5 Things You’re Doing Right (But Could Be Doing Better) In Your Job Search
The bad news: You’re probably doing a lot of things wrong in your job search.
The good news: You’re also likely doing several things right.
The bad news: Some of those things you’re doing right? You could actually be doing them much better.
The good news: We’re about to show you how.
- Sleuthing Out Contacts Within a Company, but Being Too Forward With the Approach
I like the go-getter in you. You’re not going to just sit there and blindly apply for advertised positions online. No, sir. You’re going to find and endear yourself to people on the inside of companies of interest, to give yourself a leg up on the competition. All good. But not so good if you’re charging at strangers via LinkedIn LNKD -0.71% or other channels like some kind of crazed bull. That’s not networking; that’s ambushing. And no one likes to feel ambushed.
Do it Better
Approach people in a way that you’d want to be approached by a stranger. I’m guessing that you’d be more than willing to chat with or help someone if he or she contacted you in a friendly, flattering, or helpful way before asking for anything from you, right? Be that stranger. Built rapport first before you ask for any big favors.
- Updating Your LinkedIn Profile, But Alerting Everyone at Your Current Employer That You’re Looking
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that your keywords, brand, and tone align with your career goals is incredibly smart. But if you’re a covert job seeker, you can run into some serious snags (especially if your colleagues or boss are among your LinkedIn contacts) if you update several things on your profile without first turning off your activity broadcasts.
Do it Better
If you’re trying to fly under the radar with your search, before you update a single thing on your LinkedIn profile, head into your privacy settings. Within the privacy controls section, select “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” and uncheck the box that says “Let people know when you change your profile…” This will stop all announcements going out to your network, keeping you in the job-hunting clear.
- Proactively Seeking Out Opportunities, But Not Tracking Them
It’s terrific that you’re out there networking and proactively sleuthing out potential job opportunities. But if you have no system for keeping track of what you applied for and when, who you contacted and what the response was, when they suggested you call back, and so on? Your brain is going to turn into mush trying to keep everything straight. Worse, you could embarrass yourself by forgetting where you left off with people.
Do it Better
Grab a job search tracking sheet template online (many are free), or build yourself a simple Excel file that tracks all of your job applications, networking meetings, recruiter calls, and interviews. Be sure and include a column that alerts you of status, and when you should follow up with each contact.