The New Year’s fireworks have heralded a new beginning. For many, it’s the continuation of a long and frustrating job search that carries over from the previous year. For some, decisions have been made to take action and throw off the constraints of a job that now holds little appeal or that failed to live up to expectations.
Regardless of your personal situation, it is important to acknowledge that things have changed. If you’ve been on the job hunt for some time, then re-evaluate your methods. If it didn’t work for you last year, then a change in the calendar is hardly going to deliver something different. Or, in the words of Albert Einstein: “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
What you should know and do:
Applying for the largest, most prominent job advertisements means you are throwing your hat into the largest pool of applicants possible. Recruiters have hundreds of qualified candidates at their fingertips with these jobs, so if you don’t tick every box, you’re likely to be out of the running. Yes, you may score the role. You could also be hit by lightning or win Lotto. No need to stop the practice entirely, just understand the limitations of this strategy and have other alternatives ready.
Job Search Consultants will go to the internet to search your name. What will they find? Do your negative opinions and comments on blogs, Facebook and Twitter about everything from poor tradesmen to inedible restaurant food, your last employer and your cynicism about companies and people abound? These all combine to build a rather unflattering portrait of the type of employee you may be. Perhaps you can’t find anything. In today’s world the lack of a personal or professional online footprint may be of concern to recruiters—particularly when searching for executives where a good reputation and a solid centre of influence is highly regarded. Work on getting your online presence cleaned up and consistent. You can thank me later for this insight.
The hidden job market is alive and kicking and remains the best and strongest way to get a job. How do you access it? Through people. That’s right. People. Why be one of a hundred equally qualified people vying for one prominent advertised job when you can be the only candidate? Who do you know? Where would you like to work? Where are your former work buddies working? Have you had a coffee with them lately for a catch up? Do you know what projects they are working on? What problems they are experiencing? Getting inside knowledge through casual conversation is one of the most successful ways to spin yourself into the fold. They need someone with your talents and experience; they just don’t know it yet. It’s up to you to make that connection. Maybe they just need a contractor or a consultant to get them through; that’s fine. Once you’ve proved your worth, they’ll be reluctant to let you go.
Take a long hard look at yourself. In fact, write it all down on a piece of paper. How do you dress? Are you a relic of the ’80s? Do you still act like a wayward teenager when you’re 30? Have you turned into a grumpy, cynical, complaining person that you’d never thought you’d become? Are you obsessed about your age so much so that your constant references to it force people to re-evaluate you and hire someone younger? Are you carrying around emotional baggage? Still angry and bitter about how you were treated? It shows. Do something about it. Be ruthless with what are your best and worst attributes. At worst, you’ll need to commit to an attitude readjustment and a new suit. At best, you’re perfect. Congrats.
Come to terms with the fact that that you are not an expert in everything. You may be the best at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you are an expert at tax returns, financial planning, dentistry, or writing your own resume. Admit that you don’t know everything and delegate the things that matter to professionals who can do it better than you. Less time unemployed means more money and a return to normalcy for you and your family.
There are hundreds of services for people wanting work. From coaching to resume development, through to interview preparation services, and more. But if there was one definable “something” that characterises job search now and in the foreseeable future, it’s “Communication“.
- Communicating your value to others at interview
- Communicating with your business and personal networks to expose hidden job opportunities
- Communicating your value online at places such as Linkedin and Twitter and most of all…
Communicating the truth to yourself so that you can get the most out of who you are, your life, your career and enrich the lives of the people around you.
I’m thrilled to be a member of the #CareerCollective. A group of professionals who share their combined expertise with the job search community in the form of articles on a specific topic once a month. Job Search Trends in 2011 is this month’s topic. Please visit the links below for other articles by these talented professionals. Oh! and please follow the hashtag #careercollective on Twitter
- Social Media Recruiting to Grow Further in 2011, @debrawheatman
- Another Year, Another Job Search Begins, @GayleHoward
- In 2011, Increase Your Prospects With Better Differentiation, @WalterAkana
- 4 Lessons Learned From Job Search in 2010, @Careersherpa
- Your Career Action Plan for the New Year, @KatCareerGal
- Trends Job Seekers Should Look For in 2011, @erinkennedycprw
- Things Every Job Seeker Should be Thinking About in 2011, @expatcoachmegan
- Let your presence be known or send out a red flag, @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes
- How to find a job in 2011: Pay attention to emotional intelligence, @Keppie_Careers
- 2011 Employment Trends Supercharged with Twitter, @KCCareerCoach
- 3 Traits for Facing Weather, Employment and Chronic Illness, @WorkWithIllness
- Everything old is new again @DawnBugni
- Career Trend 2011: Accountability + Possibility = Sustainability, @ValueIntoWords
- Career Tools to Check Out in 2011, @barbarasafani
- What Was in 2010, What To Expect in 2011, @chandlee
- The Future of Job Search: 3 Predictions and 2 Wishes, @JobHuntOrg