No matter what your experience or expertise is in an industry, searching for a job and getting hired requires the mastery of an entirely separate process. As a Career Coach, I know how difficult this process can be. With this in mind, here are 10 job search strategies that will help you to search for and obtain an ideal position. This process has helped many of my clients successfully get hired into companies such as Google, Microsoft, Bell, BCG, and L’Oreal. I challenge you to apply it to your job search and see what it can do for you!
1. Set an achievable career goal
Some job seekers apply for hundreds of positions. They are so desperate to secure employment that they forget the importance of setting a defined goal. Step one is to get crystal clear on what you want. This will allow you to maximize your productivity and focus your job search on an achievable role where you have transferable skills and genuine interest. To do this, assess what knowledge and experience you have and how it may impact your career goal.
2. Know what value you have to offer
During the hiring process, the employer wants to know what value you would bring to the company if you were hired. How can you help solve their problems and take their business to the next level? You can stand out by responding with a compelling and unique value proposition. The best way to do this is to have an outstanding personal brand that is memorable. To discover your competitive edge, identify your top five strengths and top three accomplishments. From there, think about the impact you have made from your achievements.
3. Do your research
Doing your research will help you learn what’s in demand and how you can add value to a company. Some important questions to answer: What roles are in demand right now? What companies are hiring? What industries are growing? What are the trends and opportunities? To begin your research, read the websites and available financial reports of the company you want to join.
4. Understand the hiring requirements
Find out what an employer needs so that you can tailor your message to their requirements in your cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile. Review your targeted job posting in detail to identify the ‘must have’ hiring requirements and the ‘preferred’ hiring requirements – what employers view as nice add-ons. Three key transferable skills employers look for include verbal and written communication, analytical abilities, and leadership.
5. Use relevant keywords
Of all the resumes that I have seen, at least 90% needed improvement as they lacked relevant keywords. Keywords are so important: up to 50% of online applications are weeded out using an automated tracking system. Review your resume now and see how many relevant functional keywords and action verbs relate to your targeted role. For example, if you want to get into management consulting, use keywords such as client relationship management and business case analysis as well as action verbs such as assessed, evaluated, or recommended.
6. Develop a R.A.R.E resume
Your resume is not just a history document of what you’ve done, it’s a marketing tool. Treat it like premium real estate – every word you choose matters. I developed the R.A.R.E. formula to help my clients write powerful impact statements that you can also apply:
- Relevant: Incorporate as many relevant keywords as you can.
- Accomplishment-oriented: Express accomplishments that you are proud of and that are examples of when you have gone above and beyond.
- Results-Oriented: What impact have you made in your career? Did you help an organization make or save money or time? Quantify everything that you can.
- Easy-to-screen: The formatting, font type and size makes a difference. Studies show that recruiters spend only 6-10 seconds screening a resume, so ensure that yours is polished and professional. Ask yourself: Are you proud of submitting this resume document to represent your best self?
7. Have a networking plan
You may have heard that at least 70% of jobs are secured through networking. To begin your plan, identify the connections you already have. This includes friends, colleagues, professional associations, and applicable alumni networks. Then, write up communication templates that you can use to set up informational meetings either in person or over the phone. Remember to ask for referrals from people you know who work in a company that’s hiring – you are four times more likely to get hired this way. Networking can be hugely beneficial to your job search – I challenge you to set up 30 informational meetings in the next 90 days!
8. Master your introduction
Studies show that it takes only seven seconds for someone to form an impression about you. After this, they focus on evaluating your ability to communicate effectively. Have a clear, concise, and compelling 20-second elevator pitch prepared for networking meetings and interview introductions.
Your pitch should begin by communicating your purpose, passion, and potential. Then, provide a brief overview of your past experience and accomplishments. Finally, share your credentials. Be sure to practice this with your peers and get feedback to make it sound interesting, inspiring, and impressive.
9. Have an optimized LinkedIn profile
Over 90% of Fortune 500 company recruiters use LinkedIn to find new talent. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, get one. Treat your LinkedIn profile as an online resume; this includes using searchable, relevant keywords in addition to optimizing your name, tagline, bio summary, skills, and job titles. Finally, customize your profile URL with your own name and put it on your resume, email signature, and business cards to drive traffic to your page.
10. Have a job search strategy
Having a clear game plan that allows you to stay focused will ultimately maximize your success. Remember that successful job searches require you to put in the time to carefully plan. Follow the framework that this article sets out for you and establish a strategy that aligns with your goals.
Some parting advice: what is most important is that you do what you love and love what you do. Creating a job search strategy may take time, but rest assured that this time will be made up for both by the speed at which you obtain employment and the fulfillment you will receive from doing something you genuinely enjoy.
Want to learn more? Accelerate your job search success with former Google Recruiter, Diana YK Chan at one of the high impact events: www.mymarketability.com/events.