Was finding a new position one of your resolutions for 2012? January is certainly proving to be an early spring in terms of job seeking for many- this week is the busiest in terms of job search activity Despite the doom and gloom of the unemployment statistics 2011/12 has certainly seen the job market come out of hibernation. If you have made the decision to change then now is the time to set about implementing a strategy that is going to work.
A high proportion of the clients I coached secured new positions in the final quarter of 2011-some had been unemployed for many months and others were new to Yorkshire as well as on or two taking the plunge and starting their own companies. The one thing they all had was a carefully prepared plan to ensure their success in a tough climate. I then canvasses local business leaders from both The Yorkshire Mafia and the Institute of Directors to get their thoughts on recruitment in 2012. I was astounded by how many of them had grown their teams in 2011 and were looking to carry on growing in 2012. Entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Yorkshire.
Are you a reactive or a proactive job seeker?
January sees the rise of the reactive or passive job seeker. Thousands of people will upload their CV to various job boards thinking that they are being proactive. This approach to the advertised market should only be a small percentage of your job search strategy. Time is wasted having the obligatory conversations with recruiters, salary, location, notice period and then that exciting position they were recruiting for vanishes in to a black hole. The 9th of January is cited to be the day many of us break New Year’s resolutions and for many the job search will simply become a hassle.
If you are one of the people who needs to keep on job searching or you have been made redundant- ask yourself if you are as active as you think. Have your actions differed from those of the passive job seeker? Have you done more that use the internet to find your next challenge? Has your search brought you any results so far? If the answer is nothing then it’s time to go back to basics.
Step one Create a plan
What are your goals and aims? Based on your market research, does what you are looking for exist?
Put your business brain back into gear- think about your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Look at yourself objectively, what can you offer an organisation? What is it that sets you apart from other candidates? Who are your buyers? Where should your target market be?
Step Two Sell yourself
Once you have established your goals and target market tailor all of your documentation to maximise how your audience views your skill set. Does your CV sell you effectively? What does your online presence reveal to potential employers. Perception is everything and making sure you are making the right impression to secure interviews. People very rarely present themselves effectively assuming that their audience will read between the lines or they make the assumption that they “were just doing their job”. When we prepare a CV for a client they often comment that they “didn’t recognise themselves”- presenting your achievements in a clear way can greatly add to your confidence levels.
Know your market
How do you become an active job seeker? The unadvertised job market is quoted to be between 70 -80% of the job market. The unadvertised job market is not a mystery. It is easy to remove the smoke and mirrors – there are clear actions and methods to help you be one of these people that have networked or created a position. Do your research, know what is happening locally.
The key to accessing the unadvertised market is networking. Are you a natural networker? Networking is not calling your closest friends and colleagues and asking them if they know of a position. Networking is a mutual exchange and not a “one hit” communication. Build time into your job search strategy to network – more importantly than that you must continue to network even when you have secured your next position. Networking should be like any other business conversation, do you research and set an agenda to ensure you keep on track.
Networking is the most difficult area for most our clients – it certainly takes most of them out of their comfort zone. It is how most clients secure their next position so the rewards outweigh the pain. In excess of 85% of our Northern clients networked their way to secure their next opportunity in 2011. It takes practice and our networking training sessions prove very popular to help people simplify this process.
The job search can be one of the most negative experiences many people go through. It is all about not being right, being overqualified, too expensive, wrong sector experience. These “excuses” can be avoided by taking control and keeping to your plan. Try not to take things personally- keep your commercial brain in gear! There are jobs out there and you only need one.