Looking for a job in 2019? Follow these 10 steps
You owe it to yourself to make a step-wise job-search plan and execute it. It's a great time to dream afresh and seek a job that takes you ahead, here's how.
Have you made a New Year resolution for your career? Else let’s choose one now. You can work towards a promotion or greater responsibilities at your workplace. You can decide to upgrade your skill sets and seek training or certification. Finally, you can choose to pursue the job of your dreams. What better time than now, where you can set aside your frustrations of the previous year, dream afresh and seek a new job that takes you ahead in 2019? Let’s see how.
Make it a project
You owe it to yourself to make a step-wise plan and execute it. Work it like a project at office. Plan out a timeline. If you are a mid-to senior person, it takes an average of six months to get a good role. If you are a fresher or junior, two months should be your target. Your plan should include the nine steps given below, taken three at a time, with time budgeted for each block. Finally, work and execute your plan till you reach your goal. Start off immediately with the next three steps in parallel.
Write down your story
You are a product that is in the market for a sale. Get your sales pitch ready before you look for a job. The best way to prepare is to write it all down and make a fresh resume. There are two benefits to this. Firstly, writing down forces you to think through and be specific. Secondly, you can perfect your pitch by converting your responsibilities into measurable achievements. For example, increased sales by 20% is more effective than saying responsible for sales in the region. In case you are fresher, talk about your achievements outside the classroom to differentiate your sales pitch.
Who are your referees
If a resume is an advertisement of your abilities, then references are the word-of-mouth recommendations that convinces the buyer. Talk to your ex-bosses and colleagues and prepare them to refer you and your contributions when a potential employer calls. If you are a student, maybe your professors are willing to speak well about you. Keep referees updated during your job search.
Hello world approach
Share your goal with everyone who will root for you—family, friends and ex-colleagues. The more people you enrol into your dream, the larger is your sales team who will spread the word, generate leads and connect you to potential employers. Request your network to enable face-to-face meetings with people in their networks who can refer you to decision-makers.
Social media strategy
Your potential employer will always run an Internet search on you. Make sure your privacy settings on various social media are appropriately set so that the right stuff turns up in search. Create a detailed professional profile on LinkedIn and turn on the “Open for Jobs” preference so that recruiters can find you. Keep a lookout for messages from recruiters as well as jobs recommended by LinkedIn and respond immediately.
Choose company not vacancy
Now define your ideal role, geography and employers you want to work for. Focus your efforts in reaching out to and meeting people within your dream companies. The ideal job search focuses on employer and not on existing vacancies. Most employers have un-advertised vacancies that are filled when the right person shows up.
Get a personal introduction
Know that a CV is required simply to get you a shortlist for a face-to-face meeting. Make your CV irrelevant in the job search process by getting a foot in the door without using your CV. Obtain a personal introduction to meet or connect with a decision maker/influencer after which the CV becomes a mere technicality.
New resume each time
Never use the same resume twice. When it is time to send a copy of your resume, customise it each time for the requirements of the company and the profile. Refer to the formal job description if available to get an idea of the company’s requirements. Then leave out what is irrelevant and highlight what is important to the employer.
Be ready for technology
In 2019, firms will increasingly rely on technology to streamline their hiring. Firstly, automated tracking systems look for specific keywords so your resume should exactly match the skills used in the job description. Secondly, there may be timed online tests – skill based and psychometric. If possible, prepare and get some practice on free websites. Finally, employers may ask you for a recorded video interview answering questions from a screen. Practice on a video app in advance.
The interview is the final gate that gets you the job offer. Treat it with due seriousness. Most interviewers will make a subconscious decision in the first 90 seconds. So, like an accomplished stage actor, do full dress rehearsals for your interview. Enrol a friend while you dress up formally and practice getting your first impression right. Your hard work will pay off.
And here's what won’t work for your job search in 2019
1. Power of placement consultants
If you wrongly believe that sharing your resume with multiple placement agencies will help, then know that consultants serve employers and work only on vacancies provided. They do not search for a job for you. Your CV will simply join thousands of others in their database. Rely on your own efforts instead.
2. A hundred applications
Spray and pray? Applying to hundreds of jobs all over the place will mean that you are using your scarce time and energy unproductively. You will spend time on applications that don’t match your dreams and will have little time to prepare for openings that matter. Focus is the key to success.
3. Karma and serendipity
“I have always been lucky.” “Whenever I needed a job, opportunity knocked my door.” Relying on good karma or serendipity is a passive and ineffective job search strategy. An active job search plan works better where you invest in doing your career homework and then actively seek people and companies.
4. Stay-at-home strategy
A failed farmer is one who plants the seeds and then sits at home waiting for the crop to get ready on its own. Similarly, sharing your resume with others is not enough. Get out of home and meet people. Ask for time to have a cup of coffee so that you can have a good chat and a recommendation to a decision maker.
5. What you desire
Your aspirations don’t count. Many freshers and a few seniors wrongly operate from a sense of entitlement expecting the market to respect their dreams. The job market operates on whether there is a need for your skills, how rare those skills are and what is the market price for them. Research the numbers before you negotiate.
(The writer is Founder and CEO at quezx.com and headhonchos.com)