Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Albert Einstein credited with saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."
Now I don't believe consistency is insanity, but if you are failing to make any substantial difference, especially in your job search, then it might be time to try something new.
As humans, we are creatures of routine. Sometimes it can take a consistent slew of rejection and knockbacks before we start to question how our habits and rituals are stopping us from obtaining a new job or getting that well-deserved promotion.
Even the most spontaneous of us still rely on reactive strategies to gain favour in the job market. So if you are reading this right now and your job search has hit a wall, realise that you can do something different today that will enable you to start seeing results tomorrow.
You can take inspiration from one of my dedicated coaching clients. Danielle had enough of waiting by the telephone, so we put together a job search strategy that resulted in her landing seven virtual first stage interviews, six call-backs to sit a second stage, and drumroll 3 Job offers! All during an unplanned pandemic.
Off course Danielle had to say "YES" to one job offer, she is now a Senior Marketing Manager for a large international company which is a step up in responsibilities and a 55% increase in salary from her previous role.
Listed are some of the career strategies Danielle implemented to achieve her dream job.
1. Quality Outbound Content
When nobody is coming to you, what do you do? It has never been easier to share your skills and talents and how to leverage them to gain an advantage. Start creating high-level content that offers value to prospective employers—paying particular attention to create organic content that reflects their most urgent needs.
Here is how creating relevant content worked for Danielle.
Danielle, like many other job seekers, had got complacent in her job search. Pre COVID 19 head-hunters and recruiters were continually hitting up her LinkedIn profile to tempt her with lucrative job requisitions. The economic impact of the pandemic had a dramatic effect on her hiring status. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and going into panic mode, Danielle focused on what she does best creating engaging and relevant content.
Creating, sharing and providing educational topics helps to establish you as a thought leader and someone who can be trusted to take on extra responsibility. It also encourages other professionals to share your content as they too want to be seen as relevant, hence helping you to gain access to a new audience.
Danielle freed herself from the pain of waiting for recruiters to call with their feedback. By taking control, she started gaining attention from senior decision-makers, leading to conversations that centred on how soon she could add value to their organisation as a full-time employee.
2. Building a Personal Brand
Together we worked on pumping out content consistently – on LinkedIn – a slew of free content in May saw some of Danielle's post going viral. Off course, LinkedIn is not your only social media option when building an online presence.
First, ask yourself about how you want to be perceived by your audience, do you have a speciality in a particular niche. How do you intend on creating impact?
Building a personal brand is critical for career success, especially when looking for a job in an oversaturated market. It would help if you were very intentional by providing content that meets the needs of your target audience, i.e. prospective employers, hiring managers and recruiters.
When I work with my clients one to one, I ask them to think about how they can position themselves to employers, so they are addressing the companies' major main points. In Danielle's case, we looked at articulating her marketing skills to gain access into a 'large organisation' that required a hands-on Marketer with management experience. Within a month of putting out valuable research content, Danielle was getting approached by headhunters who were impressed with her detailed case studies and informative blog posts.
By applying proper Personal branding techniques and setting yourself apart from the crowd, you are not just making yourself memorable, but you are also positioning yourself to get hired.
3. Informational Interviews
Permission to speak. Writing great content and connecting with likeminded professionals are great strategies to create interest in your candidacy. However, sometimes there is a need to be direct and forthright in your approach. One of the favourite aspects of my jobs is helping job-seeking clients tailor emails for an informational interview.
An informational interview is a great way to gain knowledge of a new industry, especially for professionals thinking of a career change.
Your first goal will be to identify companies that you want to work for, so you can target speculative applications.
Once you have mapped out the companies that you would like to join, your next step will be to find the most appropriate contact/person within the company. If you know someone within the company, reach out to them to see if they can provide you with beneficial info about the company, or ask them advice on whom you should contact.
We devised speculative emails for Heads of Marketing who had a specific need for Danielle's skill set and expertise. If they were not actively recruiting, we ensured we gave them a reason to read on, by providing relevant value.
We also set dates where she would follow up with a phone call, providing a captivating "elevator pitch". In total, we sent out four informational requests each day/ 5 days a week via LinkedIn and successfully set up 5 follow up calls per week. Telling the client, you will call is a great way to fight off call reluctance – and forces you to keep the commitment to call – and it also helps you to hone your elevator pitch.
Don't know where to start
Start with the end in mind: The minute you begin to feel deflated with your job search is the moment you should try something new. Take a leaf out of Danielle's success story and envision where you want to work and how you are going to get there.
If your goal is to assume a Project Management position for a telecommunications company, then start mapping out companies that would value your skills and talents—creating blog posts that are relevant and engaging. Connect with likeminded people so your posts have an already clued in an audience that will value your industry input. Don't stop there, be direct and confident and create conversations with professionals who influence hiring decisions.
Say goodbye to old habits and rituals that prevent you from being seen and heard. Instead, say hello to new ways of building credibility and enhancing your outreach to connect with people who can help unlock your immense potential.
My name is Anya 0′ a qualified Career coach, job search strategist, recruiter and personal branding consultant. I help ambitious professionals like you become more visible in the market place so that you can pivot faster into a new job.
During my career, I have reviewed the CV's of thousands of professionals and prepared hundreds of tech, marketing and fashion professionals for interviews with leading UK based employers.
I am offering a 30-minute complimentary consultation call to all ambitious professionals who need help navigating their current career situation.
Connect with me here