As 2012 draws to a close, and a new year ripe with possibility and opportunity is about to begin, this is the ideal time to reflect on your job search efforts and why they may not have achieved the results you had anticipated. Begin by mulling over the following and determine if major changes, minor adjustment, or if staying the course is in your best interest in 2013.
1: Do you have a defined ‘Action Plan’ for your job search and are you following it closely and scrutinizing the results with an objective 3rd party? Or are you blindly going through the same motions week by week, month by month without the proper direction, focus, tools and knowledge base; and doing it all by your lonesome?
From my experience most job seekers do not plan ahead before and during their job search, nor do they have a knowledgeable coach and/or support system in place to give them insight, perspective and encouragement, and to help them evaluate what was accomplished and needs to be accomplished in the prior and upcoming week.
If this describes you, break the mold and start from scratch with a game plan and a winning team behind you.
2: Are you in the ‘Networking Rut’? Most job searches fizzle because job seekers chose to network with people they know instead of people they need to know. Why is this so? According to social scientists social networks form in “clusters” of relationships and people chose to network in a comfort zone rather than take risks.
If you have not done so already, I suggest you implement the ‘One Hundred Contacts Rule’. Assemble a list of 100 possible contacts you’ve met; people in any profession, at any level and in any age group who you share or shared a relationship with at some point in your life. These must be people you’ve had some personal contact with and who you can find some way they may remember you with a little prodding i.e., Remember me, Cousin Vinnie? Sonya, it has been a long time since we graduated Wampum High. Larry, we met in Atlantic City at the roulette table last Christmas. Hi Carla, you gave me your business card at the Rubber convention in Toledo in May of 2009. Perry, I attended your webinar on resume writing last month and I was very impressed with what you had to say.
Once you reestablish contact show an interest by asking them what’s going on in their lives at this point in time or in the past number of years depending on the prior relationship. Then subtly tell them, preferably in person or over the phone, or if need be via email, what type of job you are looking for, the job titles of the people who would manage you, and a list of as many employers that you can think of who might hire people like you.
Follow this up by asking if they know anyone who might know someone inside any of these companies or knows something about any of these employers that can help you with your job search. If contact made by email follow up within 3-10 days if they did not respond back to you. From this effort you will get some new ideas and new connections, and update and solidify your existing network at the same time.
3: Where is your job search advice coming from? Are you receiving advice on how to write a resume, how to use social media, how to apply for jobs, and how to interview from acknowledged Career Service experts, or are you entrusting your future to wannabe pretenders? More so, is this advice offered up in generic terms or is it given with your particular circumstances in mind? Finally, are you acting on advice delivered directly to you or is the advice found on blogs, in books, or impersonal mediums that are meant to appeal to the masses.
Impersonal, generic advice generally delivers mediocre results so why not ‘Connect with the Experts’. Reach out and introduce yourself directly to professional who can help you learn and grow and avoid the pitfalls in a job search. These SMEs can help you sharpen your skills and educate you on the latest trends in job search in your profession. They also tend to know hiring managers and people you may want to meet. Network or hire these people and learn from them as much as you can. Being the most informed candidate in the hopper goes a long way in generating interviews and closing job offers.
Tips 4,5, and Complete Career Rocketeer Article