By Mark Beal
Mark Beal is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and co-author of Career In Transition
In the past eight weeks, I have collaborated with more job seekers who have secured their next career opportunity than I have in the past eight months. We have officially entered a new job market. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, companies of all sizes have adjusted the way in which they conduct business and are confident in how they are proceeding. With that, they are hiring at a pace that we have not seen in a year. Job candidates now need to take advantage of this new job market and apply these six tips for a successful career transition.
Think and Act Like A Marketer
Starting today, you need to think and act like the chief marketing officer of your job search. The pandemic has ushered in a mandate that you need to think and act like a senior marketing executive. The job candidate who does the best job in marketing their personal brand will win the job opportunity. Marketing starts with understanding and developing your personal brand and narrative.
Build Your Brand
Your personal brand, including your brand narrative, is more important than ever in achieving job search success. Employers are conducting more extensive research to identify candidates. You need to recognize that you are a brand just like Serena Williams and Tom Brady. Your brand requires a compelling and engaging storyline so that you can communicate your narrative in ways ranging from an elevator pitch to a Zoom interview.
Target Your Top-20
In this new job market, be innovative and take a non-traditional strategic approach. Conduct research on every company where you want to work physically or remotely and identify 20 targets. As you build your list of targets, audit, analyze and rank your 20 targets. Ranking these target companies will help you prioritize so that you invest more time in prospecting your top-five targets.
Perfect Proactive Prospecting and Mobilize Your Network
Once you’ve ranked your 20 targets, your strategic and proactive prospecting begins. Your mission is to mobilize your network with the goal of identifying one individual in your network who has one substantive connection with one of your 20 target companies… and do that 20 times. According to a University of Michigan University Career Center, referrals account for just 7% of all job applicants, but 40% of all hires. Be a seven percenter and leverage a personal connection to recommend you.
Develop Your Job Search Tool
While a resume is required for job applications, you need to develop a job search tool to empower your network to help you get to the company where you want to be. In meeting with your contacts to share and discuss your 20 target companies, a resume is not going to be helpful. Your job search tool is going to serve as the instructions for how your contacts can assist you in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Own Your Media Channels and Be A Thought Leader
Your owned media channels are all your online platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – that you own and manage. In today’s job market, recruiters are conducting as much research to identify candidates as you are doing to identify job openings. You now need to take greater ownership of your owned media channels and consistently produce and distribute thought leadership content on your channels.
By Mark Beal. Mark Beal is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and co-author of Career In Transition. For more information contact Mark at MarkBealSpeaks.com.