The Controllable Versus the Uncontrollable Factors. How Long Your Job Search Will Take
onDecember 18th, 2015
- In part one we introduced the idea that “what’s next” plays a role, depending how clear you are about your career path.
- In part two, we covered three factors that control the supply of available opportunities – the location where you want to work; lifestyle preference that affect how you want to work and compensation needs that drive your goals around “how much”.
- In this final post, we explore what might be the least controllable with the most controllable variables, these being “The Market” and how you “Approach” it.
The Market and Job Search Duration
What Is the Demand for Your Skills - The Competition Factor?
Your Approach and Job Search Duration
This triangle illustrates the benefit of networking to opportunities before they are advertised. The top represents new opportunities that are hidden where the candidate pool is small or even non existent.
- Networking. The value of networking comes from its many benefits - the potential to identify employers who are hiring and learn about positions that not widely publicized. There is also the opportunity to learn about what fellow professionals are doing; the organizations and industries in which they work; trends they are seeing, etc.
Experience also shows that proactive approaches are more rewarding once the anxiety around networking and fear of rejection is overcome. Meeting and talking to people can be energizing and keep you connected during what can otherwise be a lonely journey. When you approach networking as a mutual information exchange it adds value for both parties. Plus, it’s easier if you’ve established a network that you can tap before you need it.
- Referrals. We have previously blogged on the Power of Referrals. It’s an important strategy that can be effective as a follow up after applying to a published opening. Research and network with people you know within your target organizations. If they can speak to your experience and are comfortable recommending you, ask if they would be willing to refer you. If they are not comfortable endorsing you, ask if they would share your resume and provide a short cover that explains why you are a fit and why you want to work for this organization. This will give your resume an extra push and a second chance of getting noticed (bypassing the hiring system into which your resume might have gotten buried).
You are still facing the prospect of competition that is minimized or reduced when the position is not advertised, but it could get your resume to the top of the pile assuming you are a strong match. See the new LinkedIn feature to learn more about how you can leverage this strategy; assess your fit to a published opening of interest; and measure your competition for that role.
- Responding to published openings. This is a legitimate, but potentially reactive strategy, the success of which diminishes as the position gets widely disseminated, and also as seniority and income increases. Once a position is advertised, the number of applicants will grow exponentially, adding two hurdles - greater competition and the challenge of standing out in a crowd. This strategy demands that you are a good fit and that your resume is strongly matched with keywords in the listing. These are important requirements to ensure your resume is retrieved from automated hiring systems ..... not to mention being read by overwhelmed sourcing teams and hiring managers.