I had an opportunity earlier this year to interview Jeff, a Senior Cloud and Digital Technologist whose career included 8 years as a founder of a technology consultancy startup followed by 4 years as a Fortune 500 IT consultant. In 2018 he decided to test the job search waters.
He landed in just 2 months, and secured several interviews along the way, without every applying to a job board. I got the chance to chat about the strategy that worked for him, and led to his rapid job search success.
6 Secrets to Rapid Job Search Success
PREPARING FOR THE JOB HUNT
“The first thing I did was pull up my resume. I had neglected to keep it up for the past 4 years,” Jeff said. “I knew I needed to revise what I had and frame it in a way that told my story – and really struggled to do this.”
Jeff found a writer (me!) to work with. During our interview, he revealed he needed someone who could hear his story and be objective about his career, to create a resume and LinkedIn profile that told not just what he did day in and day out but who could explain his accomplishments.
A TARGETED AND METHODICAL APPROACH
From there, Jeff says, he took a different approach. “I relied heavily on my personal connections,” he explained. He created a list of four primary companies that would be his first choice to join, and then a second list of three with similar aspects to the first.
“I was targeted AND methodical,” Jeff said, “I didn’t want to take a ‘spray and pray’ approach.”
Wishing to stay within the confines of companies where he felt he might be a good fit and could be successful, Jeff explained he did quite a bit of research and homework to get background around what the company had done and where it was going.
GETTING THE INSIDE SCOOP
For four of the companies on his list, it turned out Jeff knew people who worked there. “I definitely reached out to them to get the inside scoop on working at these companies,” he said.
“From there, I dovetailed to look at the company’s online presence, review the jobs they had posted,” he said. “I also reviewed hiring trends and financials for public companies.”
CHALLENGES AND SURPRISES
“I’m in technology,” Jeff says. “I knew it was important to look at my skills and see if they ran in parallel with what companies were looking for and where the industry was headed.” Fortunately, in Jeff’s case, any gaps were easy to rectify or ramp up to ensure maximum appeal to companies of interest.
He experienced an unexpected curveball when he discovered that while many companies on his list were light years ahead from a technology perspective, others were behind the times. “I had to figure out which culture was right for me,” Jeff recalled.
A JOB SEARCH PEEK
“I didn’t job search on a daily basis – but rather on a weekly basis,” Jeff said. “Every week I’d evaluate where I was in my search. Then, on a bi-weekly basis, I would make sure to be at the top of their inbox or voicemail, even if there was no movement.”
This approach allowed Jeff to show companies and recruiters he was still interested, remained fresh on their minds, and also allowed him to gauge if he was a viable candidate or being strung along.
“I stayed on top of things without being highly aggressive,” Jeff explained.
WORKING WITH RECRUITERS
Jeff forged new recruiter relationships by locating people he knew with similar skills as his own, who could refer him. “That person vouching for me to the recruiter made the process much easier,” Jeff said.