General

How Does the Job Search Pyramid Work? Step One

Job Search Pyramid
Let's first look at how to use the Pyramid to manage your entire job search from beginning to end. Then, I'll walk through it step by step, just as you might look for a job.

Before starting your job search, you need to know what type of job you want to pursue. So, you decide to explore several areas, both inside and outside the industry in which you've been working. First, you research several industry trends using the Internet, newspapers, and trade journal articles. Then, you look at job listings to help you understand what challenges these industries currently have and who is hiring.

The word "industry" refers to an industry, a job field, or both. For example, you may define the type of work you are looking for by naming an industry such as health care or food service. Or it may make more sense to describe it by naming a job field that exists in multiple industries, such as information technology or accounting. In some cases, you will narrow your definition to include industry and job fields, such as health care accounting. Think of your industry as being the phrase you use to complete the sentence, "I'm looking for a job in…"           

You contact professional associations that support the industries you are exploring and arrange for informational interviews with people experienced in those fields. Conversations with people in your current sector point you toward an area where they need people with your experience. But you also discover through researching some specialized job listings that your skills would easily transfer to a completely different industry, which interests you more. So, you decide to pursue this new career change when looking for your next job.

My favorite way to help know what you want is to use one of the O*Net Interest Profilers at MyNextMove.org. The Occupational Information Network (O*Net) is a free online database that contains hundreds of occupational definitions to help students, job seekers, businesses, and workforce development professionals to understand today's world of work in the United States.

Using the interest profiler at MyNextMove.org is free and straightforward to use. It helps you identify where your career interests lie, then points you directly toward career paths that might match those interests. 

Are you ready to graduate from Knowing what you want to Finding contacts and opportunities? Then, watch for our next post!


Support for Your Job Search

Job Search Support
A job search buddy is a friend or colleague who also wants help to get into action and stay on track with his or her job search. The two of you assist each other in reaching your goals by setting up a regular check-in, with each of you reporting on progress, announcing successes, and stating challenges. The buddy’s job is to listen, celebrate, commiserate, and be a brainstorming partner.

Job search support groups serve the same function for a group of people who wish to work together. Again, there’s a wealth of information Online about job search support groups. Or, you may be able to find an existing support group for job-seekers through career centers, schools, and industry associations.

You can also hire your coach or life coach, a professional trained in assisting people in setting and achieving goals. Some coaches specialize in career transition and working with job-seekers. They may call themselves career coaches, job coaches, or career consultants. Ask your friends and colleagues if they have worked with a coach to whom they could refer you or perform an Internet search.

Keep in mind that support from a buddy, group, or coach does not involve in-person meetings and travel time. Many groups meet via telephone conference lines or live online chats, and your buddy or coach can work with you by phone, e-mail, or an online chat service or all three.


Where Do You Think Your Job Search Needs The Most Work?

If you are still seeking employment? Where do you think your job search needs the most work.

 

  • Knowing what you want. Determining the industry, field, and type of job you are going to pursue.
  • Finding opportunities and contacts. Seeking out new people to contact, companies to approach, and positions for which to apply.
  • Applying to employers. Applying for the openings you already know about; approaching the people and companies you have already found.
  • Getting interviews. Turning your applications and approaches into interviews.
  • Landing the job. Converting your interviews into job offers.

 

Do you already know where you are stuck or lost? If not, try asking yourself the following questions:

 

  • Are you newly entering the job market or re-entering after a long absence?
  • Are you uncertain what you want to do next?
  • Have you been applying for a wide variety of jobs?
  • Do you find yourself constantly revising your résumé?
  • Are the job opportunities in your field extremely limited?
  • Are you thinking of changing careers?

 

If you answered Yes to the questions above, you probably need to focus on knowing what you want.

 

Or:

  • Are you just beginning your job search?
  • Does none of the opportunities you are finding seem right for you?
  • Is your personal network very small or nonexistent?
  • Are you relying on the Internet to find open positions?
  • If you sat down to contact every lead you currently have, would you be done before it was time for a coffee break?
  • Have you already followed up with every one of your contacts or leads within the past thirty days?

 

If you answer Yes to the questions above, you probably need to focus on finding opportunities and contacts.

 

Or:

  • Do you have a stack of leads and opportunities on which you haven’t followed up?
  • Have you been in the habit of applying only for posted positions or only by contacting human resource departments?
  • Have you applied for positions for which you did not receive a response?
  • Are you wondering how to go about pursuing opportunities you’ve uncovered?
  • Do you struggle with composing cover letters or what to say when you phone a prospective employer?
  • Do you give up when an employer doesn’t respond to your first letter or call?

 

If you answered Yes to the questions above, you probably need to focus on applying to employers.

 

Or:

  • Have you applied for a number of positions for which you felt well qualified, but didn’t get an interview?
  • Are you following up consistently on y our applications and approaches, but interviews do not have positive results?
  • Are you relying on your qualifications alone to get you in the door?
  • Do employers refuse to take your call or brush you off when you do get through?
  • Are the companies you’re approaching telling you they don’t have any openings?
  • Are you approaching only companies in which you have no contacts?

 

If you answer Yes to the questions above, you probably need to focus on getting interviews.

 

Or:

  • Are you getting preliminary interviews but neither second interviews nor job offers as a result?
  • Do the jobs for which you’re being interviewed seem off-target or too low level?
  • Do you feel awkward or wonder what to say during an interview?
  • Do you walk into interviews knowing little or nothing about the company?
  • Do you get the feeling your interviews aren’t going well?
  • Have you gotten job offers that you couldn’t take because the salary was too low or there wasn’t much opportunity to advance?
  • Do you feel your only option is to “do nothing but wait” once an interview is over?

 

If you answered Yes to the questions above you probably need to focus on landing the job.

 

Wherever you feel stuck or lost, there is an approach and an action plan that will help you get you back on track to a successful job search.

 

Let me know where you think you need the most help and we can discuss what success ingredients will be most helpful to develop a job search action plan.

 

Caring for your success,

 

Lee Gamelin 


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