Mastering Your Job Search

Did you know that as many as 40% of the positions that you see posted online may be dead?

Some of these positions have already been filled, some are outdated or have been postponed or cancelled. Many times, an employer forgets to remove an old posting and other times they have requested that the old job be removed but it hasn’t yet. There are even some companies that will keep a position open just to “see what’s out there” perusing through the resumes without intending to hire right now.

By focusing only on the positions posted online you can be missing out on many opportunities. Not every company creates an online job posting and some that list their jobs on their internal websites may not also post out to online job boards.

There have been many instances of new positions that did not otherwise exist being created for the right candidate. The trouble is you need these key people to think of you when the need arises.

So, what is a job seeker to do?

Dream list

One of the best things you can do for your job search success is to get focused. This not only means knowing the type of role, title and salary that you want but also what companies you most want to work for. Instead of mindlessly scrolling the job boards and applying for what is offered, decide where you truly want to work. What companies demonstrate the values that you hold and provide the opportunities that you are looking for?

Make a list of the top 15-20 companies that you are interested in working for. Research each of them and find out who you know that may be working there. Reach out and let them know about your interest and why you are qualified. Ask for their help. However, this brings me to the next point. Be specific.

Be Specific

Most people are more than willing to help others with their job search if they understand what the person is looking for. I have had individuals in my network reach out for support related to their career by saying something like “I am looking for work. Any leads would be helpful” This tells others nothing about what the person’s objective or desired position is or what skills set they bring to the table. You cannot assume that others know your specific background and exactly what you are looking for. Make it clear for them. Be specific about the type of position, title and location you are hoping to land. Then ask for leads.

Get organized

Keep track of who you have reached out to, where you have applied or sent resume to and the status.

You can keep an excel spreadsheet, a google doc or even a separate folder in your email. Markdown dates that you last reached out or followed up and what you did. Make sure to check-in or follow up. You certainly don’t want to badger someone every day, but it is ok to follow up if you have not heard back. Just be polite, express your interest and ask about the status.

Thank you & Follow up

Always thank anyone for hearing your request and for any leads that they offer. Make sure to reach out to any leads timely and let them know how you were referred. Thank them for talking or meeting with you. Courtesy and gratitude can take you a long way. So can persistence. Keep at it even if it feels overwhelming. A few tasks a day towards your goals can propel you when practiced on a daily basis.

If you need help with your job search reach out to me. I can help with tips, strategy and accountability coaching. Read more about my coaching packages here:

Jill VanderYacht
HR & Career Coach


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