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Finding a new job isn’t easy. If it were no one would keep working for a boss they don’t like. But there are things you can do to make your job search more productive.
And a more productive job search leads to a faster, smoother, less stressful transition. Here are five simple, although not necessarily easy, ways to find a new job.
Don’t Stop Looking
It can be tempting to slow down or even stop your job search completely once you think you’ve a job on the line. You may have sailed through several interviews. Met your future boss’s boss and the team you’ll be managing. It may be down to a final interview which is “merely a formality” or so you think.
But you never know what can happen. A new candidate may be introduced into the mix. A job may suddenly lose funding. I’ve seen it happen more than once.
When I was working as a recruiter my client loved my candidate. They had a few great meetings. He even asked her to fly to corporate headquarters for one final meeting. It was assumed all around that this was only a formality.
We were all wrong. A few days later, much to the hiring manager’s dismay, the company decided they were not going to fill the position after all.
So always keep looking until you have a job offer. In writing.
Always Be Open
If a recruiter contacts you respond even if you’re not looking. First, you never know when your dream job will fall in your lap. Second, it’s good to make those connections before you need them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t do this. Last week I was talking to a woman who was out networking because she had a feeling she might be losing her job. As we talked about her work she mentioned that she’s regularly contacted by recruiters. When I asked about what they had to offer, she explained that she never responded because she wasn’t looking.
While you may not want to take job interviews when you’re not looking it’s always a good idea to nurture your relationships before you need them. That means talking to recruiters from time to time and going to networking events before you need a new job.
Most people don’t worry about things like having an updated resume ready to send out at a moment’s notice. But, they should.
It’s a good idea to update your resume every six months or so. Otherwise, if you need a resume right away you may find yourself out of luck.
First, if you’re writing your own resume it’s always going to take longer than you expect. Second, if you decide to hire some professional help you may end up working with a resume mill that churns out resumes in a few hours. The best resume writers will collaborate with you to develop an achievement-based resume that showcases your unique talents. That’s something that takes time.
Ask for Help
Some people are embarrassed about being out of work. Particularly if they were let go or have been unemployed for a while. Don’t be. Ask for help.
Most people are happy to lend a hand if they can. The best way you can help them help you is to be specific about what you’re looking for. Don’t tell your friends you’re looking for a job. Any job. Tell them you’re looking for a senior marketing position, director level or higher, with a media company or you’re looking for an accounting position with a CPA firm that specialized in audits.
Develop a list of your target companies. Ask your friends if they know anyone who works at any of your target employers. The more specific you are the easier it will be to get assistance that will actually help you. Just make sure you ask your friends for permission before dropping their names. Some folks prefer to help anonymously.
Always think yes. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. To stick with your plan. But a good plan always has room for improvement.
If someone asks if you’d like an introduction to their friend who works for XYZ company. Say yes. Even if you have no interest in working for XYZ company. That doesn’t mean that you should spend two hours at lunch but a phone call may be worth your while.
Stay away from “it’s not for me” thinking too. I’ve been told by many job seekers that twitter is not for them. Why not? I’ve met people who have become friends and business colleagues through twitter and Facebook. What begins online can develop into more if you work at it.
The message in each of these tactics is to keep your options open. Keep looking until you actually have a job offer. Have your resume ready just in case. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You never know when the next great opportunity will come your way.