Oh my-as a job search coach, I'm asked this question quite frequently.
And can you blame those doing the asking? It's an employers market in the toughest economic times that many of us have ever seen. Of course you want to ensure that you are doing everything. However, the reality is that no job search is ever perfect.
So, if you can't have perfect, what can you have? Effective.
The only “real” way to determine if your job search is effective is when you are getting in front of people.
Think about some of the main components of an effective job search and ask yourself if you are doing these things:
Online job searching: This is a great tool to have in your arsenal, but as mentioned in earlier articles, if you are a senior level candidate, this should not take up the majority of your time. Set up some job alerts on both the "super sites" such as www.monster.com, www.indeed.com, etc but also identify industry specific sites where you can set up job alerts-and then have the job searches sent to your email. By doing so, you will buy yourself additional job search time on a weekly basis.
Online resume posting: While I know that many job seekers are nervous about security concerns when posting their resumes on the major job boards, the reality is that in this market, you simply CANNOT ignore the fact that the internet is one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) tool in your arsenal. Get on some of the super sites and the niche sites and post your resume so that recruiters can find you. And then make sure that you refresh at least twice a month to keep yourself "top of the pile" in the resume database.
Networking: Again, can't say this enough. If you are looking for a mid to senior level salary, you need to be networking aggressively online and in person. These connections should lead to meeting for coffee, informational interviews, brainstorming sessions, etc. Remember to employ the model of give, give, get in networking: focus on what you can do for the other person rather than the job you want them to help you find. It may seem counterintuitive, but in today's market, you can rest assured that they are getting hit from all angles from job seekers asking for a hand. What a refreshing approach it would be to offer them a hand for one-stand out from the crowd!
Research: How much time are you spending on researching a contact, potential employer, or industry before you reach out to do that networking or send in that job application? If you are like many job seekers, I'm going to guess the answer is not much. However, there is such a difference between a cover letter that points to strategic initiatives, news, and events for a company....and one that sounds like it was mass produced on a resume writer's computer. If you are not investing in some strategic research for those jobs that you really want, you are missing some opportunity.
Trending/tracking: I work with many people who do all of these things well, but when a company, contact, or job is out of sight…it’s out of mind. Think about setting up some tools for yourself either using Excel or sites like www.jibberjobber.com to manage your search activities, trend them for effectiveness, and make changes where necessary. Sure, it feels like a lot of work, but an effective job search can make the difference between no job and a great job.
Connect: No, I’m not talking about networking. I’m talking about having a meal with friends. Getting together with a group of folks who know what you are going through, and can sympathize. Sitting down with your family and playing cards. Too often I see job seekers push away those who can help them the most. As a job search coach, this happens to me-I know when someone is not returning my calls it likely means that they are feeling blue. Remember that there is no shame in being unemployed and needing a little help…you just have to let people in.
Michelle currently serves as a Job Search coach helping professionals make the leap from looking to landed. In addition to her time spent coaching individuals, she delivers a variety of training sessions from Social Networking, Working with Recruiters, Online Resume Posting, and Interview Prep.
Michelle possesses over 15 years of diverse experience in functional areas such as recruiting
, human resources, coaching, training, organizational development, staffing, sales, sales management, retail, and banking/finance.
Prior to working as a job search coach, Michelle made her career in the Placement industry working most recently for the 2nd
largest Staffing Company in the World. For this multi-national organization, Michelle served as an Agency Recruiter, Corporate Recruiter, Senior HR
Manager, and Area Vice President. During her tenure with this organization, Michelle was also tasked with various Organizational Development programs including the creation of a company wide Career Progression Program. Michelle also served on the three person team that introduced a new “Gen Y” based hiring model that included a greater emphasis on college recruiting/branding and internships. As a result of this experience, Michelle considers her greatest strengths to be talent identification/retention, talent development, and coaching for performance improvement.
In addition to these areas of expertise, Michelle is rapidly growing her knowledge base around Social Media
and Web 2.0 as it relates to the work world. She writes a regular blog on job searching that can be found at: http://hireme.typepad.com/michellemorettini/.
Want to connect to Michelle?