If you haven’t conducted a job search in a while, you may think that given the unprecedented times we find oursleves in that everything’s different. Here’s what you need to know for effective career management today:
- In addition to an accomplishments-based résumé, you will need a strong LinkedIn profile, as anyone looking to hire will check out your profile on this site, often even before contacting you.
- Recruiters / hiring managers will also be looking at your overall on-line profile, so make sure your Facebook page and any other social media sites represent you in a way that would be attractive v. off putting to a potential employer.
- Recruiters and Human Resources professionals are squeezed between many applicants for every job and the demand by harried hiring managers to see only the “best” candidates. Initial screening of credentials happens quickly (average 15 seconds) to eliminate anyone whose credentials aren’t as perfect a fit as possible. To ensure your application makes it through the first round, cover letters must “connect the dots” between their requirements and your qualifications.
- A tight and volatile job market means more scrutiny in the hiring process, which is compounded by the need to conduct all interviews virtually via phone or platforms like Zoom / Skype. This means you will need to be fully prepared for virtual interviewing, a new skill set for many applicants (and interviewers).
- Many organizations are grappling with hiring dilemmas based on the need for work to be performed paired with budgetary limitations and uncertainty about the future of their markets. As a result, you can expect longer wait times for initial contact (often a phone screening by HR or a recruiter), multiple interviews and delays in decisions.
What hasn’t changed:
- People get hired because they can help organizations solve specific problems, so make sure you can articulate your value proposition in written and spoken form.
- Advertised positions–whether in print or on-line–represent only about 10-15% of hiring activity, so don`t spend more than that percentage of your job search time and energy on this channel. Set up career alerts on job boards and with companies of interest so posted positions come to you, v. wasting time checking to see if there’s “anything new.”
- Recruiters–whether internal or external–account for no more than 10-15% of hiring, so don`t spend too much time chasing them. Send your résumé to all recruiters who work in your industry or field so you get into their database– where they start when they’re looking for candidates. Don’t bother calling them: if they see a potential fit, they’ll call you.
- The highest percentage of hiring results from some sort of personal contact, so make networking-related activities (research, targeting, developing contacts, informational interviewing, follow-up) comprise at least 75% of your job search. While you will need to master doing this virtually, the most effective networking continues to be 1:1 conversations v. networking events. That said. Do take advantage of Zoom “meetings” as a way to expand your current network.
If you’ve been out of the market for a while and are want to or have to conduct a search for new work in these challenging times, 2BDetermined can help.
Day Merrill, M.A., is the founding Partner and Career/Executive Coach for 2BDetermined. She is a 30-year career services professional with expertise coaching individuals and teams on a range of career and work-related topics as well as consulting to organizations in Canada and the U.S. on their workforce development needs. Day holds a B.A. from Connecticut College, a Master of Arts from Wesleyan University and has completed Coach U’s coach certification training.