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The Four Legs of Job Search

job search

I was in a meeting the other day, went to sit down on a chair and almost fell. It turns out that one of the four legs was broken (although you could not tell because the chair was still standing). Funny thing, three perfectly good legs, one bum leg, and the chair can’t be used! Yeah, you might be able to sit on it if you didn’t lean to the side where the leg was broken but at some point, you will probably fall off.

There are four resources that you should use in your job hunt to keep your search balanced. While you might get away with two or three, four diverse resources are more likely to give you a balanced search and increase your chances of landing a job.

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Job search is much the same. There are four resources that you should use in your job hunt to keep your search balanced. While you might get away with two or three, four diverse resources are more likely to give you a balanced search and increase your chances of landing a job. For me, the “four legs” of job search are Recruiters, Job Search Sites, Networking (including Social Networks) and Company Career sites.

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Recruiters:

Recruiters should be a key part of your job search.  Recruiters may have access to opportunities that are not listed anywhere else. Many companies do not advertise their open positions (especially the more senior positions). The key is to find a recruiter that is in your niche and industry. Identifying recruiters who can best help with your job search can be challenging, but with a little research, you will find your match.

Resources:

Job Search Approach

Job Search Sites:

It’s so easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of job search sites.  How many times have you applied for a job online, only to find out it is already filled or 1,000 people have already applied for the job?  Being one of the first to apply for a job vastly improves your chances of getting an interview.

What can you do to improve your chances of getting an interview? Here are some key tips to maximizing your job search opportunities.

  • Keep your list of job search sites (Indeed.com, Monster.com, etc.) to no more than 3 sites.  Find the sites that work best for you (many sites have similar jobs). Take a look at our 14 Job Search Resources post.
  • Setup specific job searches in each of the sites and save them.  Make sure they are unique and specific enough to get the best results.  Sites like Indeed.com allow you to create advanced job searches.
  • Setup notifications so that you become aware of jobs as soon as they are posted (the early bird gets the interview).
  • Limit your applications to jobs that have been posted in the last two or three days (even 1 to 2 days).  Anything older than that probably has too many submissions.
  • Only apply for jobs that match your qualifications and skills.  Sounds easy, but so many times we apply for jobs that are “close” to our experience (this may be a waste of time).
  • If you are currently working, keep your job search confidential.  If you can’t tell which company you are applying to, don’t apply.  The last thing you want to do is apply to your own company (yes, I’ve seen that before).
  • Best tip – Once you find a job that matches all of the above, see if you can apply directly on the company’s career site (most companies have this as part of their corporate site).  This may help to push your application up in the process.
  • Best tip two – Before applying, check to see if you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) at that company.  This is where LinkedIn comes in handy.
  • Upload your resume to your small list of job search sites.  Make sure you indicate that it is confidential to keep your own company from seeing it. Many recruiters (both private and within companies) do reverse searches (look for candidates on job search sites).
  • Keep your search balanced.  It’s easy to spend hours on job search sites and, while there may be some great jobs there, you should also spend time working with recruiters and your network.  Take a look at Art of the Job Search.

Social Networks:

Networking, while always a key component of job search, has taken on more importance as business social networks have become increasingly more popular. Social Networking has become the preferred destination of choice for employers when looking for potential hires.

While LinkedIn was the first career social network, there are now quite a few social networks that are leveraged by employers. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, more than 70% of employers use social networks to research candidates.

And while everyone knows LinkedIn, don’t forget that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube can all be a positive platform for your job search.

So how best to leverage social networks in your job search? Following are some resources to help you leverage your social network profile.

Company Career Sites:

Career Tip of the Day80 Job Search Resources for Your Job Huntt

Suggested Reading:

Books

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