This post is going to be a short one, because my theme is:
Keep It Simple
So here it is, everything I want to say about keeping it simple in 2 sentences:
Your goal is to return to work after taking a career break. In order to do that, you need to know what the skill set is for the job you want and be able to clearly articulate why you’re a good fit for that role.
But Wait…There’s More!
You knew I couldn’t stop after just 2 sentences, didn’t you? Here are 5 steps to take right now to help you match your skills to the right job:
- Read 5 job descriptions for similar jobs you want
- Make a list of the key skills employers are looking for
- Note which of them you have with a line about your experience in that area and make sure this information comes across clearly in your resume and your cover letter
- For the skills you don’t have, find a LinkedIn Learning, Coursera or Udemy course that will fill that skill gap for you
- Schedule time to do the course and set an end date to make sure it gets done
Back to Basics
I know job-searching isn’t quite that simple, but sometimes it helps to go back to basics. If you have too many skill gaps, think about applying for a stepping-stone job that you’re more qualified for right now and that will help you build the skills for the job you really want.
If you’ve got all the required skills already but you’re not making progress in your search, re-evaluate your job search process and ask yourself what else you could be doing that would help you get that job.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
Decide on that next step that will get you closer to getting the job and commit to doing it today. Don’t worry about anything else.
I recently met with a group of job seekers and asked everyone to share their biggest challenge about their job search. Do you know what the majority of them named as their biggest challenge?
Let’s break that down. The challenges that everyone mentioned were:
- Finding the time to job search
- Doing the right things with that time
- Struggling with days that seemed to have no structure
Let’s Talk Solutions
First, get clear on your goal. If your goal is to find a job, then you must accept that the only way that happens is with a whole lot of effort. In order to reach that goal, you’ll need to carve out blocks of time each day/week to do the work that needs to be done. If you’re a parent with kids at home, you might feel like a great deal of your time is spent in service of other people. Carving out even a few hours a week to devote to your job search will pay off. You’ll probably need to get protective about that time, so go ahead and let everyone know exactly when your Do Not Disturb sign is going up. Then stick to the plan and get to work! (Be sure to turn your phone off!)
Second, write down a plan. Once you’ve carved out some time for yourself, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re going to do with that time. Start with getting your resume in order, establish your presence on LinkedIn, put together a target company list and then get busy networking with anyone and everyone who works at one of your target companies.
My third suggestion is to use your calendar like the productivity tool that it was meant to be. Plan out your weeks and add some structure to your days. Block off the time in your calendar and be realistic about how much time you can commit to looking for a job. Add the tasks from your plan to the calendar. If you know what you need to get done and when it’s going to happen, this will take some of the stress out of this process for you.
And finally, try to spend most of your job-searching time on outward-facing activities like talking to people who can help you with a referral or with an informational interview. If you’re spending most of your time doing things that only you know about, that won’t help you land a job. You have to put yourself out there.
Let’s be the boss of our time and make this happen!
This episode of the Get A Job, Here’s How podcast is a mash-up of the very best job search advice that we shared throughout the season. Take a listen for amazing tips on finding your next job.
Thanks for a successful first year of the Get a Job, Here’s How podcast. We’ve all had to make adjustments in 2020 to how we do things and for me, it’s been a year of trying new things, like this podcast. I’m so glad you’ve been along for this ride with me and I hope you’ll continue to listen.
The best way to stay in touch with everything going on here is to join the mailing list at Back to business. You’ll find it at www.backtobusinessconference.com Please also subscribe to the podcast and keep listening. I appreciate you!
After first approaching his job search using more traditional methods like applying online to job postings, Austin Belcak discovered this simply isn’t effective. Now he coaches job seekers through his company Cultivated Culture on leveraging unconventional strategies to get a job even if you don’t have connections or traditional experience. Hint: It does not involve applying online!
Find out what a “Value Validation Project” is and why it will truly distinguish you as a candidate who can add value to an organization. Also, learn why Austin’s strategy works beautifully during COVID times when we’re not meeting people face-to-face. Be sure to check out Austin’s website and the amazing free tools he provides for job-seekers at https://cultivatedculture.com/And Follow Austin Belcak on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abelcak/Tip: Austin posts daily on LinkedIn and his posts are always incredibly insightful and helpful.
The 2-Hour Job Search, or 2HJS for short, focuses on getting job seekers to the interview stage by providing detailed instructions on these 3 steps:
1. Prioritize the universe of possible targets. Steve walks us through the creation of a target company or “LAMP” list and tells us how to prioritize which companies to pursue first.
2. Contact people who work at those target companies by determining who best to reach out to and how to do it in a way that maximizes the chances that they will be sympathetic. Steve has identified the 3 types of people who will be on the receiving end of your email requests: Boosters, Obligates and Curmudgeons. Find out why Obligates are the most dangerous! He’s also got instructions for writing a 6-point email to ask people who work at your target companies for their time doing an informational interview.
3. Convince those people to be our allies and to help us get an interview. 2HJS includes specifics about how to conduct an informational interview, down to what you should talk about and how much talking you should be doing.
One of the things I like best about this process is that Steve is not a guy who gives tips or job search advice. Instead, he provides the exact instructions you need to predictably land interviews over time. The 2HJS system is precise and efficient – Steve knows how long each step will take you and focuses his system on those activities that have been proven to provide the best return on your investment of time and energy.
By the way, 2 hours is how long it will take you to set up the system on the first day. Getting set up involves brainstorming a list of companies, prioritizing that list so you know which ones to attack first and drafting outreach emails to people who work at those companies.
Here’s where you can find Steve Dalton and The 2-Hour Job Search: The 2-Hour Job Search is available at Amazon.com. Find the system online at 2hourjobsearch.com
Steve’s 2HJS LinkedIn Group is over 5,000 people strong! Find it here: The 2-Hour Job Search – Q&A Forum
Jeremy’s courses and training on tech careers and LinkedIn are used by over 60 schools and 10K students around the globe – from UNC to the Australian Graduate School of Management. He’s been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Lifehacker, Business Insider, and USA Today. That’s pretty impressive. So Jeremy is not only a real expert in helping others land a tech job, he himself made a career change from being a kindergarten teacher to becoming a product manager early on in his career. Jeremy has worked at Apple, and LinkedIn among other cool places and is now the Principal Product Marketing Manager at Khan Academy. Khan Academy happens to be my favorite resource for help with math homework that my kids are doing that I no longer understand. Jeremy had a passion for teaching and considered himself to be a self-proclaimed tech nerd and was looking for a way to combine his passions. When he discovered that people without a background in programming and writing code, did, in fact, have a seat at the table in tech organizations and that there were so many types of tech companies beyond what most people consider to be the big organizations he wanted to help others break into the tech field as well. “You might’ve been like me, you might’ve said, if I want to get a job at Google, I have to have gone to Stanford or Harvard. But now with a simple search on LinkedIn, you can find out that 8,000 Googlers went to community college and you could find the exact one who went to your school and reach out to get your foot in the door.” – Jeremy Tell us about one cool way you see technology improving our lives. Jeremy tells us how to land a job in tech and he’s got 3 steps to share with us. 1) How to understand the different tech roles 2) How to find the right role for you3) How to break into that role Listen as Jeremy breaks down the 12 roles in a tech company through a story of Apple’s development of an electric car. And none of them require technical expertise!
You can find Jeremy online at breakinto.tech. If you’re serious about working in tech, especially if you’re making a career change to work in tech, you have to look Jeremy up and take advantage of the great courses and resources he has created. He’s got the formula. Don’t fight it, just go get it!
Listeners, now that you know how to land a job in tech, go do it! I believe in you!