The Dos and Don’ts When Looking for a Position
It can be confusing and somewhat discouraging to look for a new position. Many people feel overwhelmed and simply don’t know where to start. Let’s face it, most of us don’t make a career of finding a job, and there are many hurdles to get over.
No matter where you start tactically, I recommend considering a strong business strategy backgrounder. Here are some dos and don’ts when looking for your next position:
DO: Start with a job search strategy.
Write down your accomplishments; make sure you can back up career homeruns with bottom-line results such as revenue growth, team building or organizational changes that drove results.
People are always asking me to evaluate their resume. Understand that your resume is simply a written summary that should be easy to evaluate and interpret by future business colleagues. Resumes don’t get people jobs. But your replies to the questions it provokes could. Make your resume work within the above strategy you craft.
DON’T: Assume networking sites are for personal use only.
Social networking sites have hidden land mines, so utilize these tools with discretion and understand the culture of the community. According to CNN, 34 percent of hiring managers chose not to hire a candidate based on what they found in profiles. Future employers are looking for candidates who will fit their culture, therefore controversial information such as inappropriate photographs on Facebook are evidence of poor communication skills and lack of maturity.
Networking sites are often viewed by recruiters and hiring managers looking for active and passive candidates, so make sure that your profile is updated and positive.
DO: Seek out executive recruiters.
Seek out the best recruiters in your industry, because good recruiters usually will give you a lead, advice and at the very least keep you on the radar for the next appropriate position.
Send your information to appropriate executive search firms and follow up with them every couple of months either via email or phone call. Don’t get down if they don’t get back to you – they simply don’t have a position that matches your profile.
Build your relationships with worthy recruiters who will keep an eye out for people they know and who have taken the time to get to know them.
DON’T: Bad mouth your boss and/or colleagues.
It’s off-putting and sends a red flag to prospective employers. Most hiring managers are viewing sites and looking for people that have positive comments about past social and business experiences. This includes online mentions. Hiring managers use social networking sites to quickly gain a well-rounded view of potential candidates. According to ComputerWorld, “22 percent of employers said they already pursue social networks to screen candidates, while an additional 9 percent said they are planning to do so.”
DO: Know thy self.
The candidates who land jobs understand value, crafting the best strategy that communicates that value and how to assert a winning attitude. How can you be one of those candidates? Know thy self – understand how your skills and qualifications relate to the position you are applying for. Then write a brief, to-the-point cover letter stating what value you bring and how it relates to the company and their needs.
DON’T: Be discouraged.
If a recruiter doesn’t call you back it doesn’t mean you’re not right for their niche, but they work for companies that hire them to find talent to identify specific profiles.
DO: Talk about solutions.
Refer to industry trends and ask for a meeting to talk about future growth; dare to be smarter and talk about business problems and solutions.
DON’T: Just push send.
The internet is a rocky road and can be a big waste of time if you’re not focused. Please don’t press send before looking up the company, do your homework and understand business needs.
Searching for a position is work, and work takes effort and a lot of time. It’s easy to be discouraged in this market, but hiring managers can only find you if you are putting yourself out there. You need to be vigilant in keeping up with specific job boards, networking communities, friends and past colleagues. Talk about business solutions by asking pertinent questions. Know the company and marketplace before sending your resume. Keep your profile professional and updated and don’t lose heart, you will find a position.