Create your own Job Search Advisory Board
If you Google ”job search tips” there are 460 million entries. Now I haven’t looked further than the first 3 pages, but I can imagine they contain some widely differing nuggets of advice. Add to this, the well intended input from friends, family, colleagues and bosses, it’s hardly surprising that the average job seeker is scratching his/her head in bewilderment.
Only last week I heard that one client had been advised from someone in Germany not to create his own web site when he was actively looking for corporate opportunities, as well as freelance consulting work. Another was told to dumb her resume down by a university friend, so not unsurprisingly was getting cut after either the first screening or interview. Another was advised not to connect with people he didn’t know personally on LinkedIn by a colleague nearing retirement. Another was advised by a neighbour that a certain professional networking event wasn’t worth it!
So what can you do when there are so many different opinions and how does the average job seeker navigate his/her way through this veritable maze of job search advice? The answer is with considerable difficulty.
Get on Board
One way to get over this problem is to strategically create your own advisory board to give you varied, but focused access to a range of opinions.
But how do you go about this and who should you include?
- Set job search goals and create a strategy: for most jobs seekers this key first step alone gives necessary focus. It cuts out the scatter gun approach of “asking around” and sending your CV to a group that is simply too wide.
- Research – your sector and chose companies thoroughly. Target them.
- Create a strategic network - identify a number of individuals who can mentor you and answer your questions. Choose different age ranges, locations, backgrounds and personality types to create your very personal Job Search Advisory Board. As the CEO of your own brand you can synthesise the results and take your own decisions Who do you need?
- An up to date source - A group of connections with more opinions than experience of job search will not be helpful. You need someone who has been in the job search market or associated with it in some way during the last 3-5 years, otherwise the chances are they are out of date. The market is changing at a rapid pace and it is very hard to keep up with, even for those who work in the sector.
- Age range - people tend to network and seek advice in their own age demographic. Some are strongly bound to the way their age group does (or has done things) things. Get a cross-section of input.
- Cultural differences - there can be marked differences between corporate, sector, professional, regional and national cultures. Someone seeking a job in the construction sector in Germany, will have and need a very different approach to an U.S. based Marketing Manager. Once again get a cross-section advice.
- Personality types - We all have different styles. If you are an introvert, the approach of your extroverted advisor may fill you with horror and bring you out in a cold sweat, but there could still be some lessons to learn. Likewise the extrovert could profit from some lower key approaches of a more reflective personality.
Whatever you do:
- Monitor your results - if you are not getting any results at all, something needs to change even if it means going out of your comfort zone. We can all get stuck and caught up in rigid thinking. Experiment. Create a web site, put professional details on Facebook, connect with someone you don’t know personally, attend networking events you were told may not be useful.
- Trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t, at least for you. Go back to step 1! Find what is right for you and don’t be afraid to change.
- If all else fails seek professional help.
How do you filter job search advice?