With massive layoffs occurring regularly, it is clear now more than ever that nothing is guaranteed! Starting a job search for a new position can be daunting. But, it is also an opportunity to make sure your life is headed in the direction you intended upon finishing school.
That’s why it is crucial to have a plan when trying to secure a job. Hoping your dream job will just fall into your lap is not a strategy. You have to actively pursue it!
Before you begin your executive job search, be sure to do a little soul searching and re-confirm your personal goals. Ask yourself these questions to help you figure out where your life is headed:
- What motivates me? Identifying what motivates you will allow you to focus your attention on positions that will satisfy your inner drive to succeed, leading you to ultimate job satisfaction.
- What am I truly gifted at doing? Really take the time to nail down your skills that will benefit a company. Are you excellent at selling people on your ideas? Can you write computer code as easily as I’m typing this blog? Identifying your strengths will give you a better idea of the industries and roles you would excel in.
- In what areas could I improve? Knowing your weaknesses is as important as knowing your strengths. Once you identify them, you will be able to actively improve them through a course, training, mentoring, etc.
- What do I like doing? It is so important to like what you do. If you love talking with people, don’t actively pursue a job that has you sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day. Find a job that plays to your strengths and will allow you to be happy in your position.
Hopefully these questions will give you some guidance as to a general field and position in which you want to work. The next step involves finding companies that do what you want to do. Spend some quality time doing research and find the top companies where you can see yourself making a difference. Don’t stop at just learning about the companies. Go the extra mile and see what employees are saying about working there. Websites such as glassdoor allow you to read reviews from current and past employees of thousands of companies.
While doing your research, find out who the decision makers are when it comes to hiring (no, we don't mean recruiters or HR). Sites like LinkedIn will be a great resource for this type of information. Knowing who to talk to when you want to find a job is invaluable. Get as much of their contact info as possible. It is much easier to go straight to the source rather than bouncing around from one person to another in your effort to just get your resume read.
The last step is probably the most important of them all (and it's the one most recruiters won't mention). Pick up the phone and call the company!
With the convenience of modern day technology, people have become far too comfortable hiding behind email and blind resume submissions. This strategy is full of holes. First, unless you get a direct response, you can never be sure the email (or your resume) was delivered to the recipient’s inbox rather than their spam folder. Second, emails are easily ignored. There is no guarantee it will even be opened. Third, and this might sting a little bit, it’s cowardly. If you really want your dream job, pick up the phone and call until someone answers. Believe me, you will stick out in the mind of an employer if you are one of the few (<1%) who fearlessly takes the extra step and expresses their desire verbally rather than in an email.