Today’s world is entirely VUCA and tools, the mindset and business or career advice from the 90’s or even 00’s don’t work now. Instead of relying on our experience, we constantly challenge our “intuition” or “intuitive reflex” that was formed based on past events. Why? Because past conclusions or old thinking patterns might no longer be valid. We will always stop and say, “What does the data say?”. And here’s what the data says about job search:
Step 1: Goal
Where do you really want to work? What do you want to do?
Is your goal realistic? Is it a standard, medium or difficult undertaking?
Step 2: Your USP
What makes you stand out on the job market?
Why should you not only be considered for a role, but hired?
Step 3: Documents
Make sure you have a CV for “humans”, a CV for “ATS” and a LinkedIn profile fit for the algorithm. Find out if your CV is ATS-compliant by clicking here.
Step 4: Generate interest & offers
Generate interest and job offers using ALL four channels:
– Direct application (contacting decision makers directly)
– (Online) job ads
Every year several hundred experienced managers and executives mainly from across Europe get in touch with us to confidentially discuss their career strategy and job search. After an initial consultation or when working with us, they learn that a job seeker should – on average – contact and follow up with:
- 30-50 headhunters per country that they are actively interested in. Note: countries with a population >30 million are city-driven
- their potential boss directly in 60-120 well-selected companies (in line with the goal = 1st step). How to find email addresses: here.
Done correctly, here’s what the statistics say:
|18%||7%||26%||30%||31%||23%||14%||8%||19%||12%||13%||Executive Search Firms|
Job Hunting KPIs
You can measure the efficiency of your job search by KPIs. The two most important ones:
Response rate (RR) = ratio of reactions to effectively contacted people; a good RR: 30-50%
Interview rate (IVR) = ratio of interviews with effectively contacted people; a good IVR: 5-10%
Effectively contacted meaning: 1st email + follow-up after 7-10 days
People meaning: correct decision makers, headhunters
The above is under the assumption that they want the best possible job that is available on the market at the moment of their job search. For those who are 50+ or have had a longer break, it’s the only way to proceed. And more often than not, the same experienced managers and executives who manage millions of EUR / USD, achieve above-average growth rates and are good managers, or even leaders, don’t do that.
Why? To make it short and to the point: lack of time, lack of motivation, a combination of both.
How do you fix it?
- make the job search your (real) priority
- find a job search buddy to motivate each other, ideally during “job search session”
- work with an accountability buddy to keep you honest and make sure you stick to your progress goals / set milestones
Avoiding job hunting mistakes
“If I could turn back time…”, as Cher sings. Everybody has their regrets, that’s an inevitable part of life. The important thing is to learn from your own mistakes, but why not learn also from somebody else’s errors? Career-wise, it can also be beneficial to reflect on what other people might have done differently in their job search so as to know the “don’ts” of job hunting and avoid them.
The current job market is an ever-changing competitive environment. There are more start-ups and innovations than ever before which results in increased job insecurity, but also completely new opportunities. Though some still might think “I don’t have to worry about it, my job is stable and I won’t get fired”. Just think about all the international corporations who choose Shared Service Centers or go through deep restructuring by e.g. flattening their hierarchy.
It effects all of us. Sooner or later. Expectedly and sometimes out of the blue. In other words: be prepared. Always!
How do recruiters know how old you are irrespectively of your age?
And we don’t refer to calculating your age based on when you graduated! Here are examples of smaller and bigger signals that candidates send without being aware that they are actually doing it.
Interviewer: When would you be able to have a Skype interview?
Candidate: I prefer to meet in person.
I: It is our policy to conduct first interviews over Skype.
C: Oh… that’s OK. I prefer to travel for 2-3 hours. No problem.
Why do some recruiters insist on web based interviews?
- they don’t have a permanent office and only rent space for 2nd round in-person interviews
- the recruiter wants to see how you deal with technology, as the first interview with the client is via web conference as well
- interviews over Skype are shorter and more effective from a screening point of view
- we are in the 21st century – why not take advantage of the tools?
- it’s cheaper
Read about more examples of how candidates show their “mental” age here.
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