We know that about 80% of job opportunities are not advertised but sourced through individual referrals and networks. Therefore, it makes sense that 80% of our job search effort should be focused on connecting with people, learning and understanding the industry needs.
We need a job search strategy that does not rely on Seek or job boards but provides more of a proactive approach.
1. Develop a list of target companies
Start by building a target list of companies where you would like to work and where your skills and experience would be valued. Start a spreadsheet. Brainstorm. Include vendors, clients and competitors, industry leaders, small newer companies and companies where past colleagues are working. Use online job boards for research, to add to the list, and LinkedIn search functions to identify who you would report to in each company, hiring managers and potential colleagues.
2. Meet new people every week.
Brainstorm your network, identify the people who can open doors or connect you to others within the industry. Update and add to your spreadsheet regularly. Don’t over think it, the key to an effective job search is to increase the number of people you talk to, and who will then know your interest / expertise within the industry. Actively work to connect with people in your industry and working inside your target companies. These connections increase your chances of landing the right job. Track your progress by updating your spreadsheet. Set specific goals, in your job search, including the number of new quality connections each week. Identify those you actually had a conversation with and those you connected with online.
3. Measure and record
- What companies have you added to your list?
- How many new contacts and quality conversations have you had this week? What was the outcome of those conversations? (kept notes in your spreadsheet)
- What have you learnt about yourself, your industry or your desired role this week?
- What do you need to do next week to ensure you are moving forward?
- And repeat!