Accelerate your job search
Ken Pelczarski | TLT Career Coach July 2019
Use all available recourses to gain fast access to the best opportunities.
© Can Stock Photo / alphaspirit
How will you locate
your next career opportunity—through networking, a search consultant, a job board, an advertisement or one of many other sources for job leads?
Although you may not know where the next step in your career path will originate, by covering all bases in the job market, you might discover an outstanding opportunity through the unlikeliest of sources. All it takes is one good job lead to get you where you want to be.
There are at least three valid reasons that job seekers do not utilize the many job lead resources available to them. Each of these concerns can be largely overcome.
1. You are not actively searching for a new opportunity.
You may be content in your job with your current employer. It can only benefit you, however, to regularly measure your job situation against the kinds of opportunities suitable to your background that exist in your field. Be in touch consistently with multiple job lead sources and you may unexpectedly discover an opportunity that is significantly better for your career path than your current job.
2. Confidentiality is extremely important to you.
If your job search is highly confidential, avoid spreading the word about your job dissatisfaction indiscriminately. In addition, hide your identity when posting your resume online. Emphasize confidentiality to even the most trusted colleagues. You may want to stress that you are happy with your current position and employer but always want to hear about certain kinds of opportunities.
3. You do not have much time to spend on your job search.
Most great career opportunities do not simply come knocking on your door. You need to make yourself visible in your field and take appropriate action to uncover jobs that are waiting out there. Force yourself to carve out time in your weekly schedule to check out a variety of job lead sources, especially if finding a new position is important to you.
If you want to find a new position quickly, especially if you are not currently employed, you have every reason to utilize the many resources at your disposal. A typical active job search lasts several months, usually longer for middle management to executive level roles. Spend these months utilizing numerous resources and you should uncover many potentially suitable opportunities. As a result, you will likely end up receiving some of the best offers available in the job market.
If I were searching for a position, I would use the following 11 resources. These job lead sources are listed in approximate order of priority, although each of these sources can play an important part in your job search. These sources are not necessarily listed in order of how most new positions are found.
Eleven primary sources
Studies have shown that as many as 50%-70% of new positions are found through networking. Networking should not simply begin when you start a job search. It is an ongoing process of communicating with others for mutual exchange of ideas, information, interests and career goals. Through networking you will learn about industry news, current job opportunities and information that may help with a job interview. You will find many unadvertised opportunities and might even create your own job opening. Effective networking means constantly building your network, staying in contact, being respectful of others’ time and reciprocating to others with ideas and career assistance.
Where and with whom do you network?
Previous employers, superiors and your own references
Social media/professional networking sites
Local and national STLE and other society meetings, conferences and social events
College and university professors and advisors
All professional contacts
Friends and family.
2. Search firms.
Search consultants are one of the best sources to assist you in finding your next career opportunity. They also can provide information on specific employers, industry news and trends, unadvertised or upcoming opportunities and guidance regarding your career goals. Aim ideally to work with a recruiter who:
a.) has strong industry knowledge
b.) is a specialist in your field
c.) is trustworthy
d.) will work 100% in your interests
e.) was recommended by a reliable source.
Networking is the best way to find a new position, and a capable recruiter will basically be doing much of your networking for you.
3. Employer Websites.
Visit Websites of target employers to learn about company history, recent news, management/executive biographies, new hires and current job openings. Also, add new target employers to your list by visiting Websites of companies you know little about. You can usually view a detailed job description on a company Website, see how long a position has been open and look at hiring trends.
4. Social media.
Although Facebook and Twitter can be useful in your job search, LinkedIn is by far the largest social media site dedicated to business professionals with over a half billion global members. Type in the keyword lubricants at www.linkedin.com
and you will likely find more than 3,000 job listings in the U.S. (nearly eight million job listings total in the U.S.).
Your background profile is the core of your LinkedIn page and is, in effect, your resume in a non-traditional format. Length and detail depend upon your goals and job search intensity. You will likely be including the last 10-15 years of job experience as well as your skill set, accomplishments, education and volunteer work. One big advantage of posting your background on LinkedIn is high industry visibility without violating the confidentiality of your job search.
There are other ways that LinkedIn can be useful in your job search besides job listings and your profile. You can network and connect with others, research potential employers and hiring managers, build your professional image, participate in group discussions and read industry articles.
5. Job boards.
Some of the largest and most popular job boards include www.monster.com
. You will have access to many job openings in your field and can post your resume on these sites as well. You will likely encounter a great deal of competition for these posted jobs, with dozens or even hundreds of resumes being sent by interested candidates. When you apply for a position through a job board, be sure to (1.) closely follow instructions in the ad, (2.) include many relevant keywords in your resume and cover letter and (3.) follow up with human resources or the hiring manager within a few weeks of your job application.
6. Aggregator job sites.
Job aggregators are similar to job boards but function differently. Aggregators act more like search engines than job boards. They collect job postings from job boards around the internet and consolidate them into one site, so they are easily searchable based on keywords and location. You may learn about many job openings in your field by visiting aggregator sites such as www.ziprecruiter.com
. You also can post your resume on these sites.
7. Trade associations/technical societies.
For the lubricant industry professional, technical societies such as STLE can be useful resources in many ways. Start by visiting the Career Center at www.stle.org
to view open positions in lubricant-related fields. You also can post your resume on this Website either publicly or anonymously. Get in touch with other STLE LinkedIn group members to convey your career goals. Finally, there are many networking opportunities at STLE section meetings, annual conferences and other events.
If you are a new graduate or an early careerist, the academic world can be a valuable resource for job leads. Many employers post openings at colleges and universities for professionals with little or no experience. Communicate with professors and placement advisors about possible industrial or post-doc opportunities. Exchange information with colleagues and other students about the job market.
9. Print advertising.
Locating your desired type of job opportunity through print advertising is far less likely today than it was 20-30 years ago. Despite fewer advertised positions in print, you will still find many high-quality professional positions listed in magazines and newspapers. Do not ignore this potentially valuable resource.
Google is likely to give you additional direction in your job search as well as specific links to help you find desired information about employers and job opportunities. This search engine will provide you with new ideas and actual job leads when you type in position titles, job keywords and company names.
11. Direct cold calling.
It is ideal, of course, if you are referred to a company about a position by a specific individual. It is even better if you are given the hiring manager’s name and if you have approval to identify the person who referred you. Calling in cold to an employer without being referred is the most challenging way to find a great job opportunity. It is certainly worth the effort, though, especially with target companies that you really want to work for. At the very least, attempt first to obtain the name of a management level employee via social media or the company Website.
It takes a great deal of time and effort to get a strong feel for the overall job market and to locate and evaluate the many career opportunities out there. Before accepting your next job offer, be sure you are committing to one of the very best opportunities that may exist for your career path. Accomplish this by thoroughly exploring the many job lead resources available to you.
Ken Pelczarski is owner and founder of Pelichem Associates, a Chicago-based search firm established in 1985 and specializing in the lubricants industry. You can reach Ken at (630) 960-1940 or at firstname.lastname@example.org