Job Search Tool Box List

By Glenn Wise

An effective job search will require the use of a variety of tools to obtain a position which matches your needs and ambitions.  The duration and effectiveness of the search will be proportionate to the variety and efficacy of the tools in the Job Search Tool Box.

A traditional job search methodology utilizes resumes and job postings in public media such as newspapers, internet and recruiters to locate the jobs available in the public domain.  Yet, the best positions never hit the public domain, but are offered to insiders within the company or to those who are connected to the company in some way such as an acquaintance of an employee.  It is reported that over 75% of jobs are obtained through this route

A highly focused job seeker will have a much higher degree of success than one who cannot decide what they really want to do or where.  For this reason, one should work diligently on narrowing the parameters of what they want to do and where they want to do it.  If, however, the job position is so narrowly defined that only one job of it’s sort exists in the area, the odds of success are obviously very low.  Being focused is all about knowing where you are going and using all your tools to get the interviews and ultimately the job.

Business owners and middle managers are looking for employees who have the spark of enthusiasm for their work.  They want fast learners and aggressive problem solvers.  The manner in which you approach the job search will probably determine how you approach your next position.

Therefore, it behooves a serious job seeker to go after all the learning they can get in how to get a job.  For history has shown that the person who gets a job is not necessarily the one who knows the most about the job, but it’s normally the one who knows how to get the job that gets the job.  A disciplined, well-tooled job seeker will obtain a good professional position weeks or months ahead of a poorly focused, half-hearted seeker.

The tools needed for a well-equipped job search are:

  1. Job Search Strategy
  2. Success Stories (7) 
  3. Transferable Skills Identified
  4. Targeted Fields
  5. Targeted Companies
  6. Insider Lookouts
  7. Targeted Resume(s)
  8. Record of Networking Contacts
  9. Thank-You Notes
  10. Internet Connection
  11. Recruiter(s)
  12. 30 Second Commercial
  13. Ice Breakers
  14. Work Portfolio
  15. Hard-question Answers
  16. Salary Range
  17. Networking Associations
  18. Wardrobe
  19. Business Cards
  20. Weekly Work Schedule
  21. Accountability Group / Partners

Copyright Career Focus 12/2006

 

Job Search Tool Box Details and Times

By Glenn L. Wise

An effective job search in 2006 will require the use of a variety of tools to obtain a position which matches your needs and ambitions.  The duration and effectiveness of the search will be proportionate to the variety and efficacy of the tools in the Job Search Tool Box.

A traditional job search methodology utilizes resumes and job postings in public media such as news papers, internet and recruiters to locate the jobs available in the public domain.  Yet, the best positions never hit the public domain, but are offered to insiders within the company or to those who are connected to the company in some way such as an acquaintance of an employee.  It is reported that over 75% of jobs are obtained through this route.  That leaves only 25% or less obtained through public media or agencies.

In addition, a job seeker who is leaving a maturing or dying industry must shift fields.  And in so doing, must rely more upon their natural abilities to solve common work place problems than rely upon the knowledge of how the old business was run.  Therefore, they must highlight their natural transferable problem solving skills in their resumes and job interviews.

A highly focused job seeker will have a much higher degree of success than one who cannot decide what they really want to do or where.  For this reason, one should work diligently on narrowing the parameters of what they want to do and where they want to do it.  If, however, the job position is so narrowly defined that only one job of it’s sort exists in the area, the odds of success are obviously very low.  Being focused is all about knowing where you are going and using all your tools to get the interviews and ultimately the job.

Business owners and middle managers are looking for employees who have the spark of enthusiasm for their work.  They want fast learners and aggressive problem solvers.  The manner in which you approach the job search will probably determine how you approach your next position.

Therefore, it behooves a serious job seeker to go after all the learning they can get in how to get a job.  For history has shown that the person who gets a job is not necessarily the one who knows the most about the job, but it’s normally the one who knows how to get the job that gets the job.  A disciplined, well-tooled job seeker will obtain a good professional position weeks or months ahead of a half-hearted seeker.

The tools needed for a well-equipped job search are:

  • Job Search Strategy

Every job seeker should lay out a plan or strategy for how they are going to conduct their job strategy.  This plan should provide a framework for a routine job search effort and set a standard for daily and weekly performance.  This helps establish a discipline which is often missing in a typical seekers performance.  Allow at least 4 hours for the first draft.

  • Success Stories (7) 

Success stories are used to extract your natural problem solving (transferable) skills and serve as corroboration in a job interview.  These are brief stories which represent the tasks you or your team did well in previous work assignments or home and play activities.  Estimated time to list and write the stories is 8 hours.

  • Transferable Skills Identified

Transferable skills are needed to construct a resume and a 30 second commercial to highlight natural problem solving abilities.  Estimated time to accomplish using the methodology as outlined in WCIYP is 4 hours to extract the skills and place in presentation format.  

  • Targeted Fields

When changing career path or fields a job seeker will need to target and focus on new fields.  The time required to evaluate the various parameters associated with defining an environment which best showcases your skills is 8 to 12 hours. Parameters to be defined are geographic location, working conditions, skills used, associates, career objectives, financial objectives, and working tools.

