Applying for jobs

Climbing the Job Search Pyramid

Job Search Pyramid
Your job search journey may already feel a lot like climbing a mountain. Yet you may not have realized that some pre-planning could help make it easier. There are some stages of your climb when you don't need much help; in others, you could use a better map, advice from other climbers, and improved equipment. If you choose one specific stage of your job-seeking climb to focus on, you'll be able to put the extra effort exactly where it is needed.        

While each person's job search is unique, you may be surprised to learn that every job seeker's general route is the same. The Job Search Pyramid provides a sketch of the journey ahead. The Job Search Pyramid comprises five separate stages:

1. Knowing what you want

2. Finding opportunities and contacts

3. Applying to employers

4. Getting interviews

5. Landing the job

A series of typical activities occur in each stage, and these activities can change from person to person or job to job. Knowing more about how the Pyramid works will enable you to focus more time and energy on your job search precisely.

Knowing what you want stage, you define the type of job for which you are looking. In creating that definition, you determine which positions, organizations, and industries match your unique and marketable skills and fit with your vision for your career. Just like a company targets the market that is best suited for its products, you also must make choices about where your skills, abilities, and desires will fit best.

Once you know what job you are seeking, you enter the Finding opportunities and contacts stage. In this stage, you look for people who can help your job search and for specific job opportunities—advertised or not. Advertised positions are found through newspapers, trade journals, the Internet, recruiters, agencies, and your network. Unadvertised positions are those you discover through networking, referrals, research, and contacting employers directly.

In the Applying to employers stage, you make contact with companies regarding the opportunities you have uncovered. The word "apply" isn't meant to suggest you are necessarily filling out applications or sending résumés to human resource departments, although you might be. You also apply for advertised and unadvertised jobs by placing phone calls, writing letters, and scheduling meetings with people who are in a position to hire you. These people may be individual managers, not human resources staff.

 In the next stage, Getting interviews, you convince organizations to interview you. The interview may be formal or informal; it may occur in person, over the phone, or in an online video chat. During an interview, you discover an organization's needs and desires for a position and demonstrate how you can meet them. You may have multiple interviews with several people from the same organization.

In the Pyramid, you will notice that areas labeled "Follow up" appear in both the applying and interviewing stages. Following up with contacts and opportunities is essential at any stage of the job search process, but it is in the applying and interviewing stages that follow-up becomes critical. You'll need to follow up with your referral sources, hiring managers, recruiters, human resources staff, and any other key players. Following up is how you will keep your job search in constant motion and avoid getting stuck.

In the final Landing the job stage, you successfully manage your job search from being interviewed to receiving a job offer. When you get an offer, you may need to do some negotiating. When you don't get an offer, you'll want to follow up to determine how you compared to the other candidates and what held the organization back from hiring you.


Working the Hidden Job Market - The Basics

Everyone you meet is a potential lead when actively looking for work.  Since you rely on friends and acquaintances to help you locate work, make sure you handle yourself well. This means that you develop and maintain a reputation as someone that does excellent work, is reliable, trustworthy, punctual, etc. Your friends will have a hard time recommending or asking questions on your behalf if you are not someone worthy of working with.

Volunteer. Many organizations rely on volunteers, and this can be an excellent way for you to become known in the community and expand your skills at the same time. The added benefit is that you get to give back to your community.

Do Your Research. Read the news, investigate companies, and do your homework to learn about companies that interest you or are in your area. Check their websites (and their career postings on those sites) while you develop an idea of what they are like, who their clients are, or why you would want to work for them.

When you are working the hidden job market, you are promoting yourself. Do it happily and shamelessly to get the job you want. Take advantage of publishing software to create a business card or postcard (because you won't be carrying your resume everywhere you go, but you could manage a postcard). Imagine a postcard that advertises who you are and what you can do. Make sure you aren't shrinking your entire resume onto the card; leave plenty of space.


The Importance of Values When Seeking Employment

The Important of Values When Seeking Employment (1200 x 1200 px)Values exist at your very core. Understanding what you value means targeting the right companies for the right job. When our values are inconsistent with a workplace, we disengage and leave it physically or emotionally.

Do you know the things that are important to you? Although they may struggle with putting their values into words, people often do. Define what is important to you in terms of work and decide what kinds of jobs you will look for or companies you will consider.

Your values are fundamental to you. It's essential to match your values with those of your work. For example, if one of your values is about being paid what you are worth. You work somewhere that pays everyone the same wage no matter how much work they do; your values don't match the organizations. There may not be a big problem initially. Still, over time, if you observe that people are getting paid the same as you without seeming to work as hard, you may become cynical. Suppose you value the idea that teamwork and the efforts of the team combine to make the company do well. In that case, you may not have any difficulty having everyone paid the same wage.

 

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Managing Change During a Job Seach

Finding a new job involves making changes and handling transitions, which we can manage very well when prepared. Change is a part of life, and changing jobs is a part of the world of work in many ways.

Everyone's adjustment period to change is unique. It is easiest for those who are flexible in their approach in different circumstances at life and work but can be devastating for people who cannot let go. Change can be awkward at first, but it can also be exhilarating, like being propelled into a steep turn on a roller coaster. It can motivate you to do your absolute best. During change, time can seem to move very slowly for the reluctant, but it can be a whirlwind for those ready for it.

Change is needed if we are unhappy with where we are, when old practices or processes no longer work, or when a job no longer exists. It can be like pulling a new sweater on over your head; for a moment, you cannot see, but you know you will feel warm and comfortable once you can get your head out of the hole.


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