I described to Dan how I help job seekers, run job search sites, manage career communities and produce career webinars. Dan remarked “I haven’t had to look for a job in 25 years – If I had to search for a job, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
That made me think – what if I had to search for a job tomorrow? I’m in my 50’s, have worked as an entrepreneur over the past 5 years and recently moved to a new city. What would I do if I had to search for a job?
Here’s how I’d start:
- Self Assess: I’d do more than make an inventory of my skills, I’d think long and hard about what I do better than anyone else. For me, that would be recruiting and social media. I’d start to think about companies that have problems that a subject matter expert in recruiting and social media could solve.
- Plan: I’d create a project plan, working both forwards and backwards. I’d start out with how long it would take for me to create a base resume and a target list of companies and contacts (both informational and hiring), working forward. Then I’d plan when I need (or want) to start my new job, and work backwards.
- Research: I’d start researching local recruiting firms, check out their websites and social media presence. I’d look for recruiting firms that were weak in social media, because firms that were small already strong in social media probably don’t need a social media expert. Next, I’d look for local companies that were hiring or who had announced strong growth plans. I’d probably look for both recruiting firms poised for growth or venture funded companies with strong growth and hiring plans – these are companies that need recruiters. These types of recruiting firms and companies would make my target list.
- Resume: I’d build two fishing resumes, one for external recruiting, another for inside recruiting. These would be the building blocks that I’d use to individually customize a response resume for each job I was applying to.
- Network: I’m pretty prepared with a networking list, since I already have the largest Linkedin network in my metro area, in my state, and in my time zone. My challenge would be to segment my list, into potential local hiring managers, influencers, and hubs. Next, I’d want to prioritize my list into A, B and C contacts.
- Even more research: This brings me to the more research stage. My goal would be to have the best information on my target companies, target company hiring managers, and target company internal contacts. This would be the most time consuming part of my search, as I would make thousands of calls to hundreds of individuals. I’d make phone contact, set up coffee meetings, but not to ask about jobs … to find out what’s going on inside their companies.
- Job Boards: I’d spend a little time on job boards but not to search for jobs. Instead, I’d search for companies who are hiring many new employees (but not in recruiting). Companies hiring many people will probably also be hiring recruiters (or working with outside recruiters – meaning I could start building a client base while trying to land my next job). My potential hiring companies would also be my potential clients.
- Industry hubs: I’d reach out to the industry hubs – the top networked people in my industry and the most involved in social media in my niche. Hubs are a great information source and a great for introductions. I might go to some local face-to-face networking events – not to ask people for a job, but to find top networking hubs in my metro area.
- Work the hidden job market: I wouldn’t apply for any jobs online – with mass competition and the horrible odds of finding a job through a job board, I just wouldn’t invest any time in such a low return activity. Instead, I’d spend nearly all my time looking for jobs in the hidden market, by gaining superior information, understanding my target company’s hiring process (talking to everyone in the hiring process), so that I could brand myself as the superior candidate for that individual hiring manager. Along the way, I’d leverage the relationships I’ve built into hiring manager introductions.
- Get ahead of the curve: Leveraging relationships into meeting hiring managers would get me ahead of the curve. I’d be the person he hiring manager thinks of when he/she writes their next job description for a recruiting or social media related position. I’d know when the job description is written with me in mind (unless I unintentionally say something stupid along the way – hey, that’s always a chance), the job’s mine. I know that’s how 80% of new hires are found – people the hiring manager already knows.
In the end, I’ll want to plan down to metrics of calls per day, interviews per week, and new opportunities per week. I’d build (or buy) tracking capability, so I could see how well my job search was progressing, if I was getting enough opportunities and interviews, to make sure I was achieving high enough activity levels high enough to stay on track and verify if my initial assumptions were valid.
I’d also research contacts to build a list of inside information sources, hiring influencers and hiring managers from my target companies
Then I’d start the real work – contacting the most important contacts on my list to start gathering superior information on my target companies.
If I had to drop everything I’m doing, and search for a job myself – that’s how I’d handle it. You can too. Even though I’m over 50, new to the area and would be changing careers (back to recruiting), I’d beat the averages of a 30-40 week job search.
Based on what my client and subscribers accomplish using this same strategy, I should be able to cut the averages in half, finding a new job in about 3 months … even in this tough of a job market. You could too.
There’s no way I can cram all the details about how to do all of the 10 ways I’d start into a single blog post. If you want more details, attend my next webinar (register at http://ResumeWebinar.com).-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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