You have what it takes to get the job you want….but nothing seems to be happening. You’re not standing out. The offers aren’t coming in, and in fact, interviews haven’t exactly been plentiful either. This can be discouraging and frankly, puzzling.
You need to change your strategy. Here are six steps to help you get the results you want.
1. Know your own story.
This might be the toughest part, but it makes the rest of the process so much easier. I can’t emphasize this enough. Your ability to articulate your professional story is critical to attracting appropriate opportunities. How can anyone help you if they don’t know what you do? Your story should be brief (less than two minutes) and include the following:
Who are you?
I’m a …………….. This is the “title” or description that you’d give yourself if someone asked, “What do you do?” It needs to be a phrase that is broad enough to include a variety of roles but specific enough that we know what business you’re in.
What’s unique about your career background or experience?
Everyone takes a different path. What’s yours?
What have you been acknowledged for?
i.e. Clients rely on me to interpret their needs and provide multiple solutions.
Describe your sweet spot? Or… On what have you received compliments?
i.e. I’m an expert in building the trust necessary to close a deal.
Describe one of your key behaviours/competencies and how you demonstrate it.
i.e. empathetic listener, empowering leadership style, trusted advisor, intuitive approach, tenacious problem solver…..
What kind of opportunity seems right for you?
i.e. I’m best at building an new division or expanding into a new territory.
2. What do you have to offer?
Ok. Now we know about what you do, but how will it make a difference for a prospective employer? Or rather, what would be the reason that you should be hired? Tell us about how you’ve done something in the past that makes you noteworthy.
3. Look beyond the obvious.
You might have an idea about the specific role that’s best for you. But are there industries or companies that you haven’t considered that might need your skills?
4. Share your story and learn at the same time.
To get any results at all, you need to share your story. So start the conversation. Ask for informational interviews and make it easy for someone to meet with you. Extend a specific invitation rather than make them work to find a slot in their calendar. Find out about the industry trends and where the growth opportunities are. Consider this your research. It takes the pressure off you to perform, and also off the other person as they won’t feel obligated to find you a job. This process can be surprisingly effective in generating new possibilities!
5. Ask for referrals.
After each meeting, thank your contact and ask if they can suggest anyone else that you might speak to. This technique will provide you with an ongoing stream of meetings and allow you to refine your goals and search as you go along.
6. Follow up.
A written thank you note is a rare, but memorable touch point. Go ahead. Buy some stamps! And then keep them posted on your progress by sending an email to let them know when you’ve connected with their referral, and definitely, if there’s a more concrete outcome.
Here’s the recap. Know your story, share it with others and keep an open mind. Very often, the best opportunities are found where you least expect them.
If you’d like support in handling this, or any other part of your career strategy, please connect with me!