10 Tips for Job Hunting in a Tight Market

The following article is from by Kate Wendleton, President of The Five O’Clock Club.

The job market is shaky. Answering ads, and talking to search firms won’t set you apart from the competition. Remember, according to the JOLTS report, employers hired almost 4.2 million people in November, an increase of about 130,000 from the previous month. But the number of people who quit their jobs, were fired or were laid off rose to 4.3 million that month. This churn is in your favor. When people move around, as they are now, there’s room for you. A few simple guidelines can shorten your search time
by months, even in this market.

1. Expand your job-hunting targets. If you are searching only in Los Angeles or only in Detroit, for example, think of other geographic areas. If you are looking only in large public corporations, consider small or private companies or not-for-profits.

2. If you are looking for a certain kind of position, investigate what other kinds of work you also could do.

3. It takes an average of eight follow-up phone calls to get a meeting. After you have written or emailed someone asking for a meeting, do not leave messages for a person to call you back. Instead, keep on calling. If you’re still unsuccessful in reaching them, try calling the company operator and ask to speak to the person’s assistant or someone who sits near them. See people two levels higher than you are.

4. When you are in the initial stages of exploring a target area, contact people at your level to find out about that area and see how well your skills match up. But then you must contact people who are at a higher level than you are. They are the ones who
are in a position to hire you or recommend that you be hired.

5. A job hunter must have 6 to 10 job possibilities in the works concurrently. Five O’Clock Club research shows that five of those will fall away through no fault of your own. For example, a company could decide to hire no one, hire a marketing person instead of an accounting person, or hire their not-so-bright brother-in-law instead of you. It’s not your fault.

6. Job hunters who get small-group career coaching throughout their searches get more satisfying jobs faster and at higher rates of pay than those who search on their own, and also more quickly than those who work privately with a career coach throughout their searches. Job hunters learn from each other’s strategies, help each other and help motivate their comrades. The average résumé is reviewed for only 10 seconds.

7. Résumés should have a summary containing the most important accomplishments the job hunter wants the reader to know. “Thank you” notes after a job interview are ineffective. Instead a job hunter must influence the hiring manager, addressing the key issues discussed in the meeting.

8. Unemployed job hunters are not at a disadvantage. More than 78% of the unemployed job hunters who attended targeted group coaching got jobs that paid the same or more than their last jobs.

9. Think about developing new skills. If you suspect your old skills are out-of-date, develop new ones. If you can’t get a job because you don’t have the experience, get the experience. Join an association related to your new skill area.

10. Keep your spirits up. An alarming number of job hunters in the U.S. are
discouraged and dropping out of the job market. Don’t you be one of them.
Be aware that what you are going through is not easy, and that many of the
things you are experiencing are being experienced by just about everybody
else. Hang in there, get a fresh start, follow a proven methodology (www.FiveOClockClub.com), and eventually you will get something.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
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