This is the short list of practical approaches to finding the job you want, the one that fits you.
And yes, even in this economy, these approaches work. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower.
There are so many common-sense things you can do.
Get started with these and read more of my blog to find details on all of these items. I have some links to relevant pages, and there is much more in this blog.
1. Get specific about what you want – work you do well, enjoy doing and want to do again. That’s your Right Fit Job. When you add in compensation and culture, you’ve got your Must Have List. Apply only for jobs that meet your Must Have List. Otherwise it’s a waste of everybody’s time and sets you up for disappointment.
2. Know what you bring to an employer that will help them achieve their goals. That’s your Core Value Proposition. It’s a combination of skills, talents, expertise, passion, and past impact.
3. Read the job description as a statement of the company’s pain – pain that you can heal by showing up as the person with the right skills and experience. Identify the likely key words in the description.
4. Create a resume that showcases your Core Value Proposition, with an emphasis on showing your impact. Ask “so what” after every responsibility you list. So what happened because you did that? How did it help the company?
5. Ask for help. From everyone. You just never know.
6. Make it easy for people to help you by having a concise, clear answer to the question “What are you looking for?” I call this an “intention statement.”
7. Craft a cover letter that systematically and very clearly matches your abilities to those requirements and responsibilities listed in the job description. Use key words from the job description.
8. Use all the networking and connections you have to get your resume in front of HR and/or the Hiring Manager.
9. View interviews as a conversation, where you are learning as much about the company as they are about you.
10. Rehearse answers to some of the most common and most difficult interview questions. Don’t memorize! Simply have a sense of how you will answer the questions, emphasizing positive things.
11. Keep going. Persevere. Try new approaches. Get a coach. Read websites like Careerealism.com and this blog. Buy my book or What Color Is Your Parachute? Leave no stone unturned. Have confidence that you WILL land your right fit job. It’s simply a matter of time. Really.