a Recruiter’s Advice for Today’s Job Search
Are you arriving on the search scene after a hiatus? Some of my clients have spent a decade or more with their companies (some thought they’d spend their whole career there). It’s easy to get focused on day-to-day life, with job+family overriding networking.
If you suddenly find yourself on the brink of a job change, these guidelines will help:
evaluate Your Professional Brand
- Get help with your resume & LinkedIn profile from a savvy friend or a professional. Putting your best (digital) foot forward is super important, not only for your brand, but also for your confidence.
- Spend some R&D time reviewing job postings (LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor). Figure out where your skill set fits. Job titles have evolved over the past 10 years.
- Take an objective look at your appearance: do you need a more-current set of specs / haircut / interviewing clothes? I know of one outplacement coach who advises his clients to drop 5 pounds as a confidence-builder.
get active on Social Media (LinkedIn)
- More R&D: comb through LinkedIn to find former leaders & co-workers. Invite them to connect with you (if you aren’t already).
- Change your LinkedIn visibility status to ‘open to opportunities’ so recruiters can find you. But don’t stop there:
- If you’ve ignored LinkedIn (you’re not alone!), make it a daily practice to ‘like’ things that are professionally relevant. If you really like them, add a comment and/or ‘share’ them to your network.
fire up your Networking
- Think about where your next leader (or someone who knows her/him) might be found. Go there. Use Meetup.com to find professional events in your area of specialty. Attend regularly.
- Get out for coffee / breakfast / lunch as often as you can. Invite former co-workers, people you’d like to know better, a recruiter or two (do your homework).
- Regularly look for job postings (LinkedIn, Indeed, company Careers pages) that fit. BEFORE you apply, go to LinkedIn to see if you have a 1st degree connection at that company. If you do, ask them whether they’d be willing to promote you to the hiring manager / talent acquisition.
- Don’t be a serial monogamist job seeker: have multiple lines in the water at any given time. This will help you from getting too attached to one opportunity.
- Be curious about people you’re meeting outside work (at church, the gym, kids’ events, sporting events, volunteer activities). Find out what they do, where they work. If it’s appropriate, mention your job search. And connect with them on LinkedIn!
- In addition to targeting a job / job title, talk to people to learn where the interesting problems (that you can help solve) are. Companies are growing, transforming, being born. Tap your growing network to find them.
It’s a brave new world out here in job hunt land. Social media has truly shifted the landscape. The old ‘apply and wait for a call’ doesn’t work. LinkedIn connections (the real kind) are golden , and it’s easier than ever to peer inside companies. There are even tools to help us assess cultures.
Here’s a quick article on bias-proofing your professional brand.