Often, people looking for a job do not want to waste their time in developing a good strategy for it, which is the most important thing. If their strategy is wrong, and despite the efforts made, they might not reach out the companies that interest them.
So, when is it recommended to develop a good job search strategy? In my opinion, the right time to build it, it is when one’s about to have the CV completed. The CV is the milestone to separate the two phases of the job search the introspective (self analysis) and the more active job hunting step which involves an opening to the world and companies.
The first part of the strategy of job search involves a benchmark analysis from the competition. To open oneself to the world, one must acknowledge, accept and recognize the Competition. It is recommended to have a look at the competition, see other candidates , how they present themselves in Linkedin, what are they skills and education. Furthermore, when it comes to the point of the competences, I strongly recommend to open the top 10 profiles in Linkedin and compare the competences to have an average most recognized competences from the competition.
And going further with the competences it would be interesting to surf in the market to match the competences from oneself, the competitors… and the Market needs!. In the end it would be the market who chooses. Better benchmark and see gaps. These gaps cannot be filled easily but need an action. There is still time until the interviews for reaction, for example if require learning or can still be developed at work with your team. This means that though it might be a weakest point in an interview there are still time to prepare examples and do not leave empty slots in competences. For example one cannot become a leader in one month but can prepare a strategy to develop a team in the forthcoming year and deploy it until a new job is found (be a leader right now).
To complete this phase it is recommended to read sectorial magazines and surf on the web. And afterwards, it comes the question: Do you still want to keep the CV as finished or a new quick revision is needed?
The Second part of the Strategy itself require a market research, (attention the first was a benchmark and approach to competition). A Market research means for me that one applies in a practical way the target: I would like to be a sale director in retail, means that I need to investigate in this order: Retail Sector, Target some companies (growth and financially stable) and sales director position. First would be which companies are leading the sector, then where are them, which ones grow, what are these companies values and strategies? Do they match in my career expectations? Which companies hire sales director, which size of a company? where are the locations ? The more you learn the more you ask yourself. So finally there is moment in time of categorization of the information. Classify the companies, but more important is setting priorities in this list. Which companies I will approach first. And for the purpose one needs to think already in the networking phase.
Finally there is a channel selection. Which channels I would use to contact companies, search job etc.. LinkedIn jobs, recruiters, headhunting? which companies I will approach directly? which companies are in my network range…etc. Channel is really important and one must try to avoid making mistakes by knowing better the companies and re-arranging the strategy at the same time is developing by learning from market (i.e. companies not hiring, re-structuring or not in good shape). Remember that we live in a world with shorter and shorter economic cycles.
Summarizing the Strategy steps are:
1.- Benchmark Analysis.
2.- Market Research.
3.- Categorization of the information.
4.- Channel Selection.
Finally, there is the social network as a part of the strategy. Speaking about social network strategy would require a complete post but I would mention here that social network is a huge decision and important decision that can change completely the strategy. The decision is whether to be a viewer or take a stand in social network, share contents with others and create a full profile. Exposition levels increase as long as one shares knowledge and experience on the net. But Also visibility and access to companies increase. It is as everything in live a matter of choice!