Why You Are Actually in the Driver’s Seat of Your Job Search
Many professionals are job searching this January. In fact, according to a recent survey, about 1 in 4 professionals are open to new job opportunities. However, once you have applied for the job and sent your resume, you may feel that you are at the mercy of hiring managers. It may almost seem difficult to set finding a new job as a goal when it feels like getting hired is up to someone else, not you. However, you have more control during your job search than you think.
To start, it’s important to create and use solid marketing materials. Your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, business cards, portfolio, and interview presentation are critical to have in place and in great shape because they enable you to present your best self to a prospective employer. You need to ensure that these materials complement each other and speak to the specific strengths that the job position requires. Doing this allows you to control your story and showcase your professional abilities.
When we work with our clients, they are glad to learn that we use a specific job search process with materials to help them in their job search. This alleviates feelings of being overwhelmed and allows them to feel much more confident about their job search and their next career move.
We also encourage our clients to take control of their job search by building a strong online presence. This includes having a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, with recommendations, and even writing articles for LinkedIn. When you have a strong online presence, this makes you more visible to hiring managers, shows you’re engaged in your job search, care about your career advancement, and makes
it more likely that they will contact you over other candidates.
Another way to take control of your job search is by identifying your strengths and soft skills, and how to articulate them in an interview. Knowing what makes you stand out from other job applicants will give you more control over negotiations. For example, if you have a specialty in running a certain program or software, coupled with “soft skills” (management skills, specific leadership strengths, etc), that makes you more valuable. And when you are valuable, you have more control.
During an interview, don’t assume that the hiring manager has all the power. You are in control of your answers and can even steer the conversation to key points you want to address. And when you are given time at the end of your interview for questions or comments, you are in control of how you use that time, asking any additional questions or highlighting any other key points that weren’t covered during the interview. The five-point checklist we use with our clients to prepare for their interview helps them prepare effectively every time.
To illustrate how you can take charge of your job search, consider this example from one of our clients. After she was declined for an interview, she contacted the recruiter and provided her with a two-column bulleted list comparison of why she was qualified for the job. The result? She got the interview and received a job offer!
Don’t be afraid to be professionally assertive and take control of your job search this year!