No matter what your profession, industry or function, to land the best jobs, you must be skilled at the job search. You may have years of experience, multiple degrees, and a track record of stellar performance, but if you’re unable to effectively market your abilities, you may get lost in the shuffle.
Here’s a crash course in the job search:
- Know the product. If you can’t clearly and specifically state your target, relevant skills, and key contributions in a concise sentence or two, you’re tossing darts at a bull’s eye in the dark. The less defined your goal, the more time you’ll waste chasing opportunities that don’t align with your target. Get clear about your Plan A (target role, industry, geography, etc.) and brand (the unique value you bring to your target and the accomplishments that prove it.).
- Market consistently and often. Knowing is step one. Being able to communicate is step two. One study found 30% of parents have no clue what their children do for a living. Don’t assume others know what you excel at or what you want to do. Engage friends, colleagues or a coach to help hone your message so it has a positive impact with your audience and is crystal clear when you network, interview, build a resume, and communicate online.
- Engage your network. The best jobs are typically not found online because they’re scooped up through networking. Share your Plan A with your inner circle and get in touch with your 2nd level contacts. Use Linked In and other social media to re-connect with former colleagues or classmates. Make it a point to meet new people at social events and cultivate the relationships. Pay attention to what’s happening around you and consider how these events will open doors. Create ambassadors who will bring you leads and advocate for you. Showing up is half the battle, but effective networking requires a strategy.
- Practice. If you believe you can wing it, you’ve already lost. The hiring process is about elimination, not selection and it’s ridiculously easy to discern between someone who has prepared and someone who hasn’t. Plus, if you don’t invest, why should your network or a Hiring Manager? Convince them why you want this job, at this company, at this time and why you’re the best person to hire using specific details (see Step 1).
- Be likable. This is one of the top rated criteria for hiring. How to do it? Click here.