1. Personal assessment - To start a career search you must first understand who you are and what you want to do. This involves objectively evaluating your Industry skills and experience, salary expectations, and career requirements to ensure that they match employers' expectations. Doing so will help highlight any skill sets that need to be improved upon as well as provide you with a map on where you are going.
2. Make Your Resume Stand Out - You have approximately 20 seconds to capture the reader's attention. Make sure your resume is easy to read by using a standard font type and size. To ensure that the required skills for the position jump off the page at the reader, incorporate ‘buzz words' from the job description into your resume. For your key accomplishments, you want to include numbers, percents, and dollar signs where appropriate in order to highlight specific experiences.
3. Elevator Speech - Prepare a 30 second overview that hits the highlights of your experience. Anything longer than that will risk losing the listener. Make sure you introduce yourself, state why you are calling, and share two to three highlights of your experience. It is important that you write everything down on paper and practice speaking it out loud. Be prepared for questions regarding your experience as well as have follow up questions to ask those individuals that are interested in speaking with you further.
4. How to tap the Hidden Job Market - Statistics show that over 80% of all jobs filled are never posted online or in newspapers. So how do you find these jobs? You have to be aggressive and go after the hidden jobs by speaking with hiring managers at companies that you would be interested in working for. Once you have a contact name, call them and give your elevator speech. These conversations will often lead to other contacts and career opportunities that you would never have found otherwise.
5. Network, Network, Network - Just like real estate is all about location, career searching is all about networking. You want to make yourself highly visible in a professional manner. This can be done by utilizing tools such as linkedin, joining professional associations or trade groups, and talking to people in your community. Make sure you start with your elevator speech and close with some specific instructions on how someone can help you.
6. How to Master the Interview - Behavioral interviewing or the ‘tell me about a time when' questions are becoming the most commonly accepted interview method. The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. Break your answer down into the following categories; situation, task, action and result. A successful behavioral interview involves accurately using ‘I' and ‘we' to describe those accomplishments that you were responsible for vs. those that were a group accomplishment.
7. Seeking Professional Career Search Assistance - We all seek expert advice from accountants to do our taxes, personal trainers to get in shape, and financial advisers to help manage our stock portfolios. Why would you trust something as important as your career search to chance? Career search consultants deal with the issues surrounding the search process all day long. There is typically nothing they have not seen or dealt with. You can leverage that experience to help you overcome obstacles in your career search process.
8. Attitude is Key - Keeping a positive attitude during your career search is vitally important to your success. The career search process is filled with rejection on a daily basis, so maintaining a positive attitude can be difficult. Employers want to hire people that believe in their own skills and abilities and are excited to work for their company. By joining professional groups, networking in your community, not taking rejection personally, and surrounding yourself with positive people you can maintain a winning attitude.
9. Transferable Skills - These are skills that you have acquired during your professional life that are applicable to your next career opportunity. They include such things as communication, leadership, problem solving/analytical skills, and being a self starter. When you are tailoring your resume to a specific position, you want to make sure that each skill or accomplishment relates to the position for which you are applying. If you can't make an accomplishments relate to the position requirements, leave it out.
10. Treat the Career Search as a Full-time Job - In this market, finding a job is becoming more and more difficult and as such requires a full-time commitment. Determine how much time you are willing to devote to your search each day and commit to keeping that schedule, just as if it were a paid job. Develop a plan, get organized, and set specific achievable goals for yourself. Being able to see what you accomplished each week will help keep you motivated in your search process. Other things to consider, take one day a week off, pursue your hobbies, and stay active.
Career Search Strategies is here to help you with all of your career search needs. We function as a coach to walk you through each step of the process from resume writing/editing, networking, interview preparation, and salary negotiation. With over 15 years of experience, we have the knowledge to help jump start your search and get you on the road to a new career!
For more information on Career Search Strategies or to schedule your free 45 minute consultation, contact Steve Gray at 704 877 5522
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