On Monday I met Mary, a job seeker, for coffee. An introduction from a mutual friend who asked if could chat with her and help with her job search. Naturally, since helping someone, having coffee and getting out of the office for a while were involved I jumped at the chance.
Mary had been searching for a few months but her search and she had hit “the wall“.
Her motivation was at a low and getting herself back into a positive frame of mind, was a struggle each day.
The more Mary and I chatted it became more apparent the reason her job search had stalled was because she had started before she was ready.
Here are 10 signs you started your search without doing enough ground work, and as ‘they’ say, failing to plan is planning to fail.
1. You can’t define the job title or industry you want to work for. We all have great skills we acquire (even in school) that we don’t want to go unused. But if you don’t have your target job and industry defined, how will you know what to look for and what makes you the best candidate
2.Your still tweaking your resume. This can be a result of: a) not knowing what job you want and therefore why writing your achievement statements to match anything doesn’t seem to cut it. Or b) actually needing some professional help or advice on how to write a achievement statements.
3. You’re motivation is low. This is one sure sign something is wrong, sure the economy is bad right now, but people are still getting jobs. If you’re finding it hard to do the search let alone expend a full day at it, then time to re-start your job search.
4. You don’t have an elevator pitch. OK so you may not agree or like using elevator pitches, but consider creating one so that it forces you to decide what job you;re looking for. If you can’t articulate that to yourself in 30 seconds, how is anyone else going to know how to help you?
5. You aren’t doing any Networking. If you haven’t heard it a million times already, let me say it once more, about 75% of all jobs are found through networking. Enough said.
6. You spend 80-100% of your job searching on Job boards. if 75% of jobs are found through networking why are you spending 80% of your time on the internet trawling job boards? Sure people do get jobs this way, but you should limit the amount of time to no more than 30%.
7. You haven’t been to a networking event. Networking events are great places to meet at least two new people each time, and expand your network quickly. At this time of high unemployment, the more people who know you, what you do and what you’re looking for the greater your changes of finding that “hidden job”.
8. You don’t have your list of target companies. If you’ve done the prep work an now know what job you want and the industry, rather than waiting for the job to cme to you, why not go to it. Creating a target list of companies and using that list while you network, will help you focus your networking and find suitable jobs faster.
9. You didn’t even consider associations’ meetings. Birds of a feather flock together and so do professionals. There’s a really good chance there’s a local chapter or association you can attend full of people from the same job or industry your looking to work for. And they’re more likely to know of who’s hiring, who’s not, and who to avoid.
10. You don’t have or haven’t ‘pimped your liknked in profile. Whether you use it to network or not, having a linked in profile is an important tool in your job search (just like your resume is). Having a good profile is a must.
If a some or all of these resonate with you, I suggest you go back and re-start your search. Spend the next week defining the type of job you want and the industry. Create your elevator pitch and revisit your resume focusing on the single job and industry you’re targeting. The get out and do some serious networking.
Simon at VirtualJobCoach