A client recently asked me “How many job applications would it take to land a new job?” It’s a good question and certainly a valid question, but unfortunately, a successful job search comes down to more than numbers.
A job seeker’s successes and outcomes are influenced by so many factors like economic climate, overall industry conditions, level of experience, available opportunities in target market and geographic locations, adaptability, ongoing motivation and so much more!
So if you are at the point where you are starting to question your expertise and marketability, let’s take a closer look at what works.
Assess your inner dialogue
Okay, this is fancy way of saying pay close attention to your self-talk and negative thoughts in your head.
- What do you believe about your job search success?
- Do you see possibilities or do you see barriers?
- Are you applying for jobs with ambivalence or enthusiasm?
Identify your flexibility factor
While it is very important to have a clear target and goal, market and economic conditions will require you to adapt your job search target and goals.
- Are there new target companies to consider?
- Can a different industry benefit from your qualifications?
- Can you achieve your career goals with two part-time or 1 full-time and a part-time job or combine two consulting projects?
Sharpen your social media and technology skills
If you have been following me for awhile, you know I don’t believe in staying glued to computer – however, we eat, sleep and breathe through technology, so employers and recruiters are just as likely to email you, contact you through LinkedIn as they would give you a call.
Get familiar and proficient with tools and resources like LinkUp, SimplyHired (interfaces with LinkedIn), Craigslist, Indeed, JobAware, and Job Compass and remember to use technology to monitor company announcements and social media activities.
Develop a system that works for you
Now there are tons of information on how to organize and structure a job search – time tables, weekly and networking goals, progress reports. All of these are great in theory, but unless it fits with your working style, these organizational tools will feel restricting to you.
- Do you work best independently, with a partner or small team?
- What methods can you employ to stay motivated or committed to the job search?
- Can you afford to and are you comfortable paying someone to execute and manage your job search?
Know your ROI factor
Every job will have its ideal list of qualifications, years of experience, degree, areas of expertise and technical skills. However, when you are in a sea of qualified candidates, being qualified for the job doesn’t help you to stand out. Consider preparing thoughtful, value-driven answers to the following questions:
- Why should companies hire you?
- What are employers getting (that is critical to their business success) from you as an employee?
- What can they count on achieving through you in the first 6, 9, and 12 months on the job?
- What examples of innovative business solutions, initiatives or strategies can you point to?
Employers want real results and real talk, not fluff!
Be honest about your time management
Doing activities and doing activities that produce effective results are two different things. Staying in front of the computer for hours and hours does not mean your job search time was well spent. Neither is submitting 30 online applications or attending 15 career fairs in a week. Unless you have job search strategy that determines the best use of your time, you will be going in circles.
- What efforts are you putting into online and offline networking that lead back to your target companies?
- Are maximizing LinkedIn to find contacts for your target companies?
- Are you avoiding the endless cycle of resume tweaking and editing?
Don’t neglect or overlook personal/self-care
A stressed mind cannot think straight or operate effectively – make sure that you have balance with your job search activities.
- Incorporate exercise to keep you energized and sharpen your mind.
- Don’t abuse your body with unhealthy foods and sugary drinks that can keep you sluggish and unfocused.
- Remember to stay connected and engaged with others – every conversation shouldn’t be about your job search, but social activities are important.
- If you are a spiritual person, maintain those activities that keep you vibrant and centered in the spirit.
I wish there was a magic number I could give that told you how many steps or activities lead to a new job, but it takes time, patience, commitment, work, diligence, focus and sacrifice. Some of my clients have landed jobs anywhere from a week to a month to 6 months – they had the right tools and used them effectively.