8 Stages Of A Successful Job Hunt

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No matter what your occupation or level of experience is, the process of getting a new job has several common elements. Once you understand the progression as a whole, you are less likely to make mistakes along the way. Here are the stages you’ll most likely pass through on your way to your next position:

1. Figuring out your value.

The obvious but often overlooked truth is that people get hired for only one reason: They represent the best possible answer to an employer’s need to have X work done. Somehow that “X” contributes to increasing sales or productivity or decreasing risk and expenses.

As a job hunter, it is your responsibility to understand and convey how it is that you can contribute to the advancement of any employer’s mission. What about your skills, education and experience will enable you to make a significant contribution to your next employer?

2. Determining your target:

It is important to figure out the right type of company or organization that will generally need someone like you. It’s also critical to understand in what kind of environment you will feel comfortable and productive. What industry? What organization size? What type of products or services? What kind of role?

To learn about organizations in your area, you can do a great deal of research on LinkedIn. Support this research with informational interviews with key leaders in your field.

3. Crafting your brand and message.

For whatever role you seek, you will likely face strong competition from many candidates who possess similar backgrounds as yours. Rather than ramble on about the responsibilities that you share with others, focus on the qualities, experience and expertise that set you apart from the pack.

Your personal branding statement should be at the top of your résumé and LinkedIn profile. In essence, it is the answer to the first question at every interview: Tell me about yourself [and what sets you apart from your competition]. You should develop a consistent message, which is presented differently in the forms of your résumé and professional bio.

4. Prospecting:

Now that you know your value and what you want, it’s time to start actively prospecting for jobs. There are numerous ways to go about this by scouting posted positions on company Web pages, job boards, Insidify, LinkedIn and so on.

But remember: About 80 percent of new hires come about from personal networking. Get out there and attend professional events like symposia, conferences, conventions and trade shows. Network with fellow college alumni, people in your community and at Meet up groups. In short: Network anywhere, everywhere and all the time!

5. Determining the rough fit in a phone interview:

In most situations, an employer will sift through many résumés to do a “rough cut” of people who appear on the surface to meet and exceed the minimum job requirements. Typically, an internal recruiter or human resources representative will make a call, say some flattering things and set up a phone screening interview.

Don’t mistake statements like “you appear to have what we are looking for” as anything more than a general indication of interest. You don’t have the job yet!

This is the time to show you’re really the person your résumé represents. Be prepared to discuss every career and educational transition, the basics of what you do and what would be required of you. This isn’t the time for final decisions or discussions of compensation.

6. Dealing with red flags:

Part of the screening process is to take a look at anything that might be disqualifying for an otherwise potentially strong candidate. Things like employment gaps, too many or too few career transitions and a host of other factors might cause concern. Take time to figure out what your obvious red flags are, and be prepared to help your interviewer lower them, so you can proceed to making your case at the “real” interview.

7. Making your case:

This, of course, is what happens at any face-to-face job interview. Come prepared for whatever can be thrown at you. Know your résumé inside and out, and be able to expand on anything you have written in it.

Articles and books about interviewing for a job are more than plentiful. Read them and prepare, but don’t over-prepare so much that your answers come off as rehearsed. When it comes down to it, you can’t fake sincerity and should never misrepresent what you’ve done.

Rehearsed lines may also minimize the positive reaction you should have when demonstrating genuine interest in the company, role to be filled and how you would be able to make a significant contribution.

8. Negotiating the deal:

You will always be in a stronger position to negotiate for a higher level of compensation if you wait until all your competition has been eliminated. Then you don’t have to worry about low-balling them or selling yourself too short.

At the same time, remember that you want to start out on a good foot, with neither you nor the employer feeling dragged over the coals in a protracted or contentious negotiation. Talk about objective criteria rather than vague wants, and give a solid justification for whatever requests you make.
Whole books are available for each of these stages of the job hunt.

However, when you remember these basics and use them as a frame of reference for your own search strategy, you’ll have a sense of what you need to do to get to where you want to go.

Happy hunting!

Culled from http://goo.gl/zqXlux

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