  • Targeted Companies

Narrowing the search to specific companies in an area helps in becoming an insider for those premium positions in central locale.  At least five companies should be targeted for employment.  The research required to narrow the selection to only five companies will require 6 to 8 hours. 

  • Insider Lookouts

Contacts developed inside targeted companies using Informational Interviewing to aid in getting early lead on insider positions.  At least three contacts per company should be established, with five preferred.  It will take at least 2 hours to develop one contact, therefore a full slate of 25 contacts will require approximately 50 hours of work.

  • Targeted Resume(s)

Targeted resumes are those that showcase your natural transferable skills and are tailored to the needs and requirements of the specific company or department with the open position.  They do not include extraneous facts and information that are not relevant to the open position.  This is highly variable, however, it is anticipated that each targeted resume will require at least 3 hours of time.  Assuming there are five companies targeted, the total time to construct them will be 15 hours.

  • Record of Networking Contacts

Contacts are the life’s blood of a job search therefore a system for recording and following up with them is vital.  They are to be treated with care and feeding like a food garden.  Maintaining this file is an ongoing requirement.

  • Thank-You Notes

Thank-you notes are seriously under used to follow up with a contact, therefore they are one of the best ways to stand out in a crowd of job applicants.  It is an effective way to show that you are thorough in completing a task.  Have an ample supply and use them profusely.  Send them in a timely manner, within 24 hours of the event. This is a recurring event.

  • Internet Connection

Every company of any size will use the internet to advertise for jobs or search the job sites for candidates.  Subsequent dialog with the company during the interview will likely use email.  Allow 1 hour per day for posting resumes on Job Boards and reviewing job openings.  The total should be no more than 5 hours per week

  • Recruiter(s)

A recruiter should be contacted to provide access to the formal job market.  Select one that specializes in your area of interest.  If there are more than one, then enlist at least one more.  It isn’t recommended that the number of recruiters enlisted be kept to a minimum so that you do not become “over exposed”.  

  • 30 Second Commercial

This is a 100 word condensed version of what you are selling (transferable skills), your best customers, and an attention getter to get the other party to ask more questions.  This process requires at least four hours to develop and practice so that it sounds professional and not canned.

  • Ice Breakers

One-liners that help in starting a networking conversation at mixers and social events.  It should pertain to the area of work or a main hobby of yours that engages the other party in a two-way conversation.  This is highly variable, depending upon the writing and conversation skills of the job seeker.  One hour should be allocated for each one-liner to be written out and memorized.  At least four should be developed for different mixing situations.

  • Work Portfolio

A portfolio of work accomplishments which contain letters of recommendation, honors and examples of work which demonstrates strengths in problem solving and value to previous employers.  Allow at least 4 hours to assemble this packet into a professional format.

  • Hard Question Answers

There are certain questions that could be asked in a job interview that could be difficult to answer or cause some embarrassment.  There should be answers developed that will provide a satisfactory response and relieve the stress on the interview.  Allow ½ hour to develop and practice each answer.  Assume there will be at least eight of these to answer for a total of 4 hours.

  • Salary Range

The subject of salary requirements will be asked at some point.  A salary range should be established to ensure that you can function effectively on the lowest point and feel confident of your value at the higher point.  The low point should be one where you will not lose money each day on the job based upon current expense obligations.  This will require a proforma budget which is discussed with your spouse.  In addition, salary surveys will need to be studied to determine the going rate for a position.  Allow at least 4 hours for this process.

  • Networking Associations

A job seeker needs many pairs of eyes to search for job leads in all corners of the community.  These lookouts will need to be recruited and developed as helpers in getting access to the best jobs inside companies.  Most contacts are developed through networking associations and social events.  The average seeker will attend at least 3 of these events per week.  Each event will consume 4 hours total time including travel time.

  • Wardrobe

A job seeker needs to be prepared to present a professional image at all times when in the public.  It is imperative that a candidate look the very best possible when interviewing for a position.  Spend at least 4 hours on this at first.

In that the success rate for finding good professional positions is over 75% being obtained through networking, it stands to reason that at least that much of job search time should be dedicated to networking and becoming an insider in companies of your choice. 

Summary of Tools and time to obtain are:

One-time setup tools are:

  1. Job Search Strategy             4
  2. Success Stories (7)              8 
  3. Transferable Skills Identified         4
  4. Targeted Fields            10
  5. Targeted Companies             8
  6. Targeted Resume(s)             3
  7. 30 Second Commercial         4
  8. Ice Breakers 1x4=            4
  9. Work Portfolio             4
  10. Hard Question Answers ½ x 8 =    4
  11. Salary Range                 4
  12. Wardrobe                4

Total one- time setup = 59 hours

Recurring events:

  1. Weekly Schedule / Daily Tasks –        2 hrs / wk
  2. Phone Contacts                 5 hrs / wk 
  3. Internet Search                 5 hrs / wk
  4. Insider Lookouts-                20 hrs / wk
  5. Networking Associations (3 events)        12 hrs / wk
  6. Recruiter Search                 1 hr / wk
  7. Record of Contacts                1 hr / wk
  8. Thank-you Notes                2 hrs / wk

This set of recurring events will occupy approximately 16 hours each week of work in the home and 32 hours of meetings and networking events outside the home.

Copyright Career Focus 04/30/2006