Do you want to feel in control during your job search? Here’s how to run a proactive job search where you drive your activities and find opportunities that will match what you are looking for in your next job.
There is such a thing as “burn out” in job search? Just as you overworked yourself in your job, so can you over-work yourself in job search.
So I’m not suggesting you work harder. I’m proposing a solution to help you work smarter.
You want to run a proactive job search.
And you also want to apply your time and energy appropriately and focus on the activities with a higher rate of return. What does this mean you should do more of?
Allow me to introduce the sales funnel.
You may have heard of the sales funnel. But for those of you who haven’t or aren’t familiar with sales, this concept could be a game-changer.
The Sales Funnel = Proactive Job Search
Do you see how the top of the funnel is bigger than the bottom? That’s because it takes many more “hot leads” to generate “new customers.”
I realize you aren’t looking for new customers. You’re looking for a new job. Here’s how the sales funnel applies to your job search.
You start with a lot of potential customers (target companies) which ultimately leads to those who may want to become new customers (job).
In order for the target companies to become aware and interested in you, you’ll need to define what opportunities may exist, either now or in the future, and then create a proposal (resume) to address their needs.
As the process goes on, you’re talking to fewer people who are more interested, until you end up with the people who hire you.
Leads, in this case, are NOT job postings from job boards. Leads come from referrals from your networking efforts or prospecting target companies. That’s why I recommend job seekers have at least 40-50 target companies. These are companies that you are interested in and have been known to hire the role you desire.
As you pursue these hot leads, you are assessing whether or not they are viable opportunities for you. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. The only way you can find this out is to have conversations with people who work in that target company and hopefully a hiring manager.
When you uncover companies that sound interesting, you’ll need to stay in touch with them systematically. Nurture that relationship to stay top of mind and build a sense of trust. (Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust!)
Based on your assessment of the opportunities and its viability for you, you will create a proposal (resume). All of your fact-finding, research and conversations should allow you to write a compelling proposal that addresses the specific needs of the organization with the hot lead.
Without information, it is going to be very difficult to write a compelling resume. How will you gather data? Networking.
Another reason your job hunt may not be doing well is that you are using a generic resume. This doesn’t address the unique needs of your future employer. A one-size-fits-all resume can’t connect the dots of your past experience so that the company can easily see how you offer the right fit or solution. Learn more about today’s modern resumes.
If your resume and presentation (job interview) meet the needs of the company, then they become your new customer. In other words, if they think they can’t live without your services, they will be tempted to extend you an offer, either for an existing job or one they create just for you.
How Long Does This Take?
It takes much longer than you want. Let’s put it that way. But it doesn’t necessarily take longer than applying to posted jobs.
The good news is that using the sales funnel, you are in control of your job search. There are as many opportunities as there are target companies on your list.
This proactive, targeted approach also allows you to tap into the hidden job market. Because as you know, not all jobs are posted on job boards. Especially those at senior levels.
So how long will it take you to uncover the hot leads? In other words, how long will it take you to identify at least 40-50 target companies? How aggressive will you be in following up on referrals and requests for meetings with people within your target companies? How well are you using your network?
In sales, the more expensive items take longer to close. The same is true with hiring.
A salary is a high-ticket item for the company. That is one reason it takes companies so long to make close the deal. And let’s not forget, people doing the hiring also have daily/weekly fires to put out and a multitude of other high priorities to address. Adding new talent generally falls down lower on the list.
What should you do more of?
In order to run a proactive job search, you’ll want to prospect hot leads. Learn about what target companies need. And be a known entity. All of this means a lot more networking.
image credit to getentrepreneurial.com
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.