How’s Your Job Hunt Going?
If your job search needs a jumpstart, it pays to sit down and analyze your situation. Start by asking yourself questions about what you’re doing. But, be careful — the wrong questions can be harmful to your career health.
Example: Never ask yourself questions like, Why can’t I find a job? Or, Why won’t anyone hire me?
Such “Why” questions often cause your mind to give you plenty of reasons why you’re in a fix right now — you’re too old/too young/too experienced/too stupid, etc. There’s not much you can do about being young or stupid, is there? Which just leads to more frustration.
Instead, ask yourself empowering “How” questions like, How can I generate just one networking lead today? Or, How can I meet someone who works at 3M?
“How” questions lead to possible solutions like these: you could call an old buddy from high school, someone you worked with two years ago, a neighbor who works for 3M, etc.
See the difference?
Let’s follow this logic and replace two common “Why” questions with more-empowering “How” questions that can get you hired faster …
1) Why is my job search taking so long?
This common “Why” question will produce more frustration than answers. Instead, break down every aspect of your search and ask yourself this “How” question: How could I improve this?
Analyze the following:
- Where you look for job leads each day
- The resume and cover letters you send out
- Your networking activities
- Your job interview skills
If you can improve each of those areas by just 10%, you could enjoy an overall 40% increase in the effectiveness of your job search. Do that and you can’t help but get hired faster.
2) Why aren’t employers calling me?
This is another question that will generate a long list of frustrating possibilities, none of which is fun or useful to contemplate.
Instead, ask yourself, How could I get in front of more decision makers who can hire me? Answering this “How” question will encourage you take positive action. For example, you could:
- Write down the names of the 5 companies you most want to work for. Research those companies at www.ZoomInfo.com. Then, email the people in your network asking for an introduction. (This is made easier if you have a profile at www.LinkedIn.com.)
- Call 5 of the most successful people you know and ask them, “How did you get your last 3 jobs?” This gives you a double benefit:
- You will learn new ways to meet hiring managers and recruiters. That’s the obvious part.
- Your calling for advice will flatter those people, making them more likely to remember and recommend you to potential employers. This is the not-so-obvious part. Is it self-serving, too? Perhaps, but it’s not illegal or immoral is it?
- Write a blog about your industry that gets you noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. This is not a quick fix, but it’s a great way to improve your visibility and employability for the long term (you’ll find a couple of excellent articles on blogging for employment at www.CareerJournal.com/jobhunting).
- Finally, if employers aren’t calling in response to your emailed resume, it may be because they never got your resume. Spam filters are set on “Kill” these days, making email more unreliable than ever. If there’s a job you really, really want, consider sending your resume by FedEx. I know it costs a few bucks. But a FedEx envelope, addressed by name to the hiring authority, has a 100% chance of being opened. That means your resume will get read. And that’s what you want, right? Besides, if you’re applying to a carefully targeted list of employers, you won’t be FedExing hundreds of resumes — it will be more like 5 or 10. So this can be money well spent.