You’re a seasoned professional and it has been at least 3 years since you needed to look for a new position, and the last time you changed jobs you were either recruited for the position or referred by someone you know.
Fast forward to the present; you’re unemployed, recruiters are not returning your phone calls, and today many of the people who recommended you for jobs in the past are your direct competition.
You have done your homework, gotten outplacement advice, and read every book there is, however I think you may need to hear this one more time to get it right, because there is no margin for error in conducting a job search in today’s economy.
So here is some strategic advice on how to kick your job search into high gear.
1. Don’t go fishing: Target where you want to go. Before you do anything you need to know what positions you qualify for in this new economy and make some tough decisions. Do you want to stay in the same field, or, better yet, can you? Where are you going, is your next job a step up, a step down or a lateral move. What do you want it to be and what is realistic financially, emotionally and career wise?
2. Define and promote a Personal Brand: Your job search is worthless if you cannot see your value to a new employer and devise creative ways to get this message across on paper, in person, and through all means of new social media. What is your specialty? Is it making money, saving money, is it your soft skills, like leadership and management style, your contacts, or hard skills like accounting, closing deals, or strategic planning? Get a tag line that describes you and make it your brand. Here is an example:
Senior Executive l Business Operations – Distribution – Logistics
‘Expert in driving a business from where it is to where management wants it to be’
3. Get a Marketing Document instead of a Resume: This is a document that showcases and validates who you are and why it pays for a recruiter or decision-maker to pick up the phone and call you to schedule an interview. It should be produced in a style and format that is best suited to your field, your level and your personality without looking like a boilerplate document, and it should contain a mission statement, and at least 2 solid endorsements that will verify that you are as good as or better than you claim to be.
4. Round out your Portfolio: You should have a One-Page Networking Bio; a social media presence that lets people see the total package you can deliver, and establish yourself as a subject matter expert on numerous topics within your field and industry.
5: Take your job search seriously: This means being honest with yourself and others about where you are willing to make compromises and where you are inflexible. It means trusting others to help you and not being a Lone Wolf. It means investing in your future and not being shortsighted about what you can and can’t do on your own.
6: Talk to an expert: Get advice advice and assistance in evaluating where you stand at this point and what it will take to get on the right path.