I had an opportunity earlier this year to interview Jeff, a job seeker whose career included eight years at a startup followed by four years at a Fortune 500 company. Earlier in 2018, he decided to test the job search waters again.
He landed several interviews within weeks and a job in just two months. This is the strategy that worked for him:
Job Search Prep
“The first thing I did was pull up my resume. I had neglected to keep it up for the past four years,” Jeff said. “I knew I needed to revise what I had and frame it in a way that told my story — and I really struggled to do this.”
Jeff found a writer (me) to work with during his job search. During our interview, he revealed he needed someone who could hear his story and be objective about his career. He was looking to create a resume and LinkedIn profile that told not just what he did day in and day out but also that could explain his accomplishments.
Targeted and Methodical vs. Spray and Pray
“I relied heavily on my personal connections,” he explained. He created a list of four primary companies that would be his first choice to join, and then a second list of three with similar aspects to the first. “I was targeted AND methodical,” Jeff told me, “I didn’t want to take a ‘spray and pray’ approach.”
Wishing to stay within the confines of companies where he felt he might be a good fit and could be successful, Jeff explained he did quite a bit of research and homework to get background around what the company had done and where it was going.
For four of the companies on his list, it turned out Jeff knew people who worked there. “I definitely reached out to them to get intel on working at these companies,” he said.
“From there, I dovetailed to look at the company’s online presence, and review the jobs they had posted,” Jeff went on to explain. “I also reviewed hiring trends and financials for public companies.”
“I didn’t job search on a daily basis but rather, on a weekly basis,” he said. “Every week, I’d evaluate where I was in my search. Then, on a bi-weekly basis, I would make sure to be at the top of their inbox or voicemail, even if there was no movement.”
This approach allowed Jeff to show companies and recruiters he was still interested, ensured he remained top of mind and allowed him to gauge if he was a viable candidate. “I stayed on top of things without being highly aggressive,” Jeff explained.
Working With Recruiters
For this job search, Jeff knew the recruiters from his current role probably wouldn’t work. Instead, he established new recruiter relationships by locating people he knew with similar skills as his own. “Getting those people to refer me to recruiters, and having them vouch for me and my skills, made the process much easier.”
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– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW
Virginia Franco Resumes | www.virginiafrancoresumes.com | VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com