Repeating the adage that “looking for a full-time job is a full-time job” always draws nodding heads, smiles of agreement, or frowns of frustration when I speak to groups on career management. Job applicants, the ones who really get it, know that it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to land a new position, especially in a competitive market.
It also takes up to date knowledge on branding practices, the effective use of digital platforms, the development of content, building a resume that can easily be customized for each position for which you apply, and a killer Value Brand Statement. Changes in the job market are occurring at a very rapid rate. Many of the lessons learned about searching for a job five years ago are no longer valid.
You Actually Have Three Jobs
One of my coaching clients recently remarked that when you enter the job market, you have three full-time jobs:
- Your current position, assuming you have not been terminated or laid off
- Learning how to use the digital tools and rules and developing appropriate strategies
- Implementing and executing your job search
“How up to date are you? Unless you are working with an ironclad, no-cut employment contract, a forced career transition is a definite possibility. Then there is the decision to pursue the next step in your career advancement plan.”JohnGSelf
How up to date are you? Unless you are working with an ironclad, no-cut employment contract, a forced career transition is a definite possibility. Then there is the decision to pursue the next step in your career advancement plan.
Assessment of Your Job Search Preparedness
Here are questions we use to assess a candidate’s readiness to be competitive in the job market. Five is very knowledgeable and one is poor.How familiar are you with your VBS, also known as your value proposition?
- Are your familiar with the process of developing your VBS?
- When a recruiter asks you to tell her/him about yourself, can you communicate your value statement in a smooth, confident and memorable manner?
- How would you rate your storytelling ability?
- How would you rate your level of comfort regarding your career vision statement? If you do not have a formal career vision statement, score 1.
- How would you rate your ability to develop your own career vision statement today?
- How would you rate your overall knowledge regarding current resume standards?
- How would you rate your current resume in terms of its effectiveness in conveying your true value?
- Can you define strategic networking?
- How would you rate your knowledge of strategic networking?
- How would you rate the quality of your LinkedIn network?
- Is it comprised of contacts who can help you with market intelligence in the markets where you would consider a position?
- How many connections? (A good rule of thumb: 3,000 relevant contacts.)
- How would you rate the geographic diversity of your non-LinkedIn network?
- Overall, how would you rate your knowledge, and experience with social media?
- With 5 being very comfortable, and one being not comfortable at all, how comfortable are you with regularly posting to social media?
- With 5 being essential and 1 being totally unnecessary, how important is social media to a job search?
- How would you rate your kills/effectiveness in the telephone screening interview?
- How would you rate your knowledge of the dos and don’ts of the videoconference interview (SKYPE, ZOOM, etc)
- How do you rate your ability in the face-to-face interview?
- Do you know how to close the deal?
- How effective are you in connecting the dots between the needs of the prospective employer and your experience and record of accomplishment?
- Rate your knowledge regarding your ability to leverage your references.
- Assess the ability of your references to address specific elements of your performance for a specific job?
- Does your reference panel(s) include a superior, a peer, and a subordinate?
- Assess the willingness of your reference panel members to support you through a job search that could extend for 6 to 16 months with multiple reference inquiries.
If your total score does not exceed 80, you have work to do to be effective in a highly competitive market.