In the quest for a new job, many job seekers blindly apply to jobs online and send out tons of resumes to organizations and recruiters. In many cases, these applications fall into a black hole of resumes received online. In some cases, job seekers are unaware where they have applied. By all means, avoid carpet bombing as a job search strategy. Instead, practice the 3 P's: Patience, Prudence, and Preparation.
If you have made the decision to make a job change, then you should view your job search as a journey. In most cases, it won't be easy as you will encounter rejection and feel frustration. Accept that at the start of your job search and prepare yourself emotionally. Be patient with the process. It takes time.
First, ask yourself questions, lots and lots of questions. What's missing from your current job and what do you seek to gain in a new one? What are your values and what companies align with them? What kind of a culture is important to you? Do some soul searching. Reflect on your experience and overall career. Take your personal situation into consideration. Does the job require travel? Are there flexible work arrangements? Determine what is most important to you as you pursue your next role.
Resist the urge to apply to any job you see posted online. When you see a potential job you would like to learn more about, start to research and gather information about the company and the people who work there currently. Look to see if you know anyone at the company via your network, directly or indirectly. Seek introductions via your network. Invite someone who works at the company for a cup of coffee to learn more and seek advice. Be thoughtful through the job search. Be curious and seek as much information as you can. Knowledge is power.
Focus on getting your foot in the door through direct channels. Don't let fear stop you. Find out who the hiring manager is or contact one of the company's top executives. Ensure that you have done your research and can cite an example of what you find most compelling about the company, its marketplace or competitive positioning and how you can add value. Demonstrate you have taken the time to learn about the organization. That will make you stand out.
Resumes received via an internal referral are much more likely to be reviewed, than sitting in a candidate database of thousands. Figure out the most direct path you can. HR and Recruiting departments are normally the first place job seekers go. They get bombarded with resumes, so seek to network outside of those departments.
Once you get your foot in the door, ensure that you are prepared for your interview. Treat your interview like a critical work presentation. Would you not prepare for that? There are multiple resources online for interview preparation and blogs full of advice and information, so no excuses not to be prepared. Don't "wing it".
Ensure your resume is updated, proofread and presents the best "you" it can. Make sure your social media profiles reflect a positive and professional image. Your LinkedIn profile should align with your resume and be updated. It is common practice to review a candidate's LinkedIn profile in addition to his or her resume during the hiring process. Do not underestimate the importance of that. Remember, your image is your personal brand.
While not easy, practicing prudence through the job search process will payoff for you. Forcing yourself to truly learn more about what you want next, the organizations you are considering, the people who work there and and their values, is critical to finding the right job. Take the time to conduct an informed job search. You are worth it!