If you are in a job search, you probably feel overwhelmed. But do you ever wonder what you should do more of?
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
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.
The idea behind the sales funnel is that you start with a lot of potential customers (target companies) who may have heard of you or be interested in your service (job). A smaller part of that group may want to learn more, and a smaller part of that group may actually contact you.
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.
Hot leads, in my opinion, are NOT job postings from job boards. Hot leads come from referrals from your networking efforts or prospecting target companies. That’s why I have always recommended job seekers have at least 40-50 target companies. These are companies that 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 a conversation with a hiring manager or someone in that target company.
When you uncover companies that sound interesting, you’ll need to 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 hot lead 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 which 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 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.
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 buy.
How Long Does This Take?
It takes much longer than you want. Let’s put it that way.
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 sell. 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 the hire happen. And let’s not forget, there are the daily/weekly fires to put out and a multitude of other high priorities the company is facing. Adding new talent generally falls down lower on the list.
What should you do more of? Prospecting hot leads. Learning about target companies. Which means a lot more networking.
image credit to getentrepreneurial.com