Get your Career in Gear for the New Year!
January is an excellent time to get organized and focused. These eight steps will significantly increase your chances of landing the right job in the new year.
1) Create your professional objective.
The first step in the job search process is to determine your ideal position. Being able to concisely define and articulate your desired job description makes it easier to plan and prioritize your search. Even more important, it also helps others understand how they can help you.
Essentially you must describing your ideal job and be as specific as possible!
2) Create your Job Search Marketing Plan.
Your job search marketing plan should be a single page that addresses who, what, where, and how of your search.
Who—List target industries and identify and rank desired company characteristics (such as culture, size, products and/or services).
What—Position titles, roles, and responsibilities, accountabilities and a degree of autonomy.
Where—Include geographic considerations and travel requirements.
How—Tap into your network for generating leads and referrals. Leads can come from school and company alumni groups, industry executives and board members, local chamber of commerce events, investment and accounting firms, and management consultants. Learn how to utilize executive search firms and tap into the hidden job market.
Warning: Never rely exclusively on internet job listings and want ads for job search success!
3) Develop a target company list.
This is an offshoot of the previous tip. It’s a good idea to make a list of specific companies in industries that meet your geographic and business criteria. Such lists can stimulate the thinking of your contacts by giving them concrete names to work from. Basically, it helps unleash the power of your network.
4) Network aggressively and often.
Networking works! Don’t make your search a secret.
Networking is still the most effective way to find a new position. Make a list of everyone who could possibly help you. Start at the top and get the word out. Respect individuals’ time, try to get three additional contacts from each person you talk to, identify actions and follow-ups, offer to reciprocate, and keep your network up to date.
Here is the Golden Rule of Networking: “People will do business with and network with and refer people in their network to those people they know, like and trust and respect.”
Your #1 goal is to seek out warm referrals from the people you know, like, trust, and respect.
Your #2 goal is to always be trying to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the warm referrals you are given by the people in your network.
Once you have been given a warm referral, force yourself to make the phone call within 48 hours to start your networking connection and secure a meeting.
Leverage the concept of six degrees of separation. There is an existing pathway to just about anyone you wish to meet. It’s better to work on finding that pathway than to simply cold call someone.
Here are the three reasons that may prevent you from getting face-to-face meetings:
- You may talk too much.
- You may lack confidence.
- You’re nobody that nobody sent.
5) Market your credentials.
Is your resumé well-developed to conduct a professional job search? If not, get professional help to update this critical document.
Your resume is a product description of your capabilities as an executive. So, how is this product marketed? Surely not with a form cover letter.
Think about resumé distribution in much the same way that you would approach product marketing. Do your homework to understand “customer needs,” grab your audience’s attention, articulate a compelling value proposition, create a sense of urgency, and distinguish yourself from others.
6) Learn how to interview effectively.
You must be able to identify and express your strengths, skills, competencies and value as they relate to an employer’s needs.
Anticipate perceived problem interview questions and be ready to discuss your “Positioning Statement” (two minute elevator speech) and “Exit Statement” (why you are looking for a new job) to help you separate yourself from the competition during face to face and phone screening interviews. Relate your great stories/examples of your competencies.
7) Manage your search like you would a business.
Establish and monitor deliverables on a weekly basis. Ask some trusted friends to serve as your personal “Board of Directors,” to provide ongoing encouragement and a sounding board for you during your search.
Consider hiring a career coach to help you set realistic, tangible goals for your search, and to hold you accountable and focused on the day-to-day blocking and tackling of a structured Job Search Marketing Plan.
8) Take time for other priorities.
Looking for a job is full-time job. Finding the right job takes time, and while it’s important to keep moving forward, it’s also important to be patient.
Focusing 100 per cent of your waking attention on a job search may burn you out. It’s essential to stay refreshed by doing some activities outside of your search.
Join a local community board. Volunteer some time to your favorite charity fundraiser. Spend quality time with your friends and family. Exercise regularly. Read several self-help books. Re-evaluate your retirement planning with an investment advisor. Take some time for yourself and improve your life.
Mark James, CPC is the founder and president of Hire Consulting Services (HCS), established in 1999. HCS is a highly customized executive outplacement and career coaching firm for executive-level professionals. Recently published in 2018, Mark is the author of the best-selling book Keys to the C Suite: Unlock the Doors to Executive Career Path Success. He is equipped with over 25 years of experience in Executive Career Management Coaching, Outplacement and Executive Search Consulting. He has been a Certified Partner with Predictive Index® Behavior Assessments since 2016. He focuses on providing a proven and successful strategy and a structured process to fully enable his clients to conduct a professional job search campaign and with the singular goal of securing their next career opportunity in significantly less time it would take without a career coach. Clients gain a new perspective of their marketing value coupled with executing a strategic plan and closing the deal on their new role in their next job.