Whether you are among the many laid off or the growing number of professionals interested in transitioning to a more meaningful career, this article is for you. Gratefully, the world is opening back up, and more exciting roles are becoming available. At the same time, the job search has never been more competitive. To be successful, you need to be very strategic, creative and bold in your approach.
Here are seven steps to strategically and creatively secure your next position.
A short story with impact is the goal. Some call it your “elevator speech.” Express your skills, successes and goals with a punchy creative narrative. Use a combination of creative adjectives, action verbs and keywords. This story works for your “about” section on LinkedIn, your outreach emails and is useful when networking.
Ensure your resume and LinkedIn are thorough and polished with lots of detailed examples of your accomplishments. Some quantification is a must. They should also be easy to read—most people will only scan your materials for six seconds to determine if they will read further.
How can you stand out? Create a portfolio and work case studies. Consider a video cover letter and a bio. Maybe even include some infographics. Self-promotion is expected and required. This is not the area in which to be humble or shy.
Let everyone know that you are looking and what you are seeking. Ask for ideas, support and referrals. LinkedIn research indicates 85% of roles are filled this way. Make this your priority.
Get fearless. Reach out and connect with people doing what you want to do in your dream companies. People are generous. Ask for 15-minute informational chats. Networking with strangers is a worthy strategy for adventurous dream career seekers.
Yes, computerized ATS (applicant tracking systems) scan incoming resumes for keyword matches. But remember it's people who give us opportunities. Prioritize people.
Apply to jobs on Fairygodboss, LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor, and use the Google search bar to discover even more roles. Always use step two when you apply. Don’t just upload and move on. Networking remains the key.
Do not reach burnout. Applying to jobs can be exhausting. Give yourself a goal of how much time to spend on this per day. Then, commence networking which is more fun and the real way we typically find new opportunities.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Research each company and be ready to ask very specific, insightful questions related to what you learned.
Zoom adds another layer of potential nervousness. Remember to dress up and show up just like you were in the same room. Make eye contact and be natural. Smile and enjoy meeting new people. You want to show you are qualified but also personable, relatable and, of course, likable.
Preparation and practice will ensure you are confident, articulate and well-prepared. You’ll be able to relax and just be your best self.
Ensure your timely follow-up email doesn’t sound generic. Reference specific topics from your conversation, what you love about the company and show your passion for the role. Concisely recap how your strengths align perfectly with the job description. Bullet points are your friend here.
Proactively send more work examples, recommendations and leave no room for doubt; show that you are the right choice and you want this.
This is critical. Research shows that we are 95% more likely to obtain our goals when we have regular check-ins with someone who supports us and keeps us active and results-oriented.
You need to be self-motivated. Yet you don’t have to do this or anything alone.
Ask a friend or find a coach. I offer a free collaboration session if you are looking for support.
If you have been looking for a while, or just getting started, ensure you are thorough from your preparation to your follow-up. As with any career goal, it’s about leveraging your relationships, staying positive, and maintaining your self-motivation.
It’s time to get more fearless, creative, strategic and bold.
Follow these seven steps as they will support your successful new job search. I will be cheering you on.
This article was written by an FGB contributor.