“Oh how much I love looking for a new job,” said no one over 20 years old, ever.
The realization that you have no choice but to look for a new job can bring you back to your childhood days when you were tasked with cleaning your room or else.
As a kid, your or else meant no television. No dessert after dinner. No beating your latest Super Mario Brothers score. Now, your or else means no growth. No promotion. No income.
So that brings us back to begrudgingly looking for a new job. If your job search is like speed dating without the dates, you may be heading towards a dead end.
Here are some ways that you can help revive your job search so that you can get closer to your next career move in less time.
1. Stop the insanity.
Yes, I went all 90s Susan Powter on you. The job search process is ever-changing with the evolution of technology, business trends, and social media. Yet many will continue to do the same things over and over and expect a different result, which Albert Einstein describes as the definition of insanity.
You can’t continue to apply for jobs exactly the same way and expect an offer, or pony, to magically appear out of a 14 karat gold genie bottle.
The people that consistently get interviews are not just submitting their resumes for jobs. They are building their brand, working their network, and tweaking their job search based on feedback.
Sure, you may have a friend who landed a job with a resume done by Cousin Joe, and made no real effort other than just showing up like the old days. But putting your next opportunity in the hands of luck isn’t a plan; it’s a recipe for a long and fruitless job search.
No matter how competitive the job market is, candidates that stand out will get calls. You should be getting multiple inquiries requesting more information or an interview within three months of your job search. If this is not happening, something is wrong.
Remember, there can be a big difference between what may have worked before you started your job and what you need to do this time around. If your efforts are not pulling in any interviews or job offers, you have to adjust your approach to get results.
2. Establish a digital brand.
The most overlooked step for job seekers is thinking about their digital brand. Your digital brand is the impression you leave when someone looks up your name online.
I’ve had people say, “I’m not a business or selling anything so branding isn’t really a concern” or “I rather stay invisible online.” But the truth is that you are selling something: your unique value.
You should establish your digital brand regardless of your career status, but it’s even more important if you’re looking for a new job. Keep in mind that recruiters are going to Google your name. And trust me they will stalk you like an old ex following you and your friends around like a stray dog looking for a bone. (Okay, maybe not THAT hard, but they will look you up.)
According to CareerBuilder, the top reason for recruiters eliminating a candidate for consideration is due to a candidate’s social media activity.
You should deliberately establish a positive and consistent message about your brand online, and avoid any social media mistakes that could negatively impact your job search.
Another thing to keep in mind is that recruiters and hiring managers will also go directly to your LinkedIn profile to check out your brand. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a complete and compelling profile.
You can easily stand out from other job candidates by including additional information about your brand outside of what’s already on your resume.
Establishing and monitoring your digital brand can be a difference maker between you getting calls for interviews or not. You can set up Google alerts so that you’re aware of any new search results for your name. The key is to leave a digital footprint that says you are a job candidate worth a call and interview.
3. Invest in your personal brand.
I’ve been fortunate to work for top brands in every major industry, (retail, finance, government, and pharmaceutical), and can tell you from firsthand experience that the secret to a high-caliber career is to be a chameleon.
You have to greet change like a stare down against your childhood bully who always tried to take your chocolate chip cookies.
This means keeping your brand current and investing in yourself, whether it’s for your resume, LinkedIn profile, coaching, certifications, or even interview wardrobe.
Some would not think twice to go on vacation, get the latest iPhone, designer handbag, or whatever it is that may be considered a treat, but when it comes to something career related then it’s a different story: “Oh, I can’t afford that certification,” “I wasn’t expecting to pay that much” or “I can just do it myself”.
Doesn’t your brand deserve attention too?
Here’s the thing: Not taking the time and money to make sure you have a marketable brand may be the reason why you’re still looking for a job.
Some things may seem like an expense that you’d rather not pay for if you don’t have to, but also consider the return on your investment. You can’t expect a company to invest in you if you’re not willing to invest in yourself.
The competitive salary you will make being a highly coveted brand will more than compensate for whatever you spend to get there.
Photo by Marjan Lazarevski.
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