Since I’ve had to find a new job several times in my career, I thought I would share with everyone how I went about finding my current position. It will take a few posts to describe the entire process, from the time I started searching, to how I applied, how I interviewed, and how I eventually landed the position. If you mimic my approach, I’m confident you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing a new position.
For those of you who’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll recognize much of what I did because I do tend to follow my own advice. Here’s how it all started.
After six years with the same organization, I was happy in my job but was pretty much topped out as far as salary was concerned. Plus, at my level there was only one position higher into which I could be promoted and that position was occupied by someone who very likely was not going anywhere for at least a few years.
Consequently, I began to look for more responsible – and better paying – positions.
My first step, of course, was to update my resume and create a generic cover letter, both of which I knew I’d customize for each job I applied for. Let me say that again: both of which I knew I’d customize for each job I applied for. If you remember nothing else, please remember this. You must customize your resume and cover letter for each job to which you apply.
Next, I updated my references and called each one to make sure I had permission to use them as a reference and to let them know, confidentially of course, that I was looking for a new job.
It’s particularly important to let your references know you’re looking for a job and that they may get a reference call. This is not only common courtesy, but it allows them to be prepared to answer questions about you.
I chose NOT to post my resume at selected online sites, since I was still employed and didn’t want to run the risk of my employer seeing my resume online.
If I were unemployed, I might have posted my resume. I say ‘might have’ because in today’s difficult job market, where so many candidates are available to Hiring Managers, you have to weigh the time and effort of doing this against the very slim chance that anyone is going to read it.
In addition to my references, I let selected people whom I trusted know that I was looking for a new job, in case any leads came their way.
If I were unemployed, I would have updated my Linkedin profile (you do have one, right? If not, you should) to indicate I was job searching, but since I still had a job I didn’t want to take the risk of revealing to someone at my current company that I was looking for a new job.
I then set up job search agents at the major newspapers in my area and at the larger online job sites (Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, etc). This way, I was notified automatically of any advertised positions in the categories for which I was looking. This is admittedly a long shot, but I wanted to cover all the bases.
Once all this was done and in place, I began doing the ongoing activities needed to “cast a wide net” for my job search effort. In my next post I’ll describe these ongoing steps.