Posted on 23/05/2016 by Simon Bruce
It is generally accepted that if you adopt a positive attitude you will get further. But actually seeing yourself in the new role, at the new desk, entering the office building - really imagining you are there is by some seen as an added way to secure that target job.
Some are convinced of this method and use it across many other activities, not just job search. If it works for you great. We are outlining here other ways to structure your thinking as you go into job search mode. It hardly goes without saying, do not do this work on a computer at your current employer's location.
So how do you start?
Place a time in your agenda to meet with you. Otherwise this job search time may be pushed back again and again, especially if you are in a full time job. Think through the reasons you are searching. Write down the results of your questions and answers or enter them into a text document on your computer.
What is it you like about your current (or last) job? List these elements - this also serves to offer you a list of your skills so make sure these are shown in your CV as work skills.
What are the elements you would like in your new job? More travel, less travel? Managing people, not managing people? Customer facing or office based? Why are you looking to change jobs? If you are not working at present what would you REALLY like to do? OK it may not be the next role but maybe the next job could be a stepping stone towards your dream job.
Don't forget the physical elements of where the job should be, ideally. Are you prepared to move home, how far are you happy to travel to work each day?
Already you will now see that you have some structure to your thinking. It is in print on your computer, so if you need to come back to the task you can pick up your thinking easily. Treat it as a task, working for you, you are the Director for you - your career and happy future.
Don't just think about the advice above - go on, start now - even if you book a time for your meeting with you - do it now. Buy a notebook you can write down thoughts as you travel to work. These ideas can sometimes be really revealing and useful especially when you are in the process of doing something else, such as travelling to work - so you may say - my next job MUST be closer to home.
If you were buying a car, or suit, or dress whatever it is, you would have given it some thought in advance. What is known as the scatter approach sending CVs, applying everywhere is not recommended. Whether direct to company adverts or recruitment agencies, they may well take note, seeing you apply for all types of roles, not building a clear picture of what you REALLY want to do. Maybe also, companies will see you as "work at any cost". Not ideal for any salary negotiations. Put on your Director hat. Would you employ you for that job? What can you offer the company? Write a list of reasons and you are building a sales pitch, you are creating reasons the target company would be crazy NOT to interview you. This will also give you thoughts as to what to include and what to leave out of your CV, when targeting a specific job application - so you look a really good candidate for the job advertised.
3. Target more
If you are responding to THAT specific job then go to the company website and read about the company. Is there something they do that marries up with some of the work you have been doing? Or an out of work activity? Your friend the Internet has so much information which is so easily found. Look at similar job adverts - take a note of the wording. Could you use some of that wording, that describes the work duties in your CV? It should of course accurately reflect your skill set and job experience.
4. Efficient use of time, filing, tracking and prioritising
Keep a regular time to look at new job postings and apply - do maximise time when travelling to see new job adverts via a mobile if you can. Send a copy to your email so you can create a list of replies to send. You could also add a star rating so when you review the list to reply you start with the jobs that really appealed to you first priorities. Keeping updates in a spreadsheet means you can see when you applied, if you had a reply, maybe also if you made a follow up call to ask if they received your application. Create columns with Company Name, Date, email address, Telephone, Contact Names, Job title, Comments, Status, file name of job advert stored in your PC.
Hopefully you will have kept your CV up to date, if not then of course this is a first step. Keep a list of the companies you do send your resume to. Print this out and keep it with you during the day so if you receive a phone call, not only will you remember more easily the name of the agent or company contact calling you, you can also make a note of the call in the sheet - update the electronic version when you get home.
These steps will give structure to your job search, and seeing the list grow of actions will help keep you motivated. It is never easy but is a process we all have to follow. Do consider reviewing ALL your digital impressions people can see about you. Social media has led to the failure of some applications so be wise on this point. Put that Director hat on again. Would you hire you? Social media is viewed by anyone, not just your peer group, remember that AND it stays online unless you do something about it.
Take these steps to build your career and consider it as you would a sales and marketing plan.
Researching and prospecting, sending job replies and or spontaneous applications to companies you really like - and don't forget if you are in-between jobs you have the advantage that you can tell friends and their friends you are looking - harness the network.