Companies are always hiring, even during a recession. However, there will be fewer jobs during a bear market and the competition for these positions will be more intense. In such a scenario, it is only sensible to use job search tactics which provide the maximum success rate. This is especially so, if you have limited amount of time and resources at your disposal.
So what are the most effective ways for conducting a job search? They are mentioned below. These percentages refer to the number of people out of every 100, who find a job using only that method.
1) Job leads from friends, colleagues and other contacts: 33%
2) Directly approaching an employer (hiring manager) that interests you in-person or over the phone: 47-60%
These methods are certainly more successful as compared to some of the tactics we listed inour article “Least successful ways to look for a job” (e.g. 5% for job boards). However, the real benefit comes from using an integrated approach, which is by far the most effective way to look for a job. The success rate improves dramatically to ~85% by using this approach:
Step 1: Career discovery
- a) Preparing a comprehensive profile: Of your personality, interests, values, beliefs, skills, past experience and goals/constraints. Basically, a detailed representation of ‘who you are’
- b) Identifying ideal career/job possibilities: This involves matching ‘who you are’ with ‘what you do’. At the end of the exercise you should have a list of actual jobs and companies where you would be an ideal fit
Step 2: Prepare a personal marketing plan
o Customised plan to market yourself to your ideal ‘customer’ i.e. potential employers
o This is based on the work done in step 1
o It enables you to effectively showcase and convince employers why you are right for the job
Step 3: Use proactive job search tactics, personal contacts and networking to reach people who have the power to hire you
o Target both the published and unpublished job markets
o Effectively reach the people who can hire you for positions you are considering
o Supplement with a few other methods such as head-hunters, job boards and so on. However, do not spend too much time on these.
The reasons why this approach is so successful is simple. One of the big challenges hiring managers constantly face, is to recruit the right person for the job and to ensure that they retain this person. By targeting jobs/companies for which you are the right fit, you make the hiring manager’s job much easier. In your resume, interviews and other communication, using inputs from your personal marketing plan ensures that you can effectively show why you are the best person for the job. And finally, by using contacts/networking you access the unpublished job market (in addition to the traditional job market) which broadens the number of good jobs you can target.
As with all good things in life, this approach requires a bit of effort, which is systematic and organised.
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