In the job search? Here are the top four ways of landing a new job. You can also look at these as four tactics to shorten your job search.

Are you ready for the most effective ways of finding a new job? Drum roll please.

 

How to Shorten Your Job Search

How to Shorten Your Job Search – © 2016 Elizabeth Craig, President, ELC Global LLC

 

Did you notice what’s missing from this list? Probably your preferred way of finding a new job – applying to online job postings. The path of least resistance is the most attractive option to all of us at first glance. But when we examine the level of return for pursuing the path of least resistance, it becomes far less appealing. It’s the difference between setting aside money each month in a savings account making negligible interest and developing a careful investment strategy with your financial adviser. You’ll have a far greater return on your investment if you do that than you would by mindlessly putting money in a savings account week after week. The same theory applies to the job search. Applying to job postings from any device will definitely feel like you’re doing something, but you’ll find yourself in the job search for much longer than if you integrate any of the above into your job search strategy.

It is a well documented fact that only 20% of jobs are filled through job boards and 80% of jobs are filled through word of mouth, your personal network, company insiders, etc. In other words you will spend a lot of energy sending out cover letters and resumes in response to online job postings for very little return. It doesn’t matter how well your expert resume writer transforms your resume and cover letter. Applying online isn’t even listed in the top four because it is so ineffective.

Let’s examine each of the four ways to shorten your job search.

#1 Networking – Developing Your Own Salesforce

Many people fail to see the value in their personal network as a way to shorten their job search. If you educate your network effectively they become your personal sales team advocating for you within their own business and personal networks. They know you. They are willing to help. They share the value you bring during conversations with decision makers.  Look at your business and personal network. Identify people of influence and people within companies you want to work for and start connecting with them for informational interviews. Enlist your network’s help in your job search. Don’t be shy. And remember this axiom when networking – Givers Gain! Be ready to offer help to those who are willing to help you. Find out if there is a way you can help them currently, i.e. by recommending a reliable service provider, skilled trades person, etc.

#2 Target Market to Top Firms You Want to Work For

Taking your self-marketing materials, i.e. your resume, career bio, cover letter, etc. directly to the companies you want to work with is a great tactic as well and can be tied into tactic #1. Identifying people within your network who work at companies you’re targeting and asking them who you should reach out to at their company can be invaluable. LinkedIn can be a big help with this as well. If you don’t have a first connection at a company you’re targeting, look for second connections and then request introductions to those people so they become first connections. Schedule informational interviews with them. Ask them if they would be willing to hand off your resume or who you should connect with so you can drop off your resume and cover letter.

#3 Job Clubs

Job clubs exist everywhere. You can find them on meetup.com, on Craigslist, through the local unemployment office and business incubators. Connecting with others in your same situation can be encouraging and motivating. Members of these clubs share job search best practices, resources, introductions, etc. And keep in mind joining one of theses groups is more effective than sitting alone applying for jobs online.

#4 Recruiters and Staffing Agencies

Lastly, we see that recruiters and staffing agencies can be highly effective ways of getting that new job. You should be cultivating relationships with recruiters within your industry and with staffing agencies. It is like enlisting another set of eyes and ears into your job search. I do not recommend staking all of your hope on these relationships, however. Sometimes job seekers place greater importance on recruiters than is warranted in the job search. Remember they are not working for you. They are working for the company they are recruiting for. The person paying their bills will always supersede your wants or needs.

Applying for jobs online should be a last resort or utilized only if you don’t need to find a job quickly. The typical job search takes about eight months currently. Can you afford that? If so, keep on applying online. If not, start investing in your future with these tactics and see how they pay off.

The best is yet to come,

Michelle

P.S. I am grateful to my colleague Elizabeth Craig for sharing the infographic with me.

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