Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Your Job Search Strategy:
Now that you’ve determined the target company size(s) position types and work goals it’s time to develop a job search strategy. Your strategy for seeking work should include an: industry hit list; ideal location(s); position title; and a plan for how you’ll conduct your job search. Will you look every day for a couple of hours? Or dedicate 2-3 days per week to avoid burn-out? Positions can be updated or added anytime, most positions are posted just before the weekend. Looking on Monday is a good bet to find new roles.
Research new industries to see if these positions are found in that industry. Visit company websites and search on their careers page. For some positions it’s easy like for: Accountants, Finance; Facilities; and Human Resources roles. However, other job titles are more industry specific.
Do a deep dive and think about other industries that may utilize your skills and experience.
Broaden your horizons on position titles if you aren’t finding exactly what you want especially in terms of level. Consider consultant, contractor and temporary roles we discussed earlier. Also know, that sometimes the same position is called by slightly varying titles. For example: Janitor or Sanitary Engineer, Administrative Assistant; Administrative Coordinator, Administrative Medical Assistant; Programmers or Coders.
Remember, to be kind to yourself. Take regularly needed breaks. Don’t wait for a holiday to take a three-day weekend.
Reward yourself when you’ve hit your job hunting goal for the day/week. It doesn’t have to be something big. Your favorite dessert; a movie; a nap; etc. Doing a job search is hard work and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re not making progress.
Apply directly on the company site for the role. You have to go there to do your research anyway.
Know you cannot always able to upload a cover letter with your application. It’s good though to have a skeleton cover letter template you can customize and use when needed. Utilize a cover letter when you ask someone in your network to refer you to their current or past employer.
Here’s a tip-- You can create a resume file with your cover letter added to your resume doc. Add your cover letter to the end of your resume and upload when applying. This will ensure your resume is seen first.
One more tip—Asking for a Referral-- if you ask someone to refer you, you should have at least 85% the skills and qualifications to do the role. Don’t burn a resource by asking them to intervene for you if you are not qualified for the role.
Remember, no one owes you anything.When you ask for a referral or help, it’s their choice to help or not help.Ask politely, be kind and humble in your requests. Always thank them for their time.
Should be concise and to the point.
Use cover letters to highlight relevant skills/experience. Or to show how you accomplished a goal.
When applying for a position be specific about the position of interest. Don’t expect the reader to read your resume and search for the right job for you.
Use a cover letter in an email and politely ask if someone is willing to help you get your resume in front the right person.If they say yes, then send them your resume.Don’t assume they’ll be comfortable helping you, especially if they don’t know you.
Ingredients--A Targeted Cover Letter:
Remember a stellar cover letter is also like packing for a vacation.Only pack the things needed for the location and the activities you plan to do there.Tailor the letter to the role.Narrow down the answers to the following questions before you work on your letter.How does your work experience fit the role’s requirement?Do you have the years of experienced required?What skills do you have that are pertinent to the role?Why do you want to work at that company?Answering these questions ahead of time will help make writing your cover letter easier.
While you can be generic in your address it’s better to see if you can locate someone. Look for someone in the Talent Acquisition Department or for the Hiring Manager’s name and use it in your address.
Opening Introduction Paragraph:
This paragraph should introduce you to the reader, identify the position you’re applying to and where you saw the posting.
Dear Mr. Jones,
I saw your LinkedIn posting for a Marketing Manager Position and am applying for this role.My name is Jane Doe, I’ve been following XYZ since you went public in January of 2019 and have noted the company’s progress to advance your product in the children’s diagnostic space.
This demonstrates your knowledge of the company and is genuine. However, only mention you’ve been following the company if it’s true.
These 1 to 2 paragraphs should mirror the job description by showing how your background and experience fits the role. Don’t Tell, Show how your experience is on target for the role. Your cover should not just repeat the bullets on your resume. Show why you’re a good choice by giving 1 -2 examples of how you solved problems or completed projects. Explain the issues you had with the problem/project/task and share how you solved them. This will demonstrate your ability to do the job.
Example: Versus: Tell-- I successfully designed a plan to separate our customers during the pandemic.
Show-- “We needed to solve the issue of keeping our customers socially distanced 6 feet apart during the pandemic.What I did was……which solved the problem.We maintained our level of customer satisfaction and kept our sales up by __%
This is your call to action. Tell the reader what you want, i.e. you’d like to come in for an interview. Provide your contact information and you’ll follow up with them, if you don’t hear back from them. Thank them for taking the time to read your letter. Review your letter carefully to ensure you have no typos or spelling or grammatical errors.
This position is interesting to me and I would like to learn more. XYZ company is a good fit for me because ______. I would like to come in and interview with the team. You can reach me on my cell at XXX-XXX-XXXX or via email at:firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll follow up with you within the next two weeks.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Best regards/Sincerely/Regards, any one of these work well.