- know what you want and why
- evaluate each opportunity objectively
- provide initiative, drive, follow-through and attention to detail
- put your best foot forward with honesty and credibility
- partner in your job search
- are your avenue to the most complete and accurate view of each opportunity
- offer an honest and experienced coaching experience, making suggestions about presentation and style
Know What Job You Want
We like to think of a job search target as three concentric circles. The inner circle is your dream jobs, the middle circle is your good jobs, and the outer circle your maybe jobs. Clearly defining these – and adjusting them as your search progresses – are key. Think about how to budget your time across all three.
Know Your Value
There are two parts to this. The first is a realistic appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses from the viewpoint of the hiring manager. The second is setting a compensation target. It’s vital to get outside input on both of these. One person’s perspective is always limited by their experiences. Seek out peers and connections who deal with sourcing and hiring on a daily basis, and with people who negotiate compensation packages regularly.
Don’t Set the Target Too Small
The most common mistake we see is a candidate aiming for a job which either doesn’t exist or for which there are only one or two possibilities. This is the exact parallel to a hiring manager setting out to find the perfect candidate. There is no perfect job or perfect candidate. Instead, focus on the best job and best fit. Don’t set yourself up for frustration.
Manage Your Time
Log your activities by the time you spend. Periodically look at the log and rate each task for value: is this task helping? Be careful. Some tasks such as systematic networking take longer to mature, and often seem useless until they pay off big time. During your review think about how to reallocate your effort across the tasks. Perhaps you need to spend more time on market research and less on futile online applications to job board postings.