Here’s Your Guide To Getting A New Job
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We all aspire to do great things with our careers. It could be finding an awesome, new job, getting that coveted promotion, pivoting to a new type of role or reinventing yourself and starting all over again.
It’s easy to say that you want to achieve something. The hard part is actually making it happen. Procrastination is your enemy—so is allowing the fear of the unknown to stop you from moving forward. There’s also a practical matter at hand—how do you start? Also, let’s not forget the elephant in the room—our current reality.
It's a tough time to start looking for a new job. We’ve been through a lot in recent months. This includes the long stay-at-home orders, businesses being shut down, fears of catching the Covid-19 virus, economic turmoil, over 40 million Americans losing their jobs and the heartbreaking killing of George Floyd—followed by peaceful protests commandeered by bad actors who engaged in mayhem.
The internet traffic of major job sites shows that there are considerably less new jobs posted today compared to this time last year. People have put their job searches on hold, hoping that things will improve later on down the road. Some are saddened, heartbroken and discouraged by what’s happening in the world around us and have temporarily lost their motivation and drive.
It may not be easy, but if you truly desire to move ahead in your career, find a new job and improve your life, here’s how you can start today, despite all of the challenges and hardships.
Take small steps.
You should start with establishing a series of habits and actions that can ultimately lead to your success. When you have a goal in mind, it can be daunting. My suggestion is to focus on small, incremental steps. Instead of allowing yourself to get overwhelmed by the scope of your job search, simply hone in on each action taken.
Before you embark upon this journey, you owe it to yourself to carefully think through what you want to do next. Make sure that you possess at least some of the skills, ability and experience required for the role. If you don’t have them, look into what you’ll need to learn in order to be considered.
Ask yourself if you really possess the passion for what you’re going after, so that you’ll have the inner drive and strength to push you through the hard times and allow yourself to overcome all of the obstacles standing in your way. Ensure that the job you covet will meet a standard of pay that will make you happy. You don’t want to put in all the time and energy only to later learn that the compensation does not offer the type of lifestyle you desire.
Do your homework.
The next step is to learn about the overall job market and what's going on in the specific sector that interests you. You will want to know going into the search if it's a hot or cold job market. This can be achieved by talking with colleagues, family, friends and former co-workers to gain some valuable insights. Read anything you can about the type of job you’re going after and how easy or hard it's going to be to find a new opportunity. Set aside a sufficient amount of time everyday for your job search. Treat it as if it’s another job (if you are currently working) or your primary job (if you are not).
Enhance your LinkedIn profile and résumé.
You should tailor your résumé for each job you apply for to ensure that it addresses the needs of the company. Your LinkedIn profile has to be optimized to stand out when recruiters, internal human resources professionals and hiring managers search for candidates. The résumé needs to be written in a way to get through the robotic applicant tracking systems that most major corporations use in their screening processes.
Actively engage on LinkedIn to get noticed.
Send invitations to people whom you’d like to work for. If someone within your area of interest posts content, reply to it. Add your own content that positions you as a thought leader or expert in your field. Ask people for informational interviews. Offer to help out other people who are looking for jobs.
Searching for new job opportunities.
This can be laborious and frustrating, as you’ll see outdated postings and be required to complete long, glitchy applications, while your résumé disappears into the black hole of the corporate internet. Despite the detractions, you owe it to yourself to keep trying everything you can to move forward.
Once you find a compelling job that you’re highly interested in, find a few people that you know who already work there. If you’re not familiar with anyone at the company, ask around to see if there’s anyone you know who has a connection to decision makers at the coveted company. Politely ask them to put in a good word for you and offer a glowing recommendation. This will help you to stand out from all of the other people who’ve sent their résumés. The hiring manager will be impressed that a couple of internal employees independently recommended you. Now, you have the halo effect and a big leg up on the competition.
Networking is harder for professionals still under lockdown, but it's doable.
Send out emails to people you’ve worked with in the past, old college friends, business associates and all others who could potentially turn you onto a job lead or supply a referral or recommendation to a key insider at the company you’d like to join.
Ask the person if they’d like to have a brief video call to catch up. Invariably, the conversation will veer toward what you’re looking to do next, then you can share your goals and ask for help. You don't want to make it a one-sided relationship. Offer any help, guidance or assistance to the other person first.
Look for recruiters who specialize in your space.
Having a smart, experienced, knowledgeable and well-connected recruiter working on your behalf can make all the difference in the world. Top recruiters have deep relationships with companies and hiring managers. They’ll often know about open job requisitions before anyone else. Many times companies don’t aggressively advertise certain jobs and rely on recruiters to conduct stealth, under-the-radar searches for the appropriate candidates.
It's imperative that you cultivate a small group of recruiters to work with. They’ll offer insider information about the hiring managers and corporate culture. You’ll gain tips on what the hiring managers really want in a prospective employee, what you should avoid saying and what are the hot buttons to push to ingratiate yourself with your future boss. Recruiters will smooth out any bumps in the road, advocate for you and help with the awkward negotiating process.
Clean up your social media footprints.
Since hiring managers, recruiters and internal talent acquisition personnel may snoop around your social media postings, make sure that you’ve cleaned up anything embarrassing, cringey or hurtful to others.
Craft your elevator pitch and prepare for questions that will be thrown at you.
Review commonly asked interview questions and prepare answers to them. Think of questions to ask the interviewer. Research and learn all about the companies you plan on meeting with. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, interviews have been conducted via telephone or video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. Take some time to practice interviewing in this format.
Put together a checklist to keep yourself honest.
Stay organized and keep track of the résumés you’ve sent out, calls made and emails sent thanking people for taking the time to interview you. This way, you can keep track of what you’ve been doing.
Everyday you should hold yourself accountable for your actions. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a step here or there. Just ensure that you consistently follow through with what you need to do to succeed. Your daily job search guide could be as follows:
- How many searches did I run on job boards, company career sites and job aggregators (such as Indeed, Simply Hired, Glassdoor)?
- What’s the number of résumés submitted? Were they tailored to fit the specific job qualifications and key words used to get the résumé through the applicant tracking systems?
- Did I contact or follow up with three to five recruiters today?
- Have I networked with five or more people today?
- What did I do on LinkedIn? Did I offer original content and respond to other peoples’ postings? How many targeted new connections did I make? Have I made myself noticed as a subject-matter expert in my space and person of interest for recruiters to contact?
- Am I remembering to conduct research on the companies and individuals that I’m interested and meeting with?
- Did I practice my elevator pitch and prepare answers to questions that may be asked in the interviews?
This list is not meant to be all encompassing. It's intended to get you slowly started, acclimated to the job search and prepared for the long road ahead of you.
Decline in jobs and incomes eases as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift, ANU survey finds