Hope is Not a (Job Hunting) Strategy
Posted On July 26, 2019
The old ‘post-and-pray’ model (where Talent Acquisition publishes a job on the company ‘Careers’ page and HOPES that the right candidate applies) doesn’t work well.
We still post, of course, but we’re also reaching out to candidates and actively recruiting them.
‘Apply-and-pray’, the job seeker’s equivalent to ‘post-and-pray’, doesn’t work well either (unless you’re a mid-level developer). You might get lucky if you’re one of the early applicants. But especially at manager- and director-levels, your resume might not even get read unless you’re in the first wave.
I think the way we go about finding a new job needs to evolve.
That’s where marketing steps in.
You’ve heard of marketing campaigns, right? Companies create and run a series of visibility-raising programs to launch new products or to sell more of something.
In other words, while ‘apply-and-pray’ is a possible method (except, hope is not a strategy), there are other more-proactive (and interesting) routes to take.
Here are three:
Create your professional brand
Which problems do you most often get asked to solve? What kind of work do you love doing (and get paid for, of course)? Where are you happiest and most effective? What are you known for? How do you want to be known?
Are your resume and LinkedIn profile aligned and accurate? Do they clearly showcase your talents & accomplishments?
Once you’ve got your professional brand nailed (and you don’t need to do this with me), TAKING ACTION is important.
Because otherwise, you’re just putting yourself on a shelf and WAITING.
Decide how you’ll market / promote yourself.
You can do this in lots of ways:
- Work with a trusted agency recruiter who’ll leverage their relationships (and credibility) to connect you with the decision-maker (but beware: the fees charged by agencies can be a barrier);
- Find and nurture connections who have relationships with decision-makers inside the company(ies) you’re looking to join;
- Develop a relationship with the company’s talent acquisition recruiter who can connect you with the decision-maker (best to do this far ahead of need);
- Get out there in the world and meet new people;
- Ask how you can help others (really!);
- Offer your expertise and opinions (by mentoring, publishing LinkedIn articles or blogging, volunteering, attending industry events and workshops);
- Change your LinkedIn status to ‘open to opportunities’ (passive, but helpful);
- Participate regularly in ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ relevant LinkedIn posts (especially those posted by people you’re trying to get to know)
Settle in…this is a campaign
Campaigns are not flash-in-the-pan, do-it-for-a-coupla-weeks strategies. Companies, PACs, the military, and political candidates devote significant chunks of time to them.
This requires consistency, courage, and curiosity. But being visible is a worthwhile practice even when you’re not actively job seeking.
Instead of networking in a burst to find a new job, think of networking as part of your career responsibilities.
Decide to participate in the larger community and make new contacts AT ALL LEVELS regularly. Connect with them in a meaningful way, and of course, nurture your LinkedIn network.
I’ve worked with some job seekers who relish marketing themselves & networking, and others who dread it. Guess which ones land sooner? Guess which ones feel more confident in their futures?
I’ve been taking an informal poll, asking every single (former) job seeker how they found their new role.
And do you know what? 99% said they got connected through someone they knew.
Need a jump-start on your professional brand? Let’s chat! Here’s a link to my calendar for a free 15 minute no-strings intro call.