Searching for employment can sometimes be a daunting and overwhelming experience. The good news is that it does not have to be! If you have found yourself in a job-search rut, there are several strategies that you can employ to reignite your search.
1.) DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Research! Research! Research!
After you have done an honest self-assessment and defined success for yourself in clear, specific, and measurable terms, it is time to identify the industries and organizations that meet your career criteria. As you consider factors like location, cost of living, and salary, it is very important to research careers, jobs, and organizations. Conducting your own research will allow you to consider relevant information, in order to make informed career decisions.
There are quality resources available at your fingertips. Sites like Salary.com and BLS.gov are useful resources. Salary.com provides key salary-related information and calculators. BLS.gov, the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, offers the Occupational Outlook Handbook, where you can find career information, including job forecasts for hundreds of occupations.
These are not the only resources, but certainly great places to start.
2.) STRATEGIZE: Adopt a Hybrid Approach to Your Search
As you research, consider the different methods that you will employ to take your job search to the next level. Traditional job search methods involve searching for advertised job openings via online job boards, browsing classified ads, using employment agencies, applying for jobs via company websites, and so forth. Non-traditional methods include networking, cold-calling, informational interviewing, volunteering, and so on. These non-traditional methods allow you to take advantage of the hidden job market, finding jobs that are not publicly advertised.
You may have heard people say traditional job searches do not work anymore. That is simply untrue. However, I do agree with the experts who recommend using both. There is power in a combined approach. Not only is it more fun and rewarding, it puts the job seeker in charge.
3.) LEVERAGE YOUR NETWORK: Who You Know Matters
Networking is an effective strategy in searching for a job. You already have a network, and it is more powerful than you think! If you access your existing network and nurture it, you can advance your career, access opportunities, and get information you need. One way to begin the process is to create an inventory of those you know with a direct or indirect connection to your industries of interest. Then explore ways to revive each relationship and nurture mutually beneficial connections.
4.) PROTECT YOUR BRAND
“Personal Branding” is the trendy term to use right now. We hear it used and overused, “Personal Brand, personal brand, personal brand.”
Although we may be tired of hearing the term, there is truth behind what the experts are saying about the importance of brand awareness and strategic brand management. There is power in developing and deliberately controlling your brand.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Deliver reliable, consistent messages across all platforms: Information you share on your resume, online (social media, blogs, career profiles), and in-person should support your brand.
- Communicate your brand through networking: As you let people know you are in the market, don’t be afraid to market yourself and share the value that you bring.
- Create a powerful resume that screams your brand: A professionally written resume is still an important piece of the process. It is your advertisement. Make sure it differentiates you from the rest.
- Showcase your accomplishments (via portfolio, website, blog, etc): It’s important to SHOW and tell! Be able to demonstrate your experience and accomplishments on and offline.
- Tap into the power of you!
The above strategies are a great way to build your confidence and give life to a stagnant job search.
Do you have strategies that you have found to be effective? We would love to hear from you. Please post your tips in the comments below.
This article was written by BOSS Network Influencer, Kimberly A. Ferguson.
Kimberly A. Ferguson is a learning & development consultant, certified trainer, career development facilitator, speaker, certified educator, the host of The Strategic Minds Show on WBTVN, and a regular contributor for the Trenton365 Radio Show. Learn more about Kimberly via her website at Website: www.kfergspeaks.com and follow her on Twitter: @kfergspeaks.