Most jobseekers do not have a good idea of the methods to search for a job. They tend to do what someone else did to find a job. Going the path that someone else walked to success does not guarantee success. One should know all the possibilities and adopt the ones which could work the best in his or her context.
There is always a mismatch!
Normally, people begin the process with a resume, send them to various people and job sites; and at the same time keep a watch on the adverts being published by employers and head-hunters. Some people go a step further and pass the word around in their networks; and at times, people meet recruiters or head-hunters or walk into the companies that they target to get placed. These methods work and sometimes, they do not. Is there a silver bullet that one can fire and be sure? Not really! Because of several factors, there is always a mismatch between supply and demand of talent. To give an example, there are hundreds of thousands of programming jobs lying vacant in the US now and at the same time, the local Government imposes visa restrictions against people who are keen to move there to fill those roles. Another example is in India where enterprises are flooded with job applications when they advertise yet they cannot find the people that they are looking for. So, there is always a mismatch between the supply and the demand of jobs. One has to follow a method which will help navigating this mismatch in the best possible way.
Start with a Plan!
Finding a job is a complex process and a stressful experience for anyone who is looking for oneself. So, it is useful to follow a few steps so that the results are predictable.
The first step is to decide what kind of a role, industry sector and probable companies that one is best-suited for. This is one of the most critical steps that one should take rather than making the CV and posting it in a few places. I have seen numerous talented people struggling at this step. Possibly, it is a business opportunity to counsel jobseekers!
Determining the target industry sector, companies and possible roles calls for focused efforts to understand one’s strengths and interests first. Then, one has to research about the trends of the target sector, list down the companies and possible roles. Certain roles are best found in specific geographies and subject to contemporary trends. As we speak, for each industry sector, there is a trend and within the sector, there are companies who are dealing with this in a certain way. Hence, the jobseeker must know these and decide the target companies accordingly. There are some sectors where companies are many; it might not be possible to target them specifically. However, it is advisable to make a list of companies. One must know the trends associated with the role that one is targeting to take. This preparation is time-consuming; however, very critical for success in the subsequent steps.
Sharp-shooting is the way!
The second step is to write the profile that not only introduces the person but also shows the depth in the areas that the target companies are concerned about. It is good to discuss the profile with seniors working in the target industry sector. If one doesn’t have adequate contacts there, it is important that one builds a professional network of such contacts offline as well as online. One might start with an online platform like Linkedin, GitHub, Twitter, etc. and then move it offline where some face to face meetings help immensely in understanding the challenges and opportunities in the industry sector and the role that one is trying to take up. One can use these contacts as a sounding board to review the resume, improve its presentation and ultimately navigate to the desk of the talent acquisition specialist in the companies and head-hunters.
The third step for the job seeker is to leverage the network. Often the second and third steps run in parallel. Some people post the CV or the Resume on various job portals and company’s websites. But, this might not work the best. The network here can be friends, family, alumni, head-hunters, vendors, customers, teachers, professors, ex-colleagues, ex-bosses and so on.
One should keep a watch on the job boards and social media channels of employer companies. These days, most companies tend to advertise their open positions on their websites and their official pages on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, it is important to follow those pages so that one receives notifications not only about the job opportunities but also about the developments about the company and the industry sector. This information help in the interviews with the hiring manager.
Having noticed opportunities at a place, it is important that one tries to find out the recruiter and the hiring manager; also the skip level manager, if possible. It helps to speak or write to the recruiter expressing interest. A phone call goes a long way in understanding what exactly the line manager is expecting, what the key challenges for the role are, how long the position is open and how soon they are trying to get someone in place. If one can find answers to these questions, preparing for the interview becomes easy.
When one meets a head-hunter, it is important to find out the names of companies they recruit for in the sector of interest and the kinds of roles they fill. This can give an idea about the reach one’s Resume can have. At times, head-hunting companies do not disclose these information citing the non-disclosure norms with their clients. So, the least one can do is to speak to the recruiter who specialises in the sector of interest. Normally, recruiters are not well-connected amongst their colleagues in the company and do not have information about the companies their colleagues recruit for. Hence, it is advisable that one connects with multiple recruiters in the same company and estimates the reach one can get with the profile.
Carpet-bombing is passé!
Finding a job calls for planning and execution rather than taking a few random steps of writing a CV, posting it at a few places and responding to a few job adverts which have a few keywords that you liked. Some people get a job in the carpet bombing method, but this does not work especially when one is in the mid to senior levels in a medium to large organization. As much as it is important to be considered for a vacancy, equally important is to shine in the further rounds of the selection process. Again, the same recipe of planning and execution works there too. One has to know about the selection process, understand what the company is looking for, who the assessors are likely to and hence, plan the steps accordingly. And of course, agility is most critical in any execution and hence, it is important to do the best based on the specific situations in the selection process.
The stressful process of finding a new job can be effectively addressed if adequate planning is done and an agile execution process is put in place.