We often communicate to candidates that finding a job is a full time job. You’ll need to dedicate quality time each day for furthering the job search, as you would going into an office every day and being productive. Please allow me to oversimplify. I use the simple wheel on a bike analogy or hub and spoke. Think of yourself as the “hub” and recruiters, friends, business colleagues, investors and companies as the “spokes”. You need the spokes to balance the wheel. It takes many spokes to keep that wheel in balance. The same can be said about looking for your next opportunity.
We’ve listed some areas below that you might want to take advantage of as part of your job search.
1. Update your Resume:Be succinct, bullet format, list companies worked for, dates, roles and accomplishments. One to two pages in length, most recent job first. Your resume is meant to highlight your career and provide talking points in the interview.
2. Understanding your abilities and area of interest:Be honest, what are you really good at? Realistically, what roles are within your strike zone? Once the above is ironed out it’s important to hone in on the industry and segment(s) of the industry that interests you.
3. Networking with friends and work related colleagues:We cannot underscore the importance of networking with friends, former colleagues, bosses, employees and peers. There is a high probability that your next job may very well come through those connections.
4. Investigate Job Sites:Whether interested in posting a resume or viewing current openings. Job sites provide a regional idea of who’s hiring and for what roles.
5. Recruiters:Retained vs. Contingency, what is the most appropriate recruiting model that is best suited for you? Retained firms “typically” specialize in VP and above search; contingency firms typically work in Director and below type searches.
6. Investors:If you are interested in joining a private company, that company will often be funded by Angel, Venture Capital and or Private Equity investors. Each of these groups tends to invest in certain stages of a companies growth. Lead investors often take seats on the board and have significant influence in making introductions and meeting with prospective executives during the hiring process.
7. Direct Contact with Companies:Once you’ve established the industry segment to which you’d like to work in, create a list of the companies in that space and investigate who you might know in those companies that might help facilitate introduction for you. This can be a great way to get an interview.
8. Industry events and socials:I’ll admit, these things are sometimes tough to attend especially after a long day. However, they can be well worth attending. I like to think of it as if I can get one good business card/contact from an event it’s worth it. For Matlin Parters, it’s led to searches and candidates.
9. Follow-up:Plan a coordinated schedule on how and when you follow-up with all the above contacts. You want to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, recruiters and whoever else you’ve established a connection and dialog with regarding your job search. It’s fair to ask the question of when should I reach back out to you if I haven’t heard from you. You want to be on he radar but not so much that it becomes annoying and jeopardize losing the contact and connection that you’ve worked hard to establish.
Job change will be inevitable in ones career, so plan on it happening. If you have a well thought out plan or “Hub & Spoke” model and diligently execute against that plan you will minimize the period it will take to look for, and secure, your next opportunity.