Quick start steps to the job hunt
The job hunt can be a daunting process. Lots of advice out there. Some conflicting. Where do you start? Here’s the most generic template I provide and hope it will be helpful for you:
Know what role you want and Update your resume for your “ideal role”
Sounds obvious, and unfortunately many don’t start here. If you are and over-eager job seeker (often new grads and new comers), you want anything and everything as long as it’s a job. If you take the time to narrow down what you want, then the job hunt becomes easier as you can focus on quality AND quantity. What often happens is that you want to apply for everything and you can’t possibly have time to tailor your applications and connections to each opportunity, so you take the generic approach which gets you quantity, but not quality. If you narrow down your search at first, that doesn’t mean that you won’t take other opportunities, but if you focus on quality, then you can work on quantity. Quality would be greatly improved by having some focus. If you have multiple roles that you want to try for, pick a “flavour of the week/month” and focus your attention on one role for that time. Then expand out when you have your quality set up.
Take a look at our common resume guidance for some assistance.
Update your social media (i.e. LinkedIn)
Social media is here to stay. LinkedIn is the current leader in professional social networks. It may go the way of MySpace, but for the foreseeable future, it’s going to be around. Plus more and more recruiters and hiring managers are turning to social media to find qualified candidates. If your LinkedIn profile is not updated and you’re not active, you might be missing out on opportunities.
Take a look at our common LinkedIn guidance for some assistance.
To “recruiter” or not to “recruiter”?
It’s up to you if you want to use a “headhunter” recruiter. Just keep in mind that their job is to fill a role, not find you a job. There are good recruiters out there. But not all recruiters are created equal.
Let your network know and work to expand and improve your network
Imagine you can double the time you have to search for jobs. Or how about 10x or more? Your network can help you do that. Letting your network know that you’re in the market can have a multiplying effect on your job hunt. Someone might know of roles that you would not have otherwise known about. Or might connect you with someone that could be of help.
Look to expand and improve your network as well. Attend networking events. When you go to an event, look to make 1 contact every 5-15 minutes. If you’re a strong and efficient networker, then you can make a goal towards the 5 mins. If you’re not as comfortable, go closer to 4 every hour. The point is to get a bit of breadth and depth should happen in a follow-up curiosity conversation. Look to attend at least 2-3 events a month and 1 curiosity conversation per week. More if you can manage. You can participate in online forums as well.
The ideal case is that your networking is already warm and you’ve built meaningful connections so that jobs are coming to you!
Take a look at our various networking posts for some assistance.
Subscribe to job sites and apply consistently
Thought this might be first? I figured setting up the channels so that others can help you with your job hunt would be important since online applications are all about the effort you put in. Subscribe to alerts on the various job sites. On company sites themselves. Make sure when you do apply that you tailor your resume.
If you’re not working, your job hunt is a full-time job. I’d recommend at least one submitted application an hour. So in an 8-hour workday, you should be submitting 8 applications. More if you can manage. What, you’re saying not enough applications came into your email box today? Well, then you need to account for the difference by networking and building meaningful connections! Can’t find more people to connect with online? How about taking your resume in hand and finding local companies that would have the role you’d want. Be creative on where those roles might be.
Take a look out our post on reverse engineering job postings for some assistance.
Practice your interview skills
Don’t wait until your interview is scheduled for 3 days from now to start practicing your interview responses! Interviewing is a skill just like riding a bike or swimming or public speaking. Some people are naturals. Others (like me) need practice. Take 15 minutes a day to answer 3-4 questions. As you become more comfortable, you can reduce the frequency and up your game to more interesting and trickier questions. And remember, practice makes perfect or permanent, whichever you prefer.
Take a look at our common interview tips for some assistance.
Reflect, be positive and consistent!
Take a look at the job search activities and find areas of improvement. Do so at least weekly, ideally daily.
The job hunt can be nerve-wracking and with multiple rejections or no responses, can also be disheartening. But keep at it, be positive and keep on going! If you follow these steps, your job hunt success will be a matter of time!
- One time:
- know which roles and companies you want to work for and prioritize
- Update your social media (including static resumes on job boards)
- Subscribe to job alerts
- Find a recruiter?
- Every (work) day:
- Connect and look to add value to at least 10 people per day; Leverage your network
- Apply to 8 jobs per day (if not that many are available then connect with 1 extra person)
- Tailor and personalize your resume for each application
- Practice 2-5 interview questions
- Keep positive and be consistent!
All these activities are important, however, if I had an extra hour in the day to spend on any one of them, I would double down on networking. In my opinion, building meaningful connections (aka networking) is by far the most effective way to secure a job. Keep in mind that building meaningful connections is a skill, so you may need to practice to make it effective.
Adapt these steps to your particular needs and happy job hunting!
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