JOB SEARCHING ESSENTIALS
Conducting a job search can be stressful during the best of circumstances but is even more so during a global pandemic. COVID-19, however, need not derail your search. You absolutely CAN be successful despite the Coronavirus if your campaign is built upon a solid foundation. Your search process will be more effective by employing the following six ground rules. TIP: they also work for those that are content with their current employment.
1. DON’T GO IT ALONE. Get a partner, a coach, or a teammate who will be your wingman during this endeavor. This person will give you honest advice (yes, you need a haircut) and prop you up when you have a discouraging day. S/he will also hold you accountable (did you send the 12 emails that you committed to last week?). Ideally, friends or trusted work associates generally work better than family members in this role.
2. BE THANKFUL. Start each morning by writing a note of thanks to someone who helped you yesterday. This routine starts your day with a positive outlook. While email is fine, a handwritten note on high quality stationery will be even more memorable. The more senior you are, the more beneficial it is to have professional or personal stationery that enhances your brand. Pre-printed “Thank you” cards don’t make the best impression.
3. BE ORGANIZED. To maintain focus, keep a list of all the people you contact, your target organizations and your goals. This tool will ensure you conduct follow-ups in a timely manner. Imagine how rewarding it will be to announce the successful conclusion of your search to the people on this list.
4. BE PROFESSIONAL. Is your LinkedIn photo a professional-looking head shot of you or are you sporting disco hair? Kids, spouses, and pets belong on Facebook, not Linked In. Is your email signature complete with your contact info, a link to your Linked in Page, website address, etc.? Is your email address business-like? AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo domain names do not project a professional image. Consider gmail or, even better, securing your own domain.
5. GET OUT OF YOUR BOX. Unless you are a micro-nuclear subatomic marine biologist, you probably have more career options than you think. Be as broad as possible in your search. What skill sets do you have that will translate across industries? (Your partner from #1 can help identify these.) How flexible are you geographically? Thoroughly assess your responses before plotting your campaign.
6. CLEAR OUT YOUR BOXES. Voicemail and email should be responded to or emptied daily. There is nothing that will turn off a potential employer or recruiter more than to hear “This voicemail box is full and is no longer accepting messages.” Similarly, keep your email inbox tidy (I pare mine down to 10 or fewer at the end of the day) and use folders to organize them.
What strategies have you found helpful in your job search?
Cydnee Dubrof is the Managing Director of The Dubrof Group (dubrof.com), serving both executives in transition and organizations seeking to hire leaders. For over two decades, she has consulted to nonprofits, global organizations and entrepreneurial startups.
If you think you could benefit from experienced career coaching or need to ignite your career transition, please contact Cydnee Dubrof at firstname.lastname@example.org.