We’ve all heard the saying that finding a job is a full-time job, but being successful at finding a job isn’t only about the amount of time one puts into it, it’s about where that effort goes and how one adjusts their activities during the process to overcome obstacles. People often say that finding a job is a numbers game but it isn’t. Treating your job search like a numbers game reflects a shotgun approach – apply to as many things as possible and hopefully something will stick. That is actually an outdated sales mentality suggesting to burn through one’s leads with the hope a lead will convert to a “close.” The only strategy involved with a numbers game plan is to hope that the odds will be favorable as the number of applications increases and as another saying goes, hope is not a strategy. This may have been successful for people when jobs were abundant but job seekers face a new reality and competition will continue to grow fiercer. If you are treating your job search like a full time job, if you haven’t been successful, you need to know how to adjust your performance so you can land that job.
3 Things You Should Review as you Job Search
Many career coaches suggest that job seekers use a job journal detailing where they applied, when they applied, who they spoke with, when they followed up, if they got an interview and even when the job closed among other details. This is a great practice because it is data tracking and analyzing the data can reveal much about one’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Here are 3 things to consider during your job search:
1. Are you spending more time finding jobs or finding people?
If you are spending most of your time on job boards, you need to adjust how you spend your time and focus on getting to know people. Join professional associations, use social media to connect with influencers in the field you want to break into, join groups, volunteer, and meet people. The right people can point out the jobs and give you an inside connection.
2. Is your resume converting into interviews?
If not, something is preventing the conversion so you need to address your resume. It may be that you need better experience to match the jobs for which you are applying or it might be as simple as a resume revision so that your advertisement does a better job at appealing to its intended audience. If you aren’t getting interviews, your advertisement isn’t doing its job – fix it.
3. Are you converting your interview into 2nd interviews or offers?
If not, you may need to address your interviewing skills. The interview is your sales pitch and if you are not converting first interviews into 2nd interviews or subsequent interviews into offers, you may need help adjusting your skills in persuasively communicating your qualifications. Your interview is your sales pitch and if you’re not closing the deal, you need to improve in this area.
Understanding your conversion ratios and where you are spending your time can give you insight on how you need to adjust your strategies. For instance, Drake Beam Morin conducted research and found that 71% of job-seekers reported finding their job through networking yet many people spend most of their time on job boards rather than meeting people face-to-face. If networking is a better strategy, engage in that strategy! No one strategy is the answer so job seekers must diversify their approaches and spend time using multiple strategies at once to increase their likelihood of success. Treat your job search like a full time job but not simply by measuring how much time you spend doing it. Rather, monitor where you are spending your time and if your activities are producing results that lead to employment.
What other ways do you measure your performance when searching for a job beyond the obvious ultimate metric – finally landing one?