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Managing Your Job Search

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Alastair Knowles

on 19 October 2017

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Transcript of Managing Your Job Search

Game-Plan for Managing Your Job Search
-Alastair Knowles-


3 Branches of Your Job-Acquisition Process
Finding the Jobs!
The jobs are out there - you just need to know where to look and how to look. Like most things in life, you'll get the best results from a job search by combining the requisite amounts of thoroughness, preparation, effort, tenacity and efficiency.
Submitting and Managing Your Applications
If you're managing your job-search properly you should have multiple jobs that you're interested in, applying for, waiting to hear back from, and interviewing for all at the same time. With so many different applications at so many different stages you have to be prepared to ensure that you're managing them properly.
Building and Leveraging Your Network
Most jobs are filled by people who have been referred into them. This makes building and leveraging your professional network critical to your success in finding a job.
Job-Search Dept.
Your job search itself - the act of searching for job opportunities using things like job-boards, LinkedIn, idealist.org, Monster.com, Indeed.com, and Google for Jobs, is probably the most time consuming part of the your job hunt as well as the most important. If you don't have jobs to apply to, it doesn't matter how strong your credentials or interviewing skills are! You have to be able to quickly find, and filter prof. opportunities that are a good fit for you
Applications Dept.
After finding the jobs you're interested in it's time to apply for them - this means more than just sending off an email with your resume attached. Applying for jobs effectively is typically going to require you tracking your applications and their progress, submiting your applications using multiple methods (sometimes via email, sometimes via LinkedIn, sometimes through an internal ATS (applicant tracking system), and following up on your applications after you've submitted them.
Networking Dept.
The most effective way to land a job is through being referred into one - this has been the case for as long as people have been hunting for jobs. Developing and engaging with a strong professional network is critical, often undervalued despite its obvious importance, scarey for a lot of young professionals, and an art. Typically the folks who fail to do this have the most trouble finding a job and quickly advancing once they have one.
LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become one of many one-stop-shops for job seekers, talent seekers, and ambitious professionals. Having a strong LinkedIn profile and leveraging it effectively as a tool is a must for any young professional hoping to land a new job. LinkedIn is a great place to start when looking for an opportunity - especially in larger metro areas - because of it's user experience and all-in-one nature. Other solid places to start include: career fairs/networking events; indeed.com; monster.com; Google for jobs; and Idealist.org (for nonprofit opps). Review this resource kit for more info/resources:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d1p80_v9RduIJpUnNjwqqfEDQqyypHHXxpGkGR2d5S4/edit?usp=sharing


Job/Career Fairs and Networking Events
The most effective way to build your professional network and connect with people who can help you in your job-search is by meeting them in person and letting them see how incredible you are. Job fairs, networking events, professional organizations' events, and similar happenings are the best places to go for building your network. This part of the job-search is particularly scarey for many, here are some tips to make it less scarey...
Your Network
Leveraging your existing network and adding to it is critical to helping you land a job - most people find their job as a result of their network. Reach out to friends/peers/family/alumni who are working in roles/with companies that you're interested in - take them to coffee/lunch and ask them what it's like to work where they work, do what they do, and for tips on how to land a similar job (do not ask them to find you a job or refer you into one).

Reach out to hiring managers and recruiters via LinkedIn and networking events; let them know your professional interests/goals and ask that they consider you if they come across or know of any such opps.

For a more comprehensive overview see this Prezi:
http://prezi.com/8jkvhts4ct3x/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Identifying all Materials and Prioritizing
Tailoring and Tracking
Most of your applications should be tailored specifically to the job(s) their being submitted for. This means incorporating terminology from the job posting into your resume and cover-letter, emphasizing your experience(s) that most closely align to the needs for the position, researching the company and position before you apply and incorporating what info you gather into your cover-letter and resume. Your goal is to make the hiring manager feel like the ONLY job you're interested in excelling at is theirs.

Part of the job search also involves 'tracking' your applications, here is an example of a tool to help with that:
Following Up
Following up is a critical part of your job search! Failing to follow up with a recruiter/hiring manager will almost certainly worsen your chances of landing the job. There are several
instances
which demand that you follow-up: after you've submitted an application; after an initial interview (and ideally every interview); after a final interview; after a networking event/job fair. Here are some examples of how to follow up effectively:
Leveraging Your Existing Network
Your existing network is the logical place to start harvesting when you're on the job hunt. Your existing network consists of: friends and family, mentors, supervisors (past and present), coworkers (past and present), members of your alumni network, clients (past and present), past instructors, and anyone you've worked on a project with in the past (this could include community service work). As soon as you start looking for a job you should contact any members of your existing network who may be able to help you find it, let them know that you're looking and what you're looking for, and extend an immense amount of gratitude for any assistance they can offer in regard to your search.

