Job searches can feel contradictory and confusing at times as you try to cover all the bases while simultaneously targeting a specific industry. In these tough economic times innovation is often necessary to land a job. At the same time, you don’t want to be seen as too far removed from the mainstream when trying new approaches. Balance is helpful in strategies and personal responses throughout the ups and downs of a challenging job search.
1. Target Large and Small Companies
Don’t just pander to the Fortune 500 companies in your job search. As most economists note, small and mid-sized businesses do most of the hiring. Maintain a balance of the large companies and smaller regional businesses in your targeted job search.
2. Consider a Temporary Position
Taking a temporary position doesn’t mean you will always be in a temporary slot. The contacts may lead to full-time employment or another project with other businesses by further expanding your network. Temporary positions can also lead to full-time positions, depending on your performance record and personal relationships while in the position. Act like a full-timer in terms of big-picture planning and personal investment, and you’re likely to find yourself in that full-time position.
3. Pursue an Internship
If you are interested in a career shift, consider an internship. These positions are no longer just for those finishing up college. Internships now accept established professionals who want to make a significant change in career direction. And an internship – at any stage in one’s career – serves the same purposes. The internship will help you make contacts while you establish a skill set in a new industry.
4. Follow up Judiciously
If you have posted your resume on a job site, be certain to follow up. Check email carefully for related job postings or additional leads. Cold call new prospects and conduct appropriate follow-ups. But remember the fine balance between being persistent and being a pest. Anxiety or desperation about your job search can be conveyed in following up too frequently, appearing too eager or asking too many questions about the projected time-frame for interviews and hiring. Your best business suit is your confidence.
5. Adjust Your Expectations
Balance your expectations with the reality of the job market. You may be ready to move into an upper management position, but find those jobs are unavailable. Look at the demographics of those currently in the job you desire. In many companies, those positions are held by folks who may have weathered the recent downturn and could be looking toward retirement over the next few years. Although it is hard to be patient and you may certainly feel you are over-qualified for a lower-level position, it can be important to simply get into the organization. Once you have been accepted as part of the team, it is likely that you can move up quickly and perhaps that plum position will open up sooner than you anticipate. Moving into key positions is often more likely to occur from within the organization, so place yourself in a position to take advantage of eventual opportunity.
6. Balance Traditional and Emerging Job Search Strategies
Networking is a tried and true method, but it doesn’t always have to be face-to-face. Use social networking sites – appropriately – for your job search. Professionally oriented sites such as LinkedIn provide a great place to start, but be sure to clean up questionable postings on Facebook to improve your chances in a competitive job market.
Dream big and balance your expectations with the economic reality. Maintaining a healthy combination in your approach and attitude will move you toward your ultimate career goals! Balance is the key to your interactions, plans, and attitude in creating a successful search and landing that job!
Alesia Benedict is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC)