One of the biggest challenges job seekers face is how to plan their time and prioritize their job search activities.
You will likely find this particularly challenging if it’s been a long time since your last job search.
This is because the job search landscape is constantly evolving, what worked a few years ago may not be as effective in 2023.
Nancy Segal, of Solutions for the Workplace, says “when looking for a new job, update yourself on current job search techniques; update your resume and social media, along with your network. Go on informational interviews; get active on LinkedIn, and get out there and get started!”
LinkedIn is now one of the most widely used recruitment tools on the market. This means you now need to have a strong online presence if you want to stand out, and you can no longer land a job simply by scouring job boards and hitting apply.
As we begin the new year make sure your job search strategy is ready for the 2023 job market.
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Don’t waste time on fruitless job search activities
Spending most of your time on the wrong job search activities will not only leave you feeling incredibly frustrated, but it may also prolong your job search.
Instead, in addition to making sure your resume and LinkedIn look current and polished, you need to wisely divide your time between three key job search activities.
I know from experience the huge difference that time management makes in a job search. I also know which activities yield the largest return on investment.
In this article, I’m going to outline the three key job search activities across which you should divide your time.
I’ll also tell you how much time you should devote to each activity and how to make each activity the most profitable.
By the end, you’ll be able to put together a robust and fruitful job search schedule that keeps you motivated, reduces frustration and most of all helps you land more job interviews.
Job search activity number one – conduct targeted research
I recommend assigning 25% of your time to this job search activity
Spend a quarter of your total weekly or daily job hunt hours identifying organizations where you’d be most thrilled to work.
This kind of job search research may sound basic, however, it is an essential foundation for a successful job search.
You need to identify jobs for which you are a great fit. Remember, you need to be able to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job on your resume and LinkedIn.
Erica Reckamp, an Executive Resume Writer and Job Search Strategist advises her candidates to “start with a clear target. Even the most vibrant network or well-written resume will deliver lacklustre leads if you’re unclear.”
Local business journals, LinkedIn and other websites offer listings of organizations sorted by just about any category you can think of.
In fact, “best of” lists exist for all sorts of niches, from “Best Companies to Be Innovative” to “Best Tech Companies to Work for.”
Refer to company websites to learn as much as you can
The website’s branding — from its layout and style of writing — often yields subtle clues about the company’s culture.
Sites like Bloomberg and Hoover offer free versions to uncover details about public companies, like who sits on their board, stock history and the competition.
While it’s a bit harder to get intel on private companies, resources are available online.
Building a target list of companies is one of the best places to begin a job hunt in 2023.
The Hidden Job Market: Building a List of Target Companies, will help you to develop a robust list of target organizations.
Job search activity number two – establish your online brand
I recommend assigning 20% of your time to this job search activity
Failing to build a professional online presence will hurt your job search in 2023.
Recruiters and hiring managers search online to find and vet candidates.
Incidentally, building and growing an online footprint is frankly a necessary evil that many find overwhelming.
Building an online brand doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge
Consider getting started on just one or two platforms. Choosing the one that is best for you will depend on your career goals and your audience.
I can attest that LinkedIn is the most popular by far — and with good reason. According to Jobvite’s 2021 survey, LinkedIn is the most widely used social media site for recruiting, although Facebook and Instagram are also gaining traction.
Get started by locating, sharing and commenting on articles that pertain to your career aspirations and the thoughts of others.
Posting a few times a week or even daily will keep your LinkedIn profile prominent in the feeds of your connections.
Free tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can take the time crunch out of this by letting you schedule posts ahead of time.
Why (and How) Job Seekers Should Create Content On LinkedIn will help you to get your head around creating content on the platform.
Job search activity number three – network
I recommend assigning 50% of your time to this job search activity
The adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” rings with clarity when it comes to the job hunt.
According to HubSpot upwards of 85% of roles get filled through some sort of networking.
Start with your inner circle and move outwards
A great place to begin networking is to start with friends, families, neighbors and colleagues.
Next, expand your list from there to think about acquaintances or people who cross your path, but less regularly (think of the dad who is on your kid’s baseball team).
Networking with people of interest is an essential job search, and indeed, an essential career skill.
Now take your search to LinkedIn. Search by company and job title to locate hiring managers at companies that interest you and recruiters and professionals who are successful in your desired job field.
If you aren’t connected with these people, figure out who you know who is or send them a personalized connection request.
Are they a connection? If so, options for outreach include email, phone calls and Inmail.
On the other hand, if you don’t know a person well or at all, reach out via InMail or do a bit of sleuthing to uncover a professional email.
Once you connect, it’s OK to ask for names, info and words of wisdom.
Reaching out to people on LinkedIn or via email can feel awkward and natural at first, consider using Madeline Mann’s Fill in the Blank Job Hunt – Essential Email Templates to help you with this.
Job search activity number four – job boards
Go ahead and assign the remaining 5% of your time to job boards
If nothing else, this will give you a sense of which companies currently have hiring budgets and can help you uncover names of recruiters and firms actively posting!
Bonus tips for using job boards most effectively
• Job boards are most effective when your profile is complete and accurate. It’s important to have the correct contact details on there and that your resume and profile are completely up-to-date.
• Ensure that your resume and profile contain the keywords and phrases that a recruiter or HR manager is likely to search in order to fill the roles you are interested in.
• Set aside time to log on once in the morning and maybe once in the afternoon and perform a search for the type of roles that you are seeking. Identify the roles that are the closest match to your skill set and take the time to apply for them.
• If a job posting happens to mention the name of the recruitment company or recruiter that is hiring for the role, attempt to find their contact information on LinkedIn or google and reach out directly once you have submitted an application.
• Do not waste entire days searching on job boards as this is a more reactive way of finding a job. Your time is better spent on proactive measures such as networking and meeting with recruiters face to face.
Research, building an online presence, networking and using job boards are all essential job search activities that are most effective when allocated the right place in your priority list.
With the job market likely to be significantly challenging in 2023, networking will be more important than ever. Lean into your personal and professional network.
Leveraging industry contacts will yield the most effective and fastest job search results in 2023!