Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Quarantine should not hold your job search back or stop you from building valuable relationships. Understandably you may feel like throwing the towel in with increasing job losses and an unreliable job market. You as a job seeker will be up against more candidates all competing for the same job. That is why taking ownership of your Career and cultivating professional relationships in this time of social distancing is paramount. Career prospecting is a process whereby the jobseeker identifies potential companies that may need their skills, qualifications, and experience. With lockdown and Quarantine in place because of COVID- 19, job searchers must adapt their skill sets to network their way to an informational interview. Your CV is only part of your outreach, so don't let the lack of face to face interaction and restricted movement stop you from virtually networking with valuable career prospects.
Why Career Prospect now
The Hidden Market represents 80% of all vacancies at any one time. That number climbs to 90% for senior-level positions. The Hidden Market is active jobs that need filling but do not get advertised. The economic impact of the pandemic will naturally affect how companies spend on advertising and job boards, hence eliminating recruitment costs and finding more cost-saving measures to find fresh talent.
However, that does not mean that innovative companies are averse to hearing from external candidates, quite the opposite as companies will be looking for career professionals who can adapt to current market conditions.
The opportunities that usually transform your career are not always listed. So start learning how to access these "hidden jobs" so you can get in front of the right people and eventually secure your next job.
1. Make a list of targeted companies
One of the first steps you need to consider is to know where you are going, as in what job you want, or what company do you wish to contribute your expertise too. It is only then that you are going to find your people.
An important question to ask yourself when formulating your list is "Why", why do you want to work at a specific company. Are they a good fit value-wise, are they a viable industry, and is there a clear map of career progression.
It does not matter if the company is hiring the goal is to find companies that can use your desired skill set, talents and qualifications. Take a look at company evaluation sites such as Glassdoor, Vault or other employee subscriptions that allow professionals to discuss what is happening in the company. Reviews give you a good understanding of the company's culture; it can be biased, and hence why is it important to qualify the people you want to prospect.
Your first resource to look for companies;
LinkedIn- LinkedIn is your best career resource, it allows you to review company profiles pages, and the best thing about LinkedIn is that you can see if you have any connections that work at the same company.
Glassdoor and Vault- Are subscriptions sites that allow past and present employees and interviewees to review companies.
Google - Set up google alerts; a simple email will pop up every time there is news about your targeted company. A google search will also yield much information.
2. Target companies, not Jobs
The Fallout from COVID- 19 will force many job seekers to reinvent themselves as certain positions may go 'on hold' for the foreseeable future.
However, amid this pandemic and the surrounding economic implications, several opportunities are arising in specific industries, and many of these companies in these fields are experiencing unprecedented growth.
As a job seeker, you may have to consider a career change, taking time to re-evaluate how you can leverage your skillset and expertise for one of these thriving industries. So start going beyond job titles. Put your commercial hat on, research and assess the businesses that are winning. Some examples of industries that are seeing tremendous growth since the outbreak are online education, Ed-tech, Mobile gaming, medical platforms, Ecommerce, Wellness.
Go beyond the prerequisites of a job and instead look for problems or opportunities that you can readily offer solutions too.
Knowing what you want is great, but think about whom you want to do it for and why.
Remember you join a company, not a job.
3. Find the person with the most pain
Once you have mapped out the companies that you would like to work for, 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.
If you don't have a connection, fret not try to find the person who feels the most pain by not having someone with your skill set and experience in a particular role.
For instance, who do you usually report too? This person has the first-hand experience of working with someone that bestows your credibility; they are also the best person to persuade. If you are a Marketing Manager, you may want to map out the names of Head of Marketing or Marketing Directors. Again use LinkedIn as a resource to qualify your contacts in each company.
4. Prospecting Mail
A. Going in cold
Your goal is to incite action from a cold email.
State your reason for writing :
Get to your point quickly and let the person know that you are interested in the company.
You have just read the company's plans to expand, maybe the company are looking to increase brand awareness within the millennial and gen Z demographic, and you have experience creating campaigns for this specific target market.
Show value :
Demonstrate to the recipient that you are a person of high value.
For example, I see that you are launching a new product in France, as a Marketing Manager for EMEA, I successfully implemented a campaign which saw an increase...
Capture attention :
Because the company may not be hiring or hiring may be at the bottom of their priorities list,
You must be giving them a reason to read on and consider you as a valuable addition to their team.
If a mutual connection referred you then mention that person in the subject line. Establishing your mutual contact helps to add trust and credibility.
Follow up :
Let the recipient know that you will contact them on a specific date and time. Tell them what you expect to talk about.
Also, please give them your mobile number stating when you are available to talk. Keep a record of all your transcriptions.
B. Going in hot
Write the referral letter for your mutual connection :
Make your connections life easier by drafting the email yourself. Not only are you saving your referrals time, but you are also controlling the narrative. It is also important to highlight keywords relevant to your industry or niche.
Think about creating a great UVP that positions you as a person of knowledge and expertise.
Example of referral email
I'd like to introduce you to Michelle whom I worked with at Q Media. I am confident you two could benefit from knowing each other.
As a Marketing Manager for Q Media, Michelle helped her company increase brand awareness and expand the client base by 88% in two years by consistently delivering goal-surpassing marketing results and ensuring client satisfaction. Michelle is interested in learning more about your company's vision and your current goals to expand your product range to a new demographic. I'll let Michelle take it from here. Have a great day.
5. The Elevator Pitch
You should always follow up afterwards with a telephone call. Communicate effectively by having an “Elevator Pitch”. A good elevator pitch can be a powerful tool to help secure the objective of the telephone call, gain interviews and away into the decision-makers.
An Elevator Pitch should include:
· Your name and whom you are currently working for (if relevant).
· A brief overview of your skill base and areas of expertise related to the company you are prospecting.
· A closing question that links to the objective of the phone call.
· Practice your pitch with a friend, mentor or coach. Consider your voice intonations and speed of delivery.
· It should take you 60 seconds to show the impact you will have.
Your goal as a job seeker during this time of Social Distancing is to offer the prospect the path of least resistance by being crisp and transparent in your communication- cut out as many unknowns and steps as you can to get an informational interview and eventually a job. Be prepared for a lot of no’s and lukewarm responses; rejection is inevitable. Going into battle for what you want should be a given, going in prepared is mandatory.
There are so many paths to success; all involve getting out of your comfort zone and creating conversations via the power of Career Prospecting.
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 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