As the New Year begins, many of us take inventory of our lives and look for ways of improvement. Besides joining a gym or signing up for a language class, one area where some decide a change is necessary is in their careers. In my book, The Job Search Process, I outline eight key points to land your dream job. Rather than cover the tried-and-true categories of resume writing or how to behave yourself in an interview, I focus on one overlooked area job seekers minimize: how to look for a job. So, for those looking for a new career, here is a guide to conducting a job search tailored for you.
It all starts with commitment. If you are currently employed, pledge a minimum of 10 hours per week to look for a new job. If you don’t have a job, commit to spending 40 hours per week. Nothing derails your job search faster than a lack of personal responsibility for completing your dream job search.
Share with friends and family you are in the job market. Consider making a declaration to yourself and then share it with others. For example, if you are unemployed, it goes like this: “I am going to spend 40 hours every week following my dream job search process until I have a job which will take care of my family and me”. There is tremendous power in using the phrases, “I am” and “I will.” By sharing your declaration with those closest to you, they will now feel included in your process and will be an even stronger support system for you.
A second benefit of telling people you are active in the new job market is they can refer you to companies they know are hiring. Expand beyond your circle of friends and family. Tell everyone you know or meet you are in a job search. Referrals are the number one way to get a job. Only 15% of jobs available are posted, listed, or advertised.
“I am going to spend 40 hours every week following my dream job search process until I have a job which will take care of my family and me”.
It is shocking the general public believes every job is posted on Monster or Career Builder. The opposite is the truth.
Separate yourself from the jobs with the most significant amount of competition. Instead, look for a dream job strategically. Move away from the masses. There is no quicker, or more direct method to connect a person to their next position, than through someone who knows it exists.
One unique idea I saw from a dream job seeker is to make a “personal” business card and give it to people you meet. The business card acts a mini-resume. Your card should include your name, type of work you are interested in pursuing, and contact information. As a result, this allows your information to be passed along to employers who are looking for someone with your specific skill set.
I am often shocked the general population in the United States believes every job available is posted on Monster or Career Builder.
Use social media and get your message out to as many folks as possible. Popular outlets include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Sign up for a Linkedin account immediately, if you do not have one. Because LinkedIn is a favorite tool of recruiter’s and human resources professionals worldwide. Recruiters use Linkedin to locate candidates for the job openings and scan for candidates. Make sure to join Linkedin professional groups who directly relate to industries or jobs in which you want to work. It is important to optimize your profile to include keywords, professional certifications, recommendations, and past achievements.
Facebook is also a top tool recruiters use as well. Edit your Facebook “about” section to reflect major work accomplishments. Certainly, take a moment to clean up posts you have made which might send up a “red flag” to potential employers.
Twitter is a powerful resource to make direct connections with specific people within an organization. Identify key players in a company you would like to work for and follow them on Twitter. Monitor the type of content they are posting. Comment on the posts by adding value to their already existing conversations. Adding value to their conversations ensures you become part of their community. As a result, the key players see you as a good cultural fit for their organization.
Beyond making yourself known to recruiters, social media is a quick, and useful method to let people in your extended network know you are in the dream job market.
Place your resume on every principal and industry-specific job board. Because employers cannot find you if they do not know you exist. There are several major job boards such as Monster, Hot Jobs, and Career Builder you should have your resume posted. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals also look at niche job boards that are specific to an individual industry or skill set.
However, update your resume before you start posting. Take time to reorganize and edit your resume to highlight direct, or transferable skills, to the type of employment you want.
One of the most successful methods is to conduct a reverse search for employer’s you have worked at, or places you would like to work. Contact companies you want to work at. Regardless if they have jobs posted. Search the company name and keywords about the business. An Internet search engine will create a list of competitors to the original company. Use this information to send out 100 resumes per week, every week, until you have your dream job.
Manage the flow of information you are sending out and receiving from prospective employers. Send out the resumes on Mondays and call to follow up on Fridays. The follow-up shows a sense of urgency on your part and demonstrates solid follow-through skills.
Finding your dream job takes effort and discipline. However, if you follow your job search process, you should be able to have interviews lined-up within a few weeks.
Do you have a strategy for creating a dream job search? Share it with me on Twitter.
This article originally appeared in Dbusiness.