Everyone started the New Year with good resolutions. Whether it was to lose weight, quit smoking, or get a new job, good intentions abounded during the first two weeks in January. Now that we are moving into the third week in February, many of those resolutions which were entered into with such fervor are starting to soften up and lose some of their attractiveness. It’s difficult to break a bad habit or form a good new one.
Job search, while not a habit, is an activity that takes sustained effort and attention over a period of weeks to be successful. If you launched your job search the first week in January, you may be feeling discouraged right about now. Here are a few points of measurement to determine if your job search is still on track.
Are you doing your networking? This is one of the first job activities that fall by the wayside during a job search. People go through their ten friends and think they have exhausted their network. Networking is more than just talking to your friends. It’s talking to THEIR friends, and the contacts of those people, and the further contacts of that tier. The average person knows something like 350 people. Those 350 people also each know 350 people. That’s 122,500 people! You don’t have time to talk to all these people! If you think you have exhausted your network, go back and start over looking for friends of friends and contacts of contacts. Done right, you won’t exhaust your network before you find a new job.
Is your resume working? By working, I mean is it generating inquiries. All a resume is designed to do is to get someone in a hiring position to contact you. That contact might be via email or telephone. It is up to you to positively turn that first contact into a more extended interview process. If you are getting no inquiries as a result of your resume, you need to take a hard look at your resume. We can provide a free critique of your resume to help you with that.
Are you turning inquiries into interviews? Many job seekers say they get calls from recruiters but don’t get subsequent interviews with employers. It’s the recruiter’s job to screen potential candidates. If you have received a call, it means the resume has stimulated interest on the part of the recruiter and you might be a fit for a position he/she is attempting to fill. It is imperative to make the most of this first recruiter contact. Ask the recruiter what he is seeking in a candidate. Address those needs by pulling answers from your experience. That inquiry by a recruiter is actually a first interview so you better be prepared for it.
Are you getting offers? If you started your job search the first week in January, and your resume was working and you’ve been going on interviews, you should be starting to get offers about now. The hiring process generally takes about seven weeks from start to finish. If you have been on interviews and are not getting offers, you should be asking yourself why. Perhaps you don’t interview well and need some interview training. Perhaps there is something in your background or references that foils your candidacy at the last step. Whatever the reason, you need to find out what the problem is so it can be fixed.
Now is the time to shore up your job search resolutions and redouble your effort. Now is not the time to get discouraged and quit. If you are having problems or not seeing results of your efforts, find out why and fix the problem. Whatever you do, don’t give up. A new and better job could be just around the corner.