Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people, from recent college grads to established executives, don’t really know how to conduct a job search, and honestly, it’s not their fault. After all, last time we checked, “How to Find a Job” wasn’t being offered as an elective (but it should be, for the record). That’s ok, though, because we’re here to help – we’ve got three proven tips to set your job search up for success (and don’t worry, we’re not just going to tell you to triple-check your work or add a cover letter to show you really mean business…).
So many people get into a panic (and they have every right to), but you want to make sure you’re being thoughtful about your next move. Otherwise, you may find yourself looking again in a few months. To help identify where you want to go, build a list of:
a. Industries that interest you
b. Companies that you could see yourself working for
c. Products that you care about
d. Basically, anything and everything that interests you
Once you’ve made your list, do some research on points A through D and identify companies that overlap (don’t forget to take location into consideration here). Now you have your “Job Search Target List”. Are there at least 50 companies on there? If not, keep thinking. Most importantly, don’t listen to anyone who tells you to cast a wide net and just apply to everything, that approach will only lead to wasted time and hundreds of unanswered applications. Stick to your list.
Where do they work now? Where have they worked in the past? Take note of this information and create a second list, and don’t forget to include who owes you a favor (you’ll need those for Step 3). Once you’ve created this view of your network, match it up against the companies on the Job Search Target List that you built in Step 1. Are there any matches? Perfect, we’re going to use those next.
Reach out to members of your network who currently or previously worked at the companies on your Job Search Target List. Start with the people who owe you favors. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask for an intro to HR. Yes, they’re doing you a favor, but there’s probably a nice bonus in it for them (See, everyone wins). Everyone struggles with this part and it's ok. Just remember that these good habits will increase your chances of success.
Next, get online and find people who work for any remaining companies on your list. Try to focus on HR or Talent, but someone from the Business side will work too. Connect with them online or send them an email introducing yourself. You’ll be surprised by how many people answer you when you take this approach. Lastly, don’t forget to follow up! People are busy and will most likely appreciate a polite reminder (you can read more about writing a winning intro email and how to follow up in our guide.
That’s our guide to kicking off a successful job search. Need more help? Join The Suite! Members can leverage a variety of tools to help effectively manage their job search process, including access to a team of search experts.