There are numerous channels that you can use for leveraging this group (phone call, email, in person meetings, etc.) - LinkedIn is one and here's a prezi that will help you leverage it:
http://prezi.com/8jkvhts4ct3x/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
Building Your Network
Building your network can be scary and challenging - it is also critical for all young professionals (and professionals in general) to work on.
See slides 12 and 13 of this prezi
for tips on how to develop and deliver your speech of introduction, and make a point of attending events such as the following to help you grow your network: professional groups' meetings (similar to your area of interest), job-fairs, professional networking events/mixers, and alumni events.
Maintaining Your Network
Once you have built your network it is important that you maintain it if you hope to continue to leverage it and have it help you in the future. There are lots of things that you can do to maintain/strengthen your network, here are some relatively easy things that will help with that:

Write a positive LinkedIn recommendation/endorsement for a colleague or connection who has helped you.
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Refer connections/friends to opportunities that you come across.
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Send thank you notes/emails to people who have helped you on your job-search or in your professional growth.
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Holiday cards.
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Monthly emails to check-in and see if there's anything that you can do to help make your connections' lives easier.
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Join professional clubs/groups that your connections are part of (or invite them to join some that you're part of).
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Team Up
Career search/advancement buddies are incredibly valuable resources to have:
someone who has similar current career goals as you, who is driven, who will check in regularly and hold you accountable, and who works hard (you have to return the favor). This is a valuable asset to have for a number of reasons (you can work together, exchange best practices, connect each other with job opps, recruiters, events, etc.) - they are particularly nice to have at a career fair or professional networking event with you, knowing someone there makes it far less scarey or uncomfortable.
Target Lists
Before attending a job fair or networking event you should review the guest list and create a 'Target List' - a list of people you commit to connecting with while at the event. Your target list should consist of people who can help you in your career search in one way or another, should go with you to the event (an electronic list you can view from your phone is a good idea), and be a priority. Sometimes you may have to preregister for an event to see the guest list or contact someone responsible for hosting the event to get one.

Pro Tip: try to contact people on your target list
ahead
of time via LinkedIn, and request 15 minutes of their time to connect while at the event or following it - this can really pay off.
Personal Introduction
Don't attend a career fair or networking event if you can't confidently and concisely cover the following via conversation
What you do
What your current goals are (why you are at the event)
What you're doing to achieve your goals (in addition to attending that event)

You should also be prepared to effectively respond to the most common questions at these things, such as:
Tell me about yourself? (your personal intro addresses this question well)
What makes you special/unique?
What would you bring to my team?
What are some of your interests and hobbies?
What motivates you?
What are some of your weakness? (You should have a thoughtful response to this that doesn't make excuses for yourself, and that also isn't a BS response like "I'm just too hard of a worker".
What do you look for in an organization?

Note:
the goal of this networking events isn't to get a job offer on the spot, it's to have valuable conversations with prospective employers/connectors, that lead to you better understanding them and their opportunities and them better understanding you, your interests, and what you bring to the proverbial table. Be authentic, make it a two way conversation (ask them questions as well), and don't treat it like an interview or presentation (tends to make us nervous - which makes less effective communicators).

Also -
come with solid and thoughtful questions geared towards better understanding those you connect with, their organization(s), their opportunities, and what they're looking for in solid candidates.
Set a target goal for how many jobs you apply for a day/week, and use this to hold yourself accountable.

If you're searching for a job full-time (not working part-time), you should be shooting for about 7 to 10 solid job applications a day.

Assess the suitability/fit of a job, before applying to it (be efficient) - example?
After a Networking Event
Hi John/Jane Doe,

I hope this finds you well. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me at (insert event) on (insert date)! I enjoyed getting to know you and hearing about what you do. I would really like the opportunity to talk further - in person or via the phone - to discuss how we might benefit from working together. I have attached my resume and I'd really appreciate it if you could pass it along to anyone you feel might be interested in me as a candidate for any hiring needs they might have. Again, great to meet you and I look forward to your response.

Very Best,

(Name)
Post Initial Interview
Hi John/Jane Doe,
(send to everyone that interviewed you - and after every interview)

Thanks for taking the time to interview me today! I enjoyed getting to know you and learning more about the position and company - the more I hear about it the more excited I am about being considered for the open (insert position) and the more confident I am in my ability to succeed in the role. I look forward to hearing from you by or before (insert date - which you asked for before the interview ended and will follow-up on if you don't hear from them by). Thanks again for taking the time to interview me and have a wonderful day!

Very Best,

(Name)

Note: this is also an opportunity to address anything that you forgot to address or have thought of since the interview, for example:
"Having had some more time to think about what my most unique skill is that I'd bring to your team, I realize now that it's my ability to creatively solve problems - not my teamwork skills (though I do feel that those add value to the team as well). Given the focus that your team has on problem solving, I'm confident that I'd utilize that skill the most."
After the Final Interview
Basically the same as the previous note (obviously be sure they are slightly different) with the addition of: "If you have any questions or concerns related to me as a candidate which I can provide clarity on, please don't hesitate to reach out to me for information. Thank you again for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you regarding your decision soon."
Post Application
Dear John/Jane Doe OR Dear Hiring Manager for (Insert Position),

I hope this finds you well. I am emailing to confirm that my application for (insert position) has made it to your attention. I submitted the mentioned application via (include methodology - company website, LinkedIn, email etc.) on (include date). I am confident that I am an excellent candidate for the position and I'm very interested in it. If you could please confirm that you've received my application and provide me with any info you have regarding the next steps of the application process, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much for your time, have a wonderful day and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Very Best,

(name)
Once you've identified a handful of jobs you're interested in (this should happen daily) you need to confirm the required materials for each application and also prioritize the order in which you apply for the opportunities.

Types of Materials Required for Job Applications (have this ready before you start your search):
resumes, cover-letters, professional references, letter of interest, academic transcripts, portfolios,
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Ways to Prioritize:
apply based on which deadline comes first, apply based on what position you're most interested in, apply based on what position you're the best fit for, apply based on which job posting is the oldest, or some variety of the mentioned.
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DEADLINE FOR EVERY APPLICATION!
What to Expect
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