Random thoughts about job search
It’s been so long since I have written a new post on my blog! This year has been a blur and usually summer is a bit slower and I can catch up on projects and tasks that have loose ends. Not this summer!
The job market is solid with nearly every company out there actively trying to hire new employees. The challenge for those people who are looking for a new position is that the hiring process seems to take forever. One of my clients just accepted a senior level job and the company couldn’t decide between her and another candidate so they kept coming up with reasons to have the two candidates “audition” for the position. It got to the point where my client was losing interest and concerned about the company’s ability or desire to make decisions in a timely manner.
I gave a speech last week to a group of people who are looking for new jobs and when I asked how many of them have ever gotten a job from a job board listing, four people raised their hands. When I asked about each of their individual situations, all of them had found the jobs four years ago or longer. Yet, most of them spend a great deal of time looking at job boards. Job boards such as Indeed, SimplyHired, JobFox and others have a lot of great content and are useful for researching companies, however relying on job boards alone is not advisable.
Most professionals are aware that it is a good idea to post a profile on LinkedIn, however many people are still not clear about how to use it proactively. Posting regular updates that will go out to your connections, asking colleagues for substantive recommendations and joining a small number of groups and participating in the discussions are some things that will increase your exposure on LinkedIn. Two things that recruiters or hiring managers do when trying to find qualified candidates is to Google someone if they have an actual name, and search for people on LinkedIn.
Finally, everyone knows that networking is the most effective method for uncovering leads and information. Yet, for many people, networking is still one of the most challenging and uncomfortable skills to develop. I recently heard a colleague Bill Temple say, “Don’t go for the job, go for the relationship that leads to the job.” He went on to explain that asking for advice is the entire process of job search and suggests telling everyone you interact with that you will stay in touch with them on a regular basis. I would add that it’s important to think of different things that you can offer to people in your network, whether it be an article, website link, or competitive information.
Job search is truly an art and not a science because of the human interaction it involves. Yes, putting keywords on your resume and LinkedIn profile (Skills and Expertise.) is necessary for you to stand out to the ATS software that many companies and organizations use. But at the end of the day, it’s people who make decisions based upon the way that you present yourself, answer questions and behave in general. So learning more about contemporary job search is crucial to your success in finding that great next new job!