One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA. Oh, sure... we're not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is...
With valentines around the corner, it reminds us of how the job market is a lot like dating. Be prepared for some rough-and-tumble times as you’ll have to really put yourself out there to find the right match. But like all things that take time, it’s worth it in the end.
After all, it’s really about relationships. And it’s important to be mindful of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. In the job search, you’ve got to network purposefully: identify individuals expected to have access to desirable connections and opportunities, and develop a relationship focused on mutual support, not just focused on leads. The more people who know what you know, the faster the path to a new job.
Modern success requires game-changing activities. A few confidential calls to eager headhunters, several smartly placed online profiles and some finely tuned resumes circulating discretely won’t lead to a calendar overbooked with interview appointments anymore. So what will? Intentionally scouting out key players.
Outlined below is a job-search plan that will accelerate your progress and land you in a new role faster by creating an effective go-to-market strategy.
What traits do you seek in your ideal companion/ employer?
Determine characteristics of your target employer, and describe companies where you would like to work or whose employees can refer you to opportunities. Beyond target employers, create a potential networking target list of individuals who may be able to make valuable referrals to job leads.
What does your ideal companion/ employer look for in someone?
Describe where your abilities and knowledge intersect with each target employer’s needs, and show how you will satisfy these requirements. Individualize campaign communications (resume, letters of introduction and elevator pitch) for each target employer or contact. Identify your outstanding strengths and credentials, and match them to the needs of each individual target company.
Concentrate on similar interests.
Detail distinguishing characteristics that separate you from competitors (e.g., background, connections, passion or unique experiences). Describe your unique value contribution using quantifiable terms to show remarkable influence and quantified impact. Individualize campaign communications (resume, letters of introduction, elevator pitch) for each target employer or contact.
Interested in learning more on how to pinpoint your next employer? Look out for more tips on producing successful job search results in next month’s article.