Job Search Success; The Candid Truth from 3 Job Seekers

Job Search SuccessIt’s time to weigh in with some clients who have had recent job search success. Learn more about what made these professionals’ job search a success.

Sue (Learning and Development Manager), Michelle (Strategic Planning and Design Director) and Lori (Marketing and Communications) have all landed new exciting roles in 2013. I’ve included the highlights from the interviews.

A job search process can take 18 months (sometimes longer) or as little as 5 weeks and a lot of factors determine the length of the process. Lori, whose job search took more than a year commented that once she got her job search strategy and tools in place “Almost immediately things changed. I had interviewed with 2 companies the following week and was offered both positions.”

How long was your job search from start to finish? 
It took about 5 weeks from the time I had my initial conversation with you (Amy) until I got my first offer.
I was laid off from a production manager position in May of 2011, and looked for work consistently until being offered a position in March 2013.
I wasn’t actively looking, but when a couple of job openings came up I was interested. The jobs were posted in December, interviews in late January, and started my new position in March.

What was the deciding factor that make you decide to work with a coach to assist you with your search? It had been more than 12 years since I applied for a job. My resume was really out of date and a lot had changed professionally for me over the course of those 12 years. I was so busy with my existing job and family life that it was honestly just overwhelming to think about how to start the resume process. Amy really helped me to focus my energy and feel good about the process. She also helped me to prioritize my key accomplishments and experience in a way that was easy to understand. In my professional work I see the role of a coach as one who helps others see the world through different eyes. I chose a coach to help me bring forth facets of my skills and experience into a contemporary, professional communication portfolio. Even Olympic athletes have coaches. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There is often the tipping point for many business professionals who are in a job search. You can almost see the momentum propel when a client gets to the point that they are succeeding (interviews are coming their way, job offers, positive feedback). The key is to keep the momentum going until you have landed a job that is perfect for you. Don’t let it lag or let up until then. At what point in your search did you realize that your job search strategy was actually working? After meeting with Amy I put some changes into effect right away. I purchased a suit, revamped some of the phrasing on my resume. Going through the mock interview with Amy helped me strategize how to phrase my career accomplishments in a positive and realistic way. Almost immediately things changed. I had interviewed with 2 companies the following week and was offered both positions. About a week into my search I felt confident that I was having productive conversations every day with leaders I have connected with over the years. I was learning about what others see in their workplaces in terms of business opportunities and skills required to capture those opportunities. I asked a lot of questions about work culture and why those leaders loved what they were doing. These conversations generated ideas, energy and confidence in that I would find an excellent place to contribute as well.

For as many job seekers there are tools and strategies. As you all know I am a huge fan of LinkedIn as a tool for business professionals who are in a job search. When asked, What tool, resource and/or strategy did you find most effective? Sue, Lori and Michelle responded: Connecting with people that I truly treasure and respect as professionals, regardless of their industry or specialty. Good people know other good people. The mock interview was the most helpful for me to have unbiased feedback on what I needed to do to present myself more fully. My skills and experience were very strong, but how I related that in an interview scenario may not have been as strong as it could have been earlier in my search. Having someone to talk through the process and share my experiences with. I don’t feel like I would have been as successful or felt as good about my resume with our Amy’s help!

Sue, Michelle and Lori have a bit of final advice for those just beginning or in the middle of a job search. Be authentic. Ask good questions to learn. Prepare like you already worked there (again, show up real and ready to contribute). Exercise and stay healthy (body and mind). Be bold. Don’t give up! I know it is super frustrating, but keep looking. You won’t find something unless you look; it is rare that something just falls into your lap. Don’t get overwhelmed, take one day at a time and believe in yourself and your skills (if you don’t, no one else will).

Job Search SuccessMichelle said it best, “believe in yourself and your skills (if you don’t, no one else will).” That is pretty powerful. Do what you need to do to gain confidence going into a search. It’s remarkable how confidence can play a part in your search. Oh, and I couldn’t agree more with Sue about exercise and staying healthy during (and after) your job search!

Thank you all for contributing, being vulnerable, and candidly sharing your experience with the readers of my blog and the Inner Circle newsletter subscribers. Your perspective is invaluable. And, congratulations on your job search success. I have been truly inspired by working with all three of you and your unique and awesome career paths. I can’t wait to see where this path leads each of you.

What strategies have worked for you? I am curious to hear your answers too! Add your  comment in the section below.

~Amy

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