Successful Job Hunting: 3 different plans that work
How are you managing your job search?
Working to a plan or just seeing what each day brings and “rolling with it”?
We are all different. Some of us like to do things in a very structured way; some prefer a more free-flowing approach to life. Whatever your personality, I have observed over many years of career coaching that the job hunter who works to a plan usually lands a better role faster than those who don’t get organised.
I’d like to share the stories of 3 of my clients – for obvious reasons of confidentiality some details and their real names will not be published.
The Job Hunting plans of Jeff, Rob and Mike (you’ve met him before)
Jeff is super-efficient. He has built up an incredibly detailed spread-sheet with multiple worksheets that he can switch between quickly and easily to cross reference related information. He has compiled a huge list of potential employers, mapped and listed the connections he currently has in each of these companies.
Using colour coding he can see instantly where the gaps in his network and prospect list are, what his most recent action or contact was and where follow-up activity is needed.
There are links from each of his top priority target companies to a research profile he has collated – and he has done enough research to have a very solid insight into the company, its challenges and its people.
There is lots more to it but I don’t want you or me to get lost in the detail (I am more of a big picture person). The real point, though, is not that he has built the spreadsheet – but that he uses it to drive his daily job-hunting activity. This is where the true value lies.
It’s working. While he hasn’t nailed down the role he wants yet, he has numerous very exciting leads developing at the same time and has found opportunities for paid consulting work in the meantime. It won’t be long now.
Rob the visual thinker
Rob is different. He doesn’t like lists very much, more of a visual thinker. His job hunt is also different, as he is exploring a number of quite different lines of activity in parallel.
This could easily get confusing for him, which would dilute his effort. Worse still it could confuse executive search firms and key network contacts. If he looks indecisive about his future he will not be an attractive hiring prospect.
So what is his approach compared with Jeff?
Rob has found some very easy to use mind-mapping software. It works on his home computer and on his mobile phone and can easily be printed out.
Mind-mapping, using colour coding, has helped him to identify and organise the important elements of each avenue he is exploring, adding extra items as he goes which would be difficult to do in a list.
He can keep things separate and clear in a highly visual way. He can see what needs to be kept separate and he can also see where things may overlap and integrate. This has allowed him to followup on additional, related opportunities that he would otherwise have missed.
He is now in a C-suite leadership role in a significant Not For Profit organisation, one of the options revealed in his mind-map.
Mike (remember him from my last post?) a bit of both
Mike used aspects of both Jeff and Rob’s approach. And it worked – a few months ago he secured a senior leadership role in a global company that was high on his target list.
He started with a detailed list of target companies so that he could focus on the research he needed to do. He also created a good list of network contacts and prioritised them.
So, two good lists as a starting point, but he didn’t go for the highly structured spread-sheeting style used by Jeff.
Next he created a visual map of how his key network contacts were connected to his target companies. He used a simple diagram of concentric circles that helped him to identify who knew whom and how strong his connection was to each person.
Equally valuable was that this showed him instantly where his connections were weaker so that he could focus on establishing new relationships.
So what works for you?
If you found some good ideas here, please Like and Share. Even better, why not leave a comment so that others can learn from you?