Four Basic Elements of an Effective Job Search

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4 elements in the job search


Four Basic Elements of an Effective Job Search

By: Kerm Hamilton

While finding a new job can feel daunting, getting over the “grip” of putting yourself “out there” is manageable.  Landing your next job involves four basic elements: Preparation – Planning – Presence – Persistence.  These simple ideas are behavioral, effective and doable.

Many job seekers lack PREPARATION to succeed in their efforts. Much of the work that a Career Transition Coach provides to a client involves the PREPARATION of self-marketing skills (ie. your resume and cover letter), job market focus, self-awareness and interview confidence.

Finding work is work and all successful outcomes need PLANNING.  Such behaviors involve a daily schedule of repeatable tasks.  Structure is when and how a job seeker initiates, engages and follows-up on contacts — all of which require a simple PLAN – one that is followed repeatedly.  This structure can relieve some of the anxiety that follows a period of career transition.  One foot in front of the other – one task at a time.

The phrase: “It’s all about relationships” is critically relevant during a time of stressful change.  This is particularly true with your PRESENCE and PERSISTENCE in job search activities. Every task or interaction, whether it be applying online, interacting with possible job ad referrals or talking on the phone via a virtual interview are all “moments of truth” – moments where being “real” and vitally aware of who you are and what is needed for this moment to work in your favor.  Knowing yourself in an everyday environment as well as in stressful situations, makes your PRESENCE much more authentic and much more repeatable.

PERSISTENCE is sometimes perceived as being a pain in the rear-end. However, PROFESSIONAL PERSISTENCE is the most effective way of developing and continuing useful relationships during a time where loneliness and emptiness keep knocking on your door.  Here are a few suggestions regarding the timing of PROFESSIONAL PERSISTENCE:

  • If you have applied for a job opening and have not received any form on receipt notification, consider sending a follow-up email 5 business days after submitting your resume. Work with a Career Transition Coach on who you should contact and the PROFESSIONAL PERSISTENCE in your wording.  Remember: it’s all about relationships.
  • Reply within 24 hours after you have had an interview – whether it is a screening conversation or a face-to-face or virtual event. Time is of the essence, with the purpose of strengthening the memory of the person(s) who interviewed you. This follow-up should not be a “Hemingway novel” in length. Again – working with a Coach will make this an easy action item.
  • “A no now does not mean a no later.” With the ever-present use of Applicant Tracking Systems, your digital resume footprint might remain in talent acquisition memory.  This means that savvy Human Resources professionals look at previous applicant information for new or refill job openings. Knowing this, consider sending a thank-you email message even if you receive a notification that your desired job has been filled by another candidate. A short, thankful and PROFESSIONALLY PERSISTENT message once again strengthens the memory of you in the minds of companies looking for effective employees.

Keep in mind and take to heart:  It’s all about relationships, and one foot in front of the other – one task at a time.


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  • Meredith

    Great, practical and doable tips. Thanks, Kerm!!

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