If your job search seems to be stalled or moving ahead too slowly, it’s smart to take the time to examine your process. Effective job search has changed, particularly in the last few years. Step back, and take a look now.
In this guest post, Patra Frame, HR executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources, offers a 3-step process for evaluating and improving your current job search strategies. Patra is a senior HR executive with many years of experience in this field and also, as a veteran of the United States Air Force, Patra is Job-Hunt’s Veterans’ Job Search Expert.
“Sharpening your saw” means continuing to learn, staying up-to-date. It is one of the recommended 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. An excellent idea for all of us!
Sharpen Your (Job Search) Saw
By Patra Frame
Job search going too slow? Been hunting for awhile? Summer is a great time to “sharpen your saw” to quote an old proverb.
Too many people just update an old resume, tell all their friends that they need a new job, and look at ads online. Not the best methods!
Instead follows these three steps to a more effective approach to your job search
1. What Works Now?
Learn about job search now. Social media is ever more important. Networking and employee referrals are vital. With mobile, even resumes have changed in the past year.
There are a lot of great online sources to learn about current job search tactics. Some I like include:
- Job-Hunt.org for a wide range of information and resources. Follow them at @JobHuntOrg on Twitter too.
- Executive Career Brand is great if you are looking for management positions. And @MegGuiseppi gets you more.
Don’t forget to check out organizations which interest you on Glassdoor.com and Vault.com.Read the blogs on the job boards you use for market information as well as job search tips. Lots of videos on job search from good sources online too.
2. What Are You Doing?
Then, look at your job search so far. If you have been searching for weeks or months, review your records.
- What is your process?
- Where does it work well?
- Where is it inadequate?
Example: If you are getting contacted by recruiters who have received or seen your resume, you know your resume is fine. If not, your resume needs improvement.
Analyzing your efforts allows you to assess what you are doing well and what you could improve. How effective is your research and target selection, for example? That’s a critical step many do poorly. But most people can improve their process in several ways – few of us are terrific at every step.
If you do not have good records, get organized now. You must be able to track your activities to be sure you do not miss anything. This also helps you interview far more effectively.
3. What Is the Best Way to Spend Your Time?
Next, pay attention to the most productive activities.
- Where are you spending the most time?
- Do you know how organizations are actually hiring?
Don’t focus much time online searching for jobs. Do consider setting up job agents to search for you. Online research IS valuable to help you pick your target jobs and organizations, which is critical to your future success.
Remember: people get jobs through people who know them more often than any other method!
Most companies have formal or informal employee referral programs and love to hire people recommended by current employees. Thus, spend your time moving forward by —
- Building your connections, attending professional events in your field and job fairs .
- Reconnecting with people from past jobs and personal activities. Ask each for a specific type of help with your job search activities.
- Developing a good LinkedIn profile and learning how to use social media for your job search.
Understanding the job search process will make your search more effective and faster. Human connections are going to play a huge part in your job search and career success – don’t scrimp on that time and effort.
Companies are using Facebook, Twitter, and other formats as well as LinkedIn and job boards to tell their story and attract candidates – which can be a good source of information.
Take a little time off this summer to recharge but do not waste valuable job search time by slowing your search down. Companies are hiring now. Check your process, make the needed improvements, reach out for specific help, and move forward!
More About Increasing Your Job Search Skills
© Copyright, Patra Frame. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About Patra Frame
Patra Frame has extensive experience in human capital management and career issues in large and small corporations. She is an Air Force vet and charter member of The Women In Military Service for America Memorial. Patra speaks and writes regularly on job search and career issues through her company Strategies for Human Resources (SHRInsight). Watch Patra’s job search tips videos on YouTube.