Imagine that you could interview 100 job seekers to discover what techniques they’ve been using – and what results they’ve gotten – before starting to look for your next job. You’d have a chance to find out what works, and what doesn’t. If you spent enough time and paid attention to the detail, you could even find out which techniques work the fastest, require the least effort and land the highest paying jobs.
Would it save you hours of time, as well as headaches and stress? Would it give you an advantage over other workers competing for the same jobs? Is it possible that you’d even be better off financially, since you could get that next pay raise faster?
We think so. In fact, we’ve already done the interviews here at Catch Your Big Break over the last few years. We observed what worked (and what didn’t) for over 100 clients who came to our business looking for help, and here’s what predicted a longer, harder search process. Heed the warnings and you can take action to improve your results.
1. You don’t get feedback when you fail.
When clients first come to us, we interview them about their results at a number of different points in the job search process. How many applications have they sent out? What many interviews have they had, either by phone or in person? Have they been called back for follow-up interviews?
Next, we ask clients if they’ve gotten any specific feedback about what they can do to improve their results. Often, clients tell us that they’ve never thought to ask an interviewer for feedback, or that they sent a short email asking for feedback and never heard back. By contrast, our most successful clients come in with numbers in hand. They’ve sent out 50 applications in the last 90 days, and they’ve been called in for 6 interviews. They made it to one second-round interview, but didn’t get the job. When I ask them what they think they can do to improve, they quote specific people. We hear “one of my old mentors told me that I needed to revise my resume to include … ” or “I followed up with the recruiter who set me up for the interview, and she said …” These are the clients that get hired first!
2. You conduct a sequential search, rather than a parallel search.
We know a client is in trouble when we hear them saying things like “I’m waiting to see if Company A calls me in for another interview, and I’ll meet with the recruiter for Company B if they don’t.” On the other hand, our most successful candidates keep moving at all times. They don’t wait around for something to happen; they go make things happen. By keeping several irons in the fire, they’re never at a loss for opportunities. The result is that they get faster feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.
How much time do you spend waiting for something to happen so that you can decide what to do next? If you’re waiting for something right now, is there anything else you can do in the meantime? How many applications have you sent off this week? If you’re unemployed and actively looking for work, the number should be 3-5. It’s okay to be selective, but don’t let that be an excuse for inaction.
3. You don’t outsource enough of your search activities.
Simply put, the best and most effective job-seekers recruit a whole team of people to help them with their job search. They talk with close friends and family members to describe in detail the job titles they want, as well as the specific companies where they want to work. They upload their resumes to online job boards and carefully review the daily or weekly emails those websites send out about new job opportunities. And they take whatever steps necessary to connect with colleagues, recruiters and coaches who can help. These people don’t only work with the job-seeker; they work for them in a certain sense. They multiply the amount of time dedicated to job search activities, and the result is that new job opportunities come to them faster.
Who can you recruit to support you in your job search? Identify your support team by name and job title. Take a minute to post their name(s) below, and then write them a short email requesting their help.