Over the last months, I have received many messages from candidates who tell me that they look for a job, stating how difficult it is to find a job.
I patiently listened, as I wanted to understand the problem and their job search strategies, as well as their misperceptions around the mechanisms of modern job markets... guess what the number one mistake is that people keep on doing when looking for a job?
The wrong job search strategy?
They use outdated, ineffective job search strategies: They look for a job instead of allowing a job to find them. Allow me to elaborate on this thought.
The just mentioned individuals browse for jobs, send out their CVs in masses (I know a gentlemen who sent out 300 CVs in 30 days!) and hope for the best. This job search strategy for me, personally, does not only disrespect your time. It also puts you in a passive supplicant position, which is not the best position when entering a negotiation.
Modern job search doesn't work like this anymore. The way information flow in the job market is way too complex. Our inboxes are flooded with messages, there are countless meetings we need to attend and our jobs ask us to do so much more than 10 years ago. No wonder why your application was not recognized in that stressful, busy chaos.
What can you do instead? Invest in and build a purposeful, impressive and professional personal brand! The five most important elements I want you to take action on are the following:
1. Become aware of your strengths & your UVP
If you do not know what you are great at, what you are the expert in and why people should work with you, how on earth should others know that? Every good personal branding coach will sit down with you and make sure that you are aware of your unique value proposition, your skills and targets before working on your online and offline image.
Why that is so important? You cannot build a solid house on sand. Becoming aware of your values and what makes you you is absolutely essential in this process.
2.Clean up and polish your online presence (esp. LinkedIn)
Those revealing pictures of you on Facebook (you at the beach or in a nightclub) do not really help in building a trustworthy professional image. Delete them. PS: Also check your privacy settings and make sure that Google cannot find your Facebook profile. Had a politically incorrect conversation about religion, gay marriage or Brexit on Twitter? Maybe you want to delete a few tweets as well. Your LinkedIn profile was updated in 2008? Tell the world what you have done between 2008 and 2018!
Human beings are curious beings. Recruiters, HR Managers and/or your direct line managers may check your background before they invite you to a job interview. Make sure that the first impression is a good one.
3. Enhance your "real life" presence
The modern Western societies we have created have to tendency to be judgmental and obsessed with elements like success, fame, followers, achievement and beauty. Being aware of this idiocy allows us to play with certain perceptions to reach our targets, which is getting your dream job in our case.
I want you to invest in your public speaking skills, a profession photo shoot for your LinkedIn profile and in your wardrobe. Why? Once again, we expect "leaders" (=modern, self-confident job seekers) to appropriately articulate themselves. That clothes make the man is nothing new and a photo shooting rounds up a "successful", flawless first image of you. PS: Neither take yourself not this whole process too seriously...
4.Turn into a content creator
This is the tricky part, which the majority of people forget about. Now that you know who you are and your online presence looks "eye-brow-raisingly impressive", show the world what you are the expert in: Solve problems out of your industry, share your lessons learned and your opinion on latest trends, your successes and failures in the form of articles, status updates and/or videos on LinkedIn.
Through this strategy you will attract potential employers, colleagues and recruiters to your profile and I can guarantee you that they will ask you to provide them with your CV, if you are able to portray yourself as a professional, value adding individual who knows his stuff and who is an interesting human being to spend time with.
5. Brainstorm and execute new job search strategies
Here are a few suggestions: Go out and network, visit job fairs and/or exhibitions, join social or sports clubs, talk to your former mentors, employees and/or professors, join social media competitions from your dream employer, do an internship, do some pro bono or project work and/or signup for weekend courses of your potential employer.
My experience has shown me: Opportunities enter your life once you close your laptop, dress up, adjust your mindset and get out of your flat.
Building a professional, impressive personal brand is one of the most effective and fun job search strategies you can invest in.
Your personal brand will accompany you through your whole life. The earlier you work on and invest in it, the faster you will be able to reap what you sow.