Are you ready to start job seeking? Before you start aimlessly applying for jobs, understand that in today’s competitive market developing a strategy for your job search is essential. Here’s a road map on how to create a strategy to get the job you want and becoming like the C.R.E.A.M. (Career Ready Exceptional Applicants of the Millennium) who rise to the top.
Know What You Have to Offer.
In order to successfully sell a product, it’s important to know the features and benefits as it relates to the buyer. As a candidate for a position, begin with an entrepreneurial mindset. View yourself from the eyes of an employer and think about the skills, knowledge and experience that you possess that employers would find valuable. Develop an elevator pitch; that’s who you are and what you do in 3 sentences or less.
Optimize Your Resume and Social Media Presence.
Your resume is like an ad for your services. Will it immediately attract the attention of a potential employer? Does is clearly state your qualifications, how you will meet employers’ needs and free from errors? It’s important to have a focused resume, otherwise employers will not be able to figure out how you may be a benefit to their company and pass. Make it easy for them.
And let’s not forget your social resume. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are tools that companies use to market their presence online to help potential customers find them. You need to do the same to help employers find you. Don’t be incognito about it either (i.e. setting your profile to private or not including a legitimate professional profile picture); these are your media outlets. Sounds overwhelming? There are tools such as CareerCloud to help you manage it all. Be seen, be heard, and be discoverable!
Now that you know your product and created some great “ads” it’s time to search for your target market. Search for companies that are seeking your services and create a plan to connect with them directly (direct marketing). This may include searching through your connections on social media (prospecting) to find out who knows someone in your companies of interest (Jackalope Jobs makes that easy). Ask for an introduction or attend an event where employees of those companies will be present (this is when you use that elevator pitch). Follow your companies of interest on all their social media platforms. This may give you insight into their corporate culture or first dibs on an employment opportunity.
Be Interview Ready.
After you've gotten the attention of potential employers be ready to close the sale. There’s nothing like getting a product that doesn't deliver on its promises. It’s important to research the company in preparing for the interview, but if you have been connecting and following them on social media most of this work has been done. This will make it easier for you to readily match what you have to offer with their needs and share ideas on solutions you can provide.
Not having a proper plan and strategy in place is where many fail in the job search process. It’s like throwing darts without a target and hoping something will stick. Applying a strategy will take you from being a career ready applicant to a Career Ready Exceptional ACHIEVER of the Millennium. Know your value, know what you want and be intentional in getting it.