Having trