Whoever said, “Applying for jobs is a full-time job,” was absolutely correct. Finding the right opportunity isn’t easy under most circumstances. Throw in a global pandemic, parents juggling work and homeschool, and a “new normal” where many people are “on-call” more than their “average 8 hours” – it probably makes you wonder if you’ll ever climb the corporate ladder.
Our team wants to help. That’s what we do. We help companies find the best talent out there – so they can move their mission forward and YOU can improve your work and personal lives.
Two weeks ago, I polled our LinkedIn network to find out which part of the job search process bogs them down the most. The results didn’t really surprise. 76% of those who responded said “finding the right opportunity” is the biggest challenge when they’re job searching. Our experts agreed, it’s not easy to find the perfect fit. Here’s some advice from them.
Dedicate time to finding the right opportunity.
I know. Nobody has extra time. You’re doing it all right now. You are working, running a household, maybe juggling kids and a tough job… remotely, spending 95% of your life on Zoom. We know. We’re living it with you. But as our Director of Recruiting for Food Manufacturing, Kasey Craven put it, Be Aggressive. “Sometimes the “right opportunity” doesn’t just fall in your lap, sometimes you have to go and find it,” said Craven.
Back in March, I spoke extensively with The Newell Group’s President and Founder, Dannie A. Newell, about where to start when you’re ready to make a move. Newell suggested blocking off a set amount of time each week (outside of your work hours) to search. Whether it’s 20 minutes a day, or two hours once a week- block your calendar off and dedicate that time to your job hunt. Hold yourself accountable. Hit that mark every week.
Find two recruiters…
One who specializes in your industry, and the other who recruits in your desired geographical location. Newell said a good recruiter wouldn’t tell you that you have to work with just one. “We work with clients exclusively, but as a candidate, I’d want to be in multiple databases,” said Newell. Connecting with a recruiter on LinkedIn is not enough. You need to build relationships with them in order to be top of mind when an opportunity does pop up.
Network… network… then network some more…
The days of swapping industry stories, clinking glasses and casually glancing down at the “Hello My Name Is” sticker to make sure it was a “worthwhile” professionals happy hour feel like a distant memory. Oh, how we all long for the return of those networking events. But until then… do it digitally. Since the U.S. first shutdown back in March, have you hopped on a Zoom happy hour or a call with at least one person you’ve met through LinkedIn? If not, I can tell you personally, you are missing out on some great conversations about your industry and life in general.
Comment on LinkedIn content that you like. Start following people at companies you’re interested in. Set up “coffee breaks” on Zoom or a virtual lunch. The people you know now, and the people you are forming relationships with could be your “in” for your next move. Like Craven said, be aggressive. “Get your name out in the market, but don’t flood the market (i.e., apply to the same job multiple times). Know where your resume is at all times and document every interaction,” added Craven.
Be open minded.
What do you like the most about the role you are in right now? Are the skills needed to complete those processes transferrable to another role, title or industry? As our Director of Nonprofit People Solutions, David Burden pointed out, finding the right opportunity may mean it’s time for a 180. “I know a historian who’s a bank VP. The bank didn’t advertise “historian wanted” but was looking for someone with strong research, analytical, project management and communication skills. She’s using her training even though some would consider this ‘outside the field,’” Burden shared.
I know one or two… or probably more like twenty people, who are now working outside of the field of expertise they were trained for or educated for in college. In fact, I am one of them. When I was looking for a role outside of the TV news industry, I used a lot of the advice in this article to land here, as the Director of Marketing and Social Media for The Newell Group. I know you’ll find your next great opportunity too – good luck!