10 Ways to Being Focused in a Job Search
It is so easy to get active, if not hyperactive, with your job search and just as easy to get quite dispirited by it fast. This article helps you to identify the key things you need to do to stay focused and effective on and in your job hunt.
If you want more help with your job search listen to our Igniting Job Search webinar available on-demand now.
1. Make a Commitment
It is increasingly recognised that finding work is challenging. There are lots reasons for this but it is certainly true that the employment market is an overcrowded one. If you accept this, you realise the need to commit yourself to the process of job search. It is going take time and effort, but the primary issue is your commitment to being focused on the process.
2. Own It
What we mean by that is do not rely on other people to make things easy for you. Quite often you will hear job seekers bemoaning the fact that people haven’t responded to their applications or they haven’t heard back from this particular recruiter or that one. That’s just what comes with the territory; it’s what job searching is about. Continuous advances in digital technology do increase the amount of communication that goes on but they don’t necessarily increase the transparency of those communicating with you.
3. Take Responsibility
No longer should you expect anyone else to take responsibility for your work, your career or how you integrate them into your life plan. This job search is absolutely to do with you and you only. It’s up to you to take 100% responsibility for every facet of it.
4. Start Mapping
You want to map all the elements of your progress. There are some areas of job seeking that you’re going to be quite strong in. For example, you may be an excellent interviewee and presenter. Some of the things you’re not going to feel so strong in. If you can map every element of your job search, it will enable you to focus and to plan all the things you need to do.
Quite often we think we have thoroughly researched the kind of job and employer we want but when you really scrutinise what you’ve done, it becomes obvious that it’s pretty lightweight. To do your research properly, you need to understand the context within which your target organisations are operating.
- How is the overall market in the relevant segment of your chosen sector?
- How are industry competitors doing relative to the company that’s just invited you to a job interview?
- Is your potential employer in a steady state, expanding or diminishing in size?
- What do you know about the people that you may be working for and with?
These are the types of question you need to be prepared to find the answers to if you’re going to be really serious about your research.
6. Keep Growing
You may need to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and your skills. Quite often we apply for a role more in hope and expectation than because we intend to improve ourselves in order to meet the job’s requirements. If we look at the job ad and identify what new skills we need to acquire in order to do the job, if we work out how we can demonstrate to the employer our commitment to getting these skills, this increases our chances of success in the hiring process.
7. Get Ready to Impress
What you want to do is to stick out in the job market and to gain positive attention from employers. Your application to a company may be the first time they’ve heard of you. You have to prepare yourself to impress in front of them. Maybe you can make a good impression by writing a post on your blog commenting on something the organisation might have done in the press. Perhaps you can attend a conference that someone from the company will also be attending and introduce yourself to them.
8. Build Your Brand
How good is your personal brand? What are you doing about projecting your profile through the right channels and platforms? Start by signing up to LinkedIn (see our 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips and also 125 Personal Branding Tips). As the biggest professional social network in the world, it is very much the powerful influence of the day.
9. Sell Yourself Face-to-Face
How prepared are you for the initial conversations that you’re going to have with recruitment agents and employer organisations? How comfortable are you with the idea of the second and third conversations and the presentations you’ll be expected to attend and give? Put lots of work into selling your best self during these meetings (see our Sell Yourself with Confidence eBook).
10. Bring it Full Circle
Update your online profiles regularly. As soon as you write and publish your profile, the likelihood is that there will be people looking at it. Update your profile possibly every 3 months to 6 months.
Follow these steps and you’ll increase your focus on the job search, in turn increasing your chances of being successful in it.
By Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition (www.positionignition.com) and the Career Ignition Club (www.careerignitionclub.com), the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. He is also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips (http://www.positionignition.com/100-linkedin-job-search-tips). Follow him @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.