I’ve been talking with clients and friends about job searching a lot over the past few weeks, and exploring the idea of what I am calling the network push. I mentioned this a few days ago on this blog, where in order to network to get your new job, you’ve got to get out beyond your own friends and neighbours, to a position where you are networking through their friends and neighbours. We hang around with people who are a lot like us, which means that if they could have helped you find a job, they already would have. Besides, you are quite likely all working and playing within the same network, and so far, that’s not helping you get a job so far. Instead, try these tips:
· Be very clear on the type of work you are looking for. Try not to look for “anything and everything.” Instead focus on your experience and your transferable skills, then focus in on something that makes sense and be focussed about it. Someone in your network may know you as someone who does one thing but they may not really know what your qualifications or interests can lead to. If you are looking for “something in IT” you make their job hard. If you make it easy for them and get specific, they will be much more willing and able to help you.
- Update your profiles all over the internet and keep them consistent. And I mean all of them. If your LinkedIn profile lists you as a forward thinking, highly qualified legal assistant with great organization skills, make sure that Twitter says the same thing. Clean up your profile and remove that one liner about being “a party animal who speaks my mind” on Twitter, at least for the time being. Build a consistent picture of yourself across the internet to help people find you and you’ll get the added benefit of keeping yourself focussed on what you need to be doing right now.
- Ask the people in your network (in person and on line) for referrals to your specific area of work. Avoid being flippant and targeting a CEO’s job unless that’s what you do.
- I don’t know of very many people who find a job by just using one approach to searching. You’ll need to do an active job of networking: use the internet, connect to companies and their career pages, go to networking events, make phone calls and do research, and depending on the kind of work you are looking for, you may also want to visit specific workplaces. Whatever you do, don’t get comfortable sitting on your laurels, and don’t expect a job to fall in your lap.
People hate when I say this, but finding a full time job IS a full time job. You can expect to spend up to two weeks for every ten thousand dollars in salary that you are looking for. That means if you want a $40,000 a year job, it’ll take up to eight weeks, on average. If you are working a full time job, you can anticipate that it’ll take more time, plus you need to invest your off work hours in your job search.
If you’re looking for someone to help with your job search, work with a professional career coach or counsellor. The ROI will be comparing what you invest in yourself to work with that person, and the potential for you to earn it back quickly in your new job.