Note: LLoyd is pleased to provide another post by former LLoyd candidate,
As our guest blogger, J.J. writes from his first-hand experience in the job market and provides some good insight as to how he found a position in this competitive marketplace.
Like many of life’s endeavors, it takes a certain amount of momentum to really get going. As a college student, my least favorite part of any class was always the beginning. I didn’t have a firm grasp of what was expected and I wasn’t yet in the groove as far as assignments and studying. I always went through a bit of a learning curve to get a feel for expectations though once I had that knowledge, it was generally smooth sailing until the end of the semester. Looking for a new opportunity is a challenging task and it can be disheartening when your efforts don’t seem to be producing immediate results. Laying the groundwork is vital and once you build a solid foundation, you will reap the rewards for your efforts.
Building and maintaining momentum are naturally related though will require somewhat different strategies. Starting your search will seemingly require a disproportionate amount of effort to find that first lead though once you get going, additional leads will arrive at a more rapid pace and require only enough effort to keep the process moving forward. Here are some tips to begin building momentum in your career search:
• Introduce Yourself To A Recruiter – recruiters have a good inside track on opportunities and many times will have leads that aren’t public. Take the time to personally introduce yourself and explain your career goals.
• Get Yourself Online – polish your LinkedIn profile to make it a reflection of who you are (remember, it’s your profile, not just your resume). Include work samples and other tidbits of information that may not be appropriate on a resume. In addition, join several online job boards. Make sure if a recruiter or company is looking for someone like you, they can easily find you.
• Reconnect – everyone has contacts, be they family, friends, or professional. Approach these people courteously, explain your goals, and always remember that networking goes both ways. Look for opportunities to collaborate on their priorities and if they are good contacts, they will reciprocate the effort. Most job seekers find opportunities through personal connections.
• Conscious Dedication – ensure you are committed to starting and maintaining the search process. Are you ready to return every phone call? Reply to every e-mail? Chase down leads? Are you mentally prepared to face all the challenges you are likely to encounter every day?
Following the tips above will take time and effort. Several weeks may pass before you notice the results of your actions. The main goal in starting to build momentum is to help others help you. You can only do so much in a day; your efforts will be exponentially multiplied if recruiters and people in your network are also looking on your behalf. Once you get the ball rolling, here are a few tips to keep it moving:
• Maintain Effort – don’t start and stop the process arbitrarily. Momentum is harder to start than it is to keep it going. Continuing to look may be particularly challenging during the holidays but keep at it.
• Diversify – as tempting as it may be to focus on a single desired opportunity, continue to chase down every lead to increase the probability that you’ll find a match. Talent is valuable and even if you feel you may not be an exact match in terms of qualifications, an interview is a great way to begin building a relationship with a company for potential future benefits.
• Increase Your Visibility – practice “top-of-mind” marketing. Social media will give you a voice to easily reach people in your network and those in your industry. Consider writing blog posts, giving your expert opinion, and joining local professional associations or groups.
• Mine Your Network – once you’ve established good communication with people in your network, branch out and ask them to introduce you to their contacts. Sites such as LinkedIn make it very easy to see whom your contacts know.
While finding a new opportunity is certainly the goal, scheduling interviews and networking meetings are obvious indicators of success. It will take time for recruiters to get to know you, to grow your network, and for your resume to work itself through the pipeline. As long as you keep moving forward, momentum will continue to gather. There is only one last tip I would share with you: be ready for the deluge of activity!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.J. Gembinski, MBA, is a detail-oriented Web Manager with over thirteen years of success in providing end-to-end online solutions and full Web lifecycle management. He is a passionate IT professional who always pushes projects past the goal line by focusing on process management, workflow efficiency, and delivering a solution that is a perfect match for the client. He is currently an Interactive Project Manager with Millennium Communications, Inc.