Have you been laid off, or fear you might be? Begin preparing now to limit the length of your unemployment and maximize your job search success. This 3-step “beat unemployment" plan works for job seekers at all levels of the spectrum, from entry-level workers to senior executives. Related: 5 Things You Should Be Doing If You're Unemployed
1. Define Your Job Search StrategyThe first step is to define your strategy. Here are some ways you can do that:
Define your target marketBefore you can structure your job search, you have to define what kinds of positions you will search for – the titles, levels of roles, industries, and types of companies you will pursue. At this stage, you should also be defining your preferred geographic areas and commute ranges.
Clarify your search goals and timelineWhen do you hope to land your new role? Is your expectation realistic and achievable? If you want to generate one or more job offers by a particular date, it will be imperative to plan backward to ensure your search is generating enough contacts and opportunities to make that happen.
Determine if the market you're targeting aligns with your goals and timelineOn average, it takes seven job interviews to produce one job offer, and 200-300 targeted opportunities to generate those seven interviews. This means that you need to have a minimum of 200-300 prospects to pursue in your search to be likely to catalyze interview invitations.
Choose and prioritize your job search methodologiesThere are five primary job search methodologies to leverage in your search. Which of them best match your career goals, personality, target industries, and available search time?
- Networking has long been the #1 way to find and land new jobs at all levels of hiring spectrum. Leveraging this tactic fully means having a networking strategy that you implement methodically throughout your search. This is different than simply sending out random emails to people you know who you think may know about open jobs.
- Direct outreach to targeted employers is an often-overlooked search methodology, yet it's an excellent way to penetrate the Hidden Job Market (the 85% of jobs that are never advertised outside the hiring companies). By combining strategic networking and LinkedIn tactics you can find and get your foot in the door with companies in almost any industry in almost any location.
- LinkedIn-driven networking can supercharge your entire search. Once your profile is optimized and complete, craft a strategy for how to utilize LinkedIn to penetrate target organizations, gain influential contacts in key industries, and attract the attention of executive recruiters.
- External recruiting firms are an option for some job seekers and enable them to access open positions in the Visible Job Market (available jobs advertised outside the company). You'll need a strategy to get your candidacy noticed and to determine if you should target retained or contingency recruiters.
- Online job boards rely on the advertising of openings in the Visible Job Market. Sites like Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and the LinkedIn.com job board (which is actually SimplyHired.com) collect and enable you to search open positions in one or more industries. While job boards appear seductively simple, note that you have maximum competition as you apply for open positions. Also note that when you do so your resume is parsed and analyzed by an Applicant Tracking System, which means that key word usage and age-proofing quickly become critical issues.