Signs are everywhere: “We’re hiring!” Excuses, too: “Please be patient – we are short on staff today.” We’re bombarded by media reports documenting there are not enough workers to manufacture products, transport, unload and deliver goods to market. We hear workers are staying home due to childcare needs and health concerns.
So, it should be easy to land a job, right? Wrong!
New jobseekers, and their support systems, are surprised at how challenging it is to land a job that’s a match for their skillsets, experience, and salary level.
- Disruptive digital technology and machine learning that has automated the application and selection process, screening qualified candidates based on keywords and data points that are mysterious to the average job hunter. There’s a higher chance a jobseeker will be screened out than screened in!
- Companies are seeking cutting edge digital skillsets that are in short supply. They’re raising the bar in soft skills, seeking emotional and social intelligence, and higher cognitive abilities. Jobseekers may need to upskill to qualify for many of the new jobs.
- Algorithms on LinkedIn determine ranking in searches, and profiles must be fully optimized with clear and compelling personal branding upon first impression to attract attention in a crowded marketplace.
- There’s a lot of competition for jobs. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for people to re-adjust their life priorities and values, and if their current employer is no longer a fit, they’re quitting or actively looking.
- Engage a job search and career coach There’s high stakes attached to landing a job, and you can shave months off your search if you have an advisor who can unravel the mysteries of digital recruitment strategies, optimize and brand your resume and LinkedIn profile and develop a go-to-market plan.
- Research the market and address any skill gaps with additional training and upskilling.
- Ensure that your presence is relevant and competitive in the market.
- Leverage LinkedIn to nurture, re-build and grow your network. People will be your most important asset in job search, helping you open doors locked by gatekeepers and providing referrals to unadvertised jobs. Learn how to strategically use the platform to approach strangers to build alliances.
How People Land Jobs
Ask your friends and colleagues about their job search experiences, and you’ll learn that everyone has a unique story to tell. Most landing stories start with “I can’t believe this came together so quickly.” The stories include diligent application of job search methodologies mixed with serendipity and synchronicity.
Here’s a few stories from my client experiences:
- “Mary” is a senior insurance executive facing a scarcity of jobs at her level. She applied online and was pleased to find herself six interviews into a prestigious company. Then, the process came to a standstill. By chance, Mary had lunch with an old family friend, an elderly woman, “Ann.” Ann inquired about her progress, and Mary shared her stalled experience the company. Ann asked, “What department?” Turns out Ann’s daughter was the manager of the department, and Ann, of course, followed up with her daughter. Mary was hired within a week of that luncheon.
- “Mike” is a Chief Marketing Officer who applied for a senior-level position at a technology company advertised on LinkedIn, despite the requirement that the applicant have a PhD in a medical specialty. After applying online, he searched LI for company leaders. Mike utilized the “InMail” feature of his Premium LinkedIn account to reach out directly to the President of the company. A virtual meeting was quickly scheduled, and the recruitment process accelerated. He was happy to accept the job offer a month after applying.
- “Joe,” a senior manufacturing engineering manager skilled in Six Sigma, was perusing LinkedIn when a pop-up ad appeared encouraging him to apply to American Family Insurance. His first impulse was to ignore it, assuming it was an ad to become an insurance agent. Out of curiosity, he clicked, and was led to a job posting seeking a leader to re-engineer the customer experience and bring Six Sigma practices into the organization. He aced the screening interview. He leveraged connections on LinkedIn for a referral to a senior leader in the insurance industry, and in an informational interview, gained deep insight into the industry, and how he could transfer his manufacturing experience to the insurance company. No surprise, he won the subsequent interviews. Joe accepted a job paying more than his former job and gained much needed work-life balance.
- “Luke,” a senior design leader, was in job search for more than a year with 151 applications and no results. On a whim, to satisfy his work search requirement, he applied to a job on the West Coast at a former employer. Within two weeks, he had an offer and was heading off to California.
Landing a job in today’s disrupted job market requires savvy knowledge of the digital recruitment process, optimized and branded resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and mastery of the networking process. A trusted advisor is essential to accelerating your job search and making the most of every opportunity you uncover. Most importantly, be open to the life unfolding and placing you in the “right time, right place” for you to move to the next step in your life and career.