Career practitioners, you have the privilege to teach your clients how to conduct the job search. As such, the job search has evolved. Only by keeping up with the changes, will you be able to better help your charges land their dream job.
In this article, I will reference other career practitioners who have kept up with the job search and offer great advice. I encourage you to check out what they have to say in regards to the seven most important areas of the job search. If this is old hat to you, please share this article with other career practitioners.
Let me preface that what follows can’t cover every aspects of the modern job search.
I start with this area because it is often overlooked. Some career practitioners assume that the job search is mechanical and devoid of any emotional impact. Nothing can be further from the truth.
I’ve learned throughout the years that job seekers need to take a break from their job search, lest they burn out. The statement about the job search being a full-time job is true; however, spending 40 plus hours a week is counter-productive.
Dedicating 25-30 hours a week, with time to rest here and there is more reasonable. Job seekers need to be mindful of their mental and physical state. This is part of wellness and will hopefully avoid burnout in the job search.
Two of my close LinkedIn connections, Jim Peacock (https://peak-careers.com/) and Sabrina Woods (sabrina-woods.com), allowed me to interview them on mindfulness. During the interview, they made simple cases for doing the small things in life, such as taking walks, meditating, and reflecting, among other activities.
Watch this video of me interviewing Jim and Sabrina on the importance of wellness.
Research is where your clients’ job search begins. Before they can write a powerful résumé or LinkedIn profile, they should conduct labor market research (LMR). Getting a grasp on what employers are paying for salaries and knowing the state of their occupation and industry, it all begins with LMR.
Their research must go beyond visiting a few websites to gain the aforementioned information; they must devise a plan of attack. Here are but a few of the questions they should ask themselves:
- Which companies will I target and who at said companies do I know?
- Which methods will I use to conduct my search; networking, contacting recruiters, searching online, etc?
- How much time will I dedicate to my search?
- Which resources will I use to write my job-search documents and prepare for interviews?
Sarah Johnston (https://www.briefcasecoach.com/), is a huge proponent of research. She writes:
There is a famous French quote that says, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish.’ I’d like to go down in history for saying, ‘a job search without research and a strategy is like a trip with no destination.’ After getting crystal clear on your own personal strengths and career needs, one of the best places to start a job search is identifying a target list of companies that you’d be interested in working for or learning more information about.
Résumé writing experts are keeping a close eye on the trends in this area of the job search. As a career practitioner, you should advise your clients that today’s résumé needs to accomplish the following:
- Objective statements are out. Employers want to read a brief Summary that sells your clients, without fluff or cliches.
- It must show accomplishment statements with quantified results. Recruiters no longer want to see a grocery list of duty statements; they want to know what separates your clients from the rest.
- A tailored résumé to each job is the standard. This comes into play when employers read résumés and see that your clients have an understanding of the job.
- A well formatted résumé that is easy to read. Paragraphs should not exceed three or four lines at most.
- It brands a candidate by highlighting their best qualities and is consistent with their other marketing literature.
Executive résumé writers like Adrienne Tom (https://careerimpressions.ca/) and Laura-Smith Proulx (https://anexpertresume.com/) go to great lengths creating résumés for their clients that follow the rules above.
Applicant tracking systems
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) aren’t new; however, the role they play in the hiring process is huge. Bottom line: the ATS eliminates approximately 75% of résumés hiring authorities have to read by parsing them for keywords, e.g., skills, education, years of employment, and anything hiring authorities deem important.
If you aren’t aware of the ATS, acquaint yourself with it very quickly. It’s safe to assume that the companies your clients are sending their résumés to are using an ATS. While the ATS is a godsend to HR and recruiters, it’s a hindrance to job seekers.
It’s important that you get a handle on this technology. I defer to Jon Shields (https://www.jobscan.co/blog/) when I have questions regarding the ATS.
What’s most important for you to realize is that your clients’ LinkedIn profile is merely one piece of the puzzle. In order for their LinkedIn campaign to be successful, they must also develop a focused, yet large, network; and engage with their connections. One without the others is…well, failure.
I’ve found that some career practitioners haven’t taken the time to practice what they preach. If you want to teach your clients to use LinkedIn to it’s full potential, you must use it on a regular basis.
Read The ultimate LinkedIn guide. It will take you through all three components of a success LinkedIn campaign.
One of the hardest sells is getting your clients to actively network, particularly at formal events. It isn’t enough to say, “Just do it.” No, they need strategy and, maybe more importantly, encouragement.
Today’s job search works best when job seekers tap into the Hidden Job Market. Make it clear to your clients that companies hire through referrals first, not advertising their openings and hoping for the best.
So what is this strategy I’m referring to? First, your candidates need to take a more proactive approach by creating a target company list. Then they need to approach people who work at their desired companies, or people who know employees at their target companies.
Trust is won by having conversations in the form of many informational meetings and developing relationships. Your clients might get easily discouraged if they don’t gain immediate gratification. Don’t let them. If they’re preference is for introversion, suggest that they join smaller buddy groups.
Networking is the hardest way to land a job, but career practitioners like Austin Belcak make the process easier for their clients.
Gone are the days of one-and-done interviews. The Department of Labor states that the average day to hire for most employers is around 30 days. This is because they don’t want to make costly hiring decisions (in some cases it costs them one third of the employee’s annual salary).
Employers are using personality and analytical assessments, multiple phone and or video interviews, recorded video interviews; all before multiple in-person interviews.
At any phase of the interview process, your clients must be able to answer questions geared toward their job-related abilities as well as their emotional intelligence (EQ). Their best bet is to conduct extensive research on the position and company before each interview.
Similar to networking, if your clients expect quick results, chances are they’ll be disappointed. Prepare them for a lengthy process. But be encouraging. Every interview is a small victory.
One of the best sources for interview advice is www.job-hunt.org, a website operated by Susan Joyce. Have your clients check it out.
As the job search has evolved, it’s necessary for you to keep your clients apprised of the changes;
- Be cognizant of their wellness; it’s crucial to their journey in the job search.
- Make sure they’re doing their research, deep-dive research.
- Have their job-search documents in place, and push them to network.
- It all culminates with the all-important interview.
Photo: Flickr, The expert consultant