you should have a healthy list of next steps that is building in volume. Get up early every day and get to work!
Rule #2: Prepare Your Tools. Just as in any job, you need to be organized to document your business objective, track your progress, follow up on prior tasks and be ready to juggle a dozen things at the same time. Set up files to track your tasks and results in Microsoft Excel, OneNote or Word. My favorite is Microsoft OneNote. Have personal networking business cards made up to hand out at events.
Rule #3: Set Goals for your Search
- Make 100 new contacts per month by making cold calls, sending e-mails or even showing up at a company’s door.
- Research companies you want to work for and write customized cover letters focused on what you could do for a company as a future employee.
- Network aggressively: Look for connections in companies or with people you want to work with. Use the people search function on LinkedIn to help with this. Attend local networking events.
- For executives, only 10% of your job search should be focused on recruiters. They are valuable…for their clients. So they need to be aware of you, but they are only as good as the searches on their desk.
- Think about volume. It IS a numbers game. You need to build a pipeline of prospects, opportunities, companies and even geographies that you will pursue. If you think you have a pipeline today, double it. I recommend at least 20 active positions at one time.
Even though the job market is undeniably tough, there are more positions available than many people think. But job seekers will have to be smart and disciplined to find them. Make Your Job Search Job #1.