Many business professionals make the mistake of searching for a job without having a plan. Instead of picking random job search strategies and using them to find employment, you should be approaching your job search from a methodical standpoint. Treating the job search as though it's a business strategy helps you find the best opportunities and determine how to position yourself as the ideal candidate for each position. Use these tips to develop a strategic job search plan that yields results.
When people talk about job search strategies, they usually discuss tips for writing resumes or getting attention with cover letters. What you should be doing is a SWOT analysis of yourself as a business professional. This type of analysis identifies your personal strengths and weaknesses, making it easier to write your resume and answer interview questions. SWOT analysis will also help you recognize opportunities and threats related to your career. If you lack basic computer skills, for example, this is a real threat to your ability to land a new job.
Traditional job search strategies focus on making yourself appealing to recruiters, but you should also work on building your personal brand. Peter Montoya defines a personal brand as a positive idea that influences how other people perceive you. Your brand tells people who you are, what you do, and how you are different from the thousands of other business professionals searching for jobs. To start building your own brand, make a list of your strongest skills and best professional traits, identifying the ones that set you apart from other people in your field. Use the information you gather to create a brand that will get noticed. This gives you an advantage over people using more traditional job search strategies.
Whatever you do, don't abandon the job search strategies you have always used. Although it's important to approach your job search strategically, it's also important to adhere to industry standards when applying for jobs. Make sure you have an updated resume and custom cover letters for each potential employer. Practice your interviewing skills before you meet with a recruiter. You wouldn't try to solve a business problem without planning ahead, so don't try to improvise your job search either.
Developing a strategic job search plan is the best way to find employment in business and management. A solid plan keeps you organized and ensures you make the most of the time you have to search for new opportunities. Conduct a SWOT analysis and take time to build your personal brand before you apply for a job. Then, use traditional job search strategies to supplement your efforts.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)