Unemployed? Stop Wasting Time.
written by Margo Rose
The job search process is at times daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. When I was an outplacement consultant I suggested the following concepts to my clients. Looking for a job is like a competitive event. The job search athletes who learn to employ the best strategies shorten their transition time and win.
The five best practices that most professionals employ include:
* Responding to published openings on job boards, linkedin, twitter, and facebook
* Working with recruiters
* Contacting companies directly either through their web page, or connecting with an insider
* Locating a “bridge” into that target company.
This week, I want to address how to go after what you seek, and how NOT to waste time.
According to The Blue Harbor Group, and Right Management Consulting (the outplacement firms I worked for) suggested the following percentages of time you should spend in the activities listed above. Keep in mind these are just averages.
=Networking/locating the bridge contact into the target company 70%-80% 28 to 32 hours per week
=Responding to ads via the web 5%-15% 2.5 to 7.5 hours per week
=Working with recruiters 10%-20% 5 to 10 hours per week
=Contacting companies directly 5%-15% 2.5 to 7.5 hours per week
Now these are industry averages according to my research. I would update the above by investing more time into contacting companies directly. How do you get to company contacts? That’s where leveraging your network comes into play. Most jobs are found through networking: gathering information leading to job leads by talking to friends, colleagues on linkedin, twitter, facebook, even former managers and professors can be helpful. Professional associations can be a boon for networking, many offer industry specific job boards.
Develop a brief “elevator” pitch that describes what you do and the results you can provide. I’d be happy to help you with this (please send me an email). It helps to have someone listen to or read your elevator pitch before you give it. I know this might sound corny, but I used to practice mine in the mirror until I got comfortable delivering in groups. I used to teach The Essentials of Public Address at Wright State University, and I often suggested practicing in the mirror, or tape recording your speech. It gives you immediate feedback, and practice is healthy.
The key issue in any job search is the challenge of where to focus your time. The obvious answer is working your network to help you to reach the bridge contacts at the companies where you want to work. While job boards can be a great source to find out who’s hiring, the next best step is to ask your network if they know someone in the company that’s advertising the position.
Recruiters can be extremely helpful to you as well, particularly if your skills meet the requirments of the position they are trying to fill. Just be aware that the best leads are going to come from people you already know. Contacting companies directly is also a good idea. My colleague suggests calling and asking for the name of a manager in the department where you want to work. Call this person, give them your elevator pitch, and reassure them that you are seeking industry specific information. I like to let people off the hook by letting them know I don’t expect them to know of a position. You’d be surprised at how many people are responsive to cold calls. Of course, it is better when your bridge contact can warm things up for you. However; we are in a recession. Being unemployed is often considered a badge of honor in this economy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, most people realize they could very well find themselves in the same position. Prepare by visiting the company website. Develop a list of relevant questions that will guide your search.
I realize there might be some blow back posting this to recruiting blogs. As someone who is interested in securing a job as a recruiter-I still suggest that jobseekers spend time cultivating their own network. Our job as recruiters is to seek the right person for the right job we are trying to fill. So, please be patient with me.
There are but a few strategies that will help you manage your time. I am always available to you via email firstname.lastname@example.org for follow me on twitter @HRMargo
Thank you, I sincerely hope you found this helpful.