Three Reasons Your Job Search is Running Out of Steam
Job searches run out of steam for a number of reasons and this economy requires searches to have staying power to deliver results. To re-energize a search it helps to understand where most people’s searches are usually the weakest.
Here are the common momentum killers:
- Lack of Job Listings: If you are only applying to posted jobs and those seem far and few between your tendency is to cast a wider net by applying outside your geographic area or outside of your expertise (“I could do that job!”). This is a dead-end strategy and you will only face more painful rejection. When it comes to job postings, re-sharpen your focus and don’t waste your time on long-shots.
- Exhausted Network: In networking there may be “six degrees of separation”, but most people never get past two (a friend of a friend) so networking efforts will peter out. Why? Because people have to care enough about you and your job search in order to introduce you to their best connections. There are a number of ways to fix this. Here are two: 1) Break out of the assumption that networking contacts should be restricted to your professional contacts. Everyone you know should be aware of your search. 2) Create a list of the organizations you think hire people like you. Share the list with everyone in your network. Ask them to introduce you to people they think might know something about the employers on your list. The list will encourage people to make introductions and brainstorm with your about employers you had not thought of.
- Asking Your Networking Contacts The Wrong Question: “Do you know of any job openings? Or “Who’s hiring?” seems obvious but it actually can hurt networking. The right question is, “Who do you know who would manage someone with my skills?” It is not important for your contact to know if the manager they know is hiring right now because frankly only the manager knows their short and long term needs. Get their name, get an introduction and introduce yourself to them. Your statement can be a simple, “I understand you have people with my kind of background and skills working for you. I don’t assume to know if you have job openings but I would like to meet you and learn more about the type of people you like to have on your team and share with you a bit about my background.” They may say “sure”, they may say “send a resume” or they may say “no”, but now they know about you. Remember the ONLY thing managers can do to assure their success is to meet and hire great people. And that’s you!
Shift your focus to the “hidden job market”. Yes it exists. In tough economies, employers spend less on recruiting. As a result more jobs are filled that are without being publically posted. This takes a different approach and requires different skills but today the best people do not get the best jobs.
The best job searchers do.