There are two types of job seekers: (1) Those who are willing to take a leisurely path because there is no urgency to their job search, and (2) Those who need to know how to quickly land a new job because they are running out of money or patience with a bad job situation. If your goal is to quickly land a new job, here are some proven strategies:
– Be willing to take a stand about what you are seeking. If you try too hard to be flexible, you can end up looking desperate and unfocused and employers will pass you by. Be able to say the type of expertise you offer, for which types of industries, and in which locations. Don’t worry about being pigeonholed. Employers hire for specific purposes but once you are hired, broader skills are appreciated.
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– When speed is a priority, it is strategic to leverage your previous track record of accomplishments. If you don’t want to do anything related to areas of previous success, that’s more of a career change and takes longer to make happen (from months to years).
– If you don’t yet have the skills and qualifications needed for your dream job, consider improving your situation sooner rather than waiting until re-training is complete. If your current satisfaction level is a 3 but you move it to a 6, that’s doubling your happiness level.
– The average person has 100 to 500 acquaintances. This is your existing personal and professional network. Reach out to each of them, let them know what you are seeking, and ask them for introductions. The best introductions are those to competitors of your current or most previous employer because they will value your experience.
– LinkedIn is the method of choice for many recruiters to find talent. Spend some time to make your profile truly represent you well. Use this advice: 7 Ways to Attract Recruiters on LinkedIn.
– Experiment with keywords to search for jobs online and set up search agents to scour the Web for you. This will save you time in the long run, even though it may take some trial-and-error because it isn’t always intuitive to determine the best search terms. For example, my expertise is “career development” but I can’t use that term because so many jobs mention that term as a benefit. “Leadership development” works better for me, even though that is a bit counter-intuitive. Don’t spend more than a few hours per week on online job search, but don’t neglect to do it, either. This is a terrific list of 2016 Best Career Apps and Websites to Land Your Dream Job.
– Purge your social media of anything controversial. Most employers look at social media accounts so don’t post anything about drinking, drug use, your current or former employers or bosses, politics, or religion. The exceptions to this are if you feel so strongly about something, you wouldn’t want to work for an employer who ruled you out because of it, anyway.
– Attend a professional conference focused on the work you want to do. You can accomplish more networking in two days at a conference than you can in months of less intensive interactions. The local business journal is a good way to find local conferences and national professional associations are the best way to find the largest conferences that will be attended by the most industry insiders.
– If lack of money is completely stressing you out, it is hard to think clearly and make good decisions, so while you are engaged in a job search, consider making extra money via a side gig. Choose something that enables you to remain available for interviews. As an example, here’s a site where you can offer expertise for a good hourly fee: Clarity.fm.
– If you are starting to feel depressed and isolated because you are never leaving the house, now is a time to pursue a hobby or do volunteer work. This can be the bridge to new types of work or new connections so the time is not wasted. One way to find volunteer opportunities is VolunteerMatch.com.
– Job searches can be very stressful. Find ways to de-stress and to get emotional support, whether via a career coach or whatever works for you. When choosing a source of support, avoid people who are overly pessimistic and also people who make pie-in-the-sky promises. Scams abound in the job search world so if something sounds too good to be true, beware. The goal is to find support that is reality-based but also encouraging and helpful. Options include private career coaches and programs offered through communities, churches, libraries, and universities.
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