Is your job search stuck in quicksand?Nov 22, 2022
Chances are, you probably haven’t received much formal training in job searching. If you are lucky, your college may have held some classes or workshops. Similarly, you may have sought advice online only to find many conflicting approaches.
How is a job seeker supposed to put a real job search strategy into play?
Fear not, gentle job hunter. As Socrates said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”
The modern job search continues to evolve, requiring a fluid strategy that considers the firm bedrock of HR recruitment practices while adjusting for the shifting sands of emerging trends. More than ever, job seekers need to be bold, creative, tenacious, and determined while not breaking too many rules that would annoy HR.
Most people start their job search by revising their resume and then hunting up positions on common employment sites like Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com, ZipRecruiter.com, or even the old standards, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. Once viable jobs are found, they go through the motions of filling out the applications.
And then they wait.
Unfortunately, this is the worst way to try to land a job. Just like stepping into quicksand, job seekers are getting sucked down by slow, ponderous procedures that drain away their time. To make matters worse, they are fighting to be found among all the other candidates being drawn down the ever-constricting funnel. Ultimately, very few of these resumes and applications are seen by human beings because the screening computers and emerging AI technologies filter out candidates by impassive – and restrictive – keywords, education requirements, and undesirable experiences.
Fortunately, there are some proven strategies to escape quicksand that are just as relevant for the job search:
- Drop heavy items – or – drop those ponderous procedures that don’t work.
- Move horizontally – or – don’t be scared to reach out to the hiring managers directly.
- Lay back – or – look for unconventional solutions to common problems that may not be intuitive at first glance.
- Take your time – or – be sure to do things right the first time. You usually only get one shot at an opportunity, so don’t waste your efforts by rushing and causing simple mistakes.
4 Tips To Escape the Job Searching Quicksand:
- Write it down
This may seem simple but writing out the actual plan is the first step to success. Write down daily and weekly tasks as well as the long-range goal of where you would like to be in a few years. The more detailed, the better.
Not sure what those steps should be? Try listing them in quantifiable metrics, such as “I will apply to 5-10 jobs this week” or “I will connect with five new people on LinkedIn this week.”
- Track your results
Here is a basic sales concept: if you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen. And I mean EVERYTHING – the more detailed your notes, the easier it is to see your success or weaknesses on the job search path.
Along those lines, be sure to date everything. One of the first casualties of any job search is TIME. It is easy to let things slide from one week to another, whether you are currently working or not. However, if you date every entry in your notes, it keeps you on track.
- Follow up regularly
Like tracking your results, always write down a follow-up date for every action. From sending thank you notes after interviews to reaching out to decision-makers on LinkedIn, build in ways to keep a hot job lead alive. Don’t take it to such an extreme that you turn into a pest, but be consistent.
- Never stop looking until you sign a job offer
Let’s say that you just had an awesome interview with your top-choice dream employer. You feel so confident that an offer is pending you stop applying to other jobs. Then, horror of horrors, they don’t offer you the job. Now what?
Unfortunately, many job seekers fall for this trap. Until you have signed the formal job offer, things may not end up as you hoped. If you stop looking, you must begin the process from scratch. Worse, it takes HR 2-3 weeks to start interviewing people for posted positions, so you basically could lose a whole month on your job search before you get to interview again.
Wondering how does your job search stack up?
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