Job Search Effectiveness In The Holiday Season
There’s a common myth: ‘nothing happens’ before and after a holiday, so why bother!
As Job Seekers, we fall into this trap numerous times per year as holiday weekends pop up so many times throughout the year. Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and on and on. The December holidays, no matter which ones we celebrate, seem to deem the whole month a loss, and that loss carries over into a number of days into the New Year. So by the time we are eating the last few turkey leftovers, like my great lunchtime sandwich yesterday, it’s clear in our minds that we really have only 2 weeks, so I may as we’ll wait until the new year.
These myths have a basis in reality. Yes, managers and HR professionals take off extra time before and after a holiday -just like everyone else. But many do not, and that presents and opportunity for the job seeker ‘on a mission’.
As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
Needs motivation to ‘take back control’ in your job search. It’s the first week of December, just the first few days in reality, and there’s a whole month where we can be sowing those seeds that will come back to us. Right now, I can clients that I work with directly that are out on 2 and 3 interviews a week… This week. Yes, because they plan their search and outreach strategy, take control and approach decision makers with ‘why it’s the best business decision that they will make today, if they choose to hire them’.
One individual so impressed the ‘deciders’, that when they could not make the day they the other competitor candidates where coming in to meet the team, they agreed to have them fly in (at their expense) to where their headquarters is located to do the meeting at that location. Another client is being rushed through 3 rounds with a Fortune 100 company, and is juggling 2 scheduled interviews next week (with different organizations) and 1 additional company is pursuing them for their first meetings next week too. All this, while they are also working full-time. Another just landed 2 competing offers from marquee organizations -after 5 months without any calls.
It takes control in your job search with proper planning, outreach, valuable messaging, and proper strategizing on how you’ll win each interview, but the message is loud and clear: there’s a whole lot of activity going on for some Job Seekers.
Now is a great to start moving your search forward if it has become stagnated, but the basics must be in place. That means a (single page) resume that creates interest and desire about you; a LinkedIn Profile that picks whee your resume leaves off and tells a compelling story about your background (think: 3-dimensional sales brochure all about you); a job search plan of whom to go after (companies, contacts); and a strategy for your value messaging about yourself.
You Are The Product
We don’t like to think of ourselves that way, but it’s true. So, get ready to sell your product. Develop your ‘marketing plan’, use social media, like LinkedIn, to make the deciders familiar with you in advance of applying form the job, and then reach out professionally and introduce yourself -being ready to convey your very best value pieces.
Just Don’t Submit
That means don’t spend all your time online looking for job postings, that’s not a job search, that’s utilizing valuable time in a way that’s not likely to work well in this job market where 1,000s apply for every job. You have to be different, not the same as everyone else. One of my clients has booked 4 face-to-face interviews (out of the last 5 interview opportunities), without any pre-screen phone interview.
I think not. Their marketing materials are in top-notch shape (resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, email ‘pre’ cover letter) and they a very effective at following the strategies that we discuss to ‘soft market’ themselves to raise the awareness of the desired company’s managers. Then they connect with them on LinkedIn (before they have every met). Next comes a direct email stage where they further introduce their value. And at that point, they apply online with that darn ‘submit’ button that trains most users into submission.
Magic like this can happen for you too, but it takes strategic planning, hard work, and resolve to work with ideas just far enough out of the box to get you noticed.
You have to be in it, to win it, so let’s get going!
Author, Career Coach & Speaker
on Job Search and Career Management
© John Crant
As seen and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, on FINS.com, on CareerBuilder’s CBsalary.com, on The Ladders, in The New York Post, The Huffington Post, in Essence magazine, in CRAIN’S New York Business, on Forbes.com, in amNY, and on CNN, BBC, FOX News, Arise TV – John shares the answers and the concrete steps for success in Job Search.
John is a Featured Speaker at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, as well as at the YMCA in New York City, and is a Social Media expert for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
He speaks at Corporate Events, works with Workforce Development organizations, and teaches both students and alumni with this Self-Recruiter® Series for Colleges and Universities.
Changing the Rules: How to Be Your Own Recruiter &
Ride the Economic Crisis to Your Next Career Challenge.
© 2009 John Crant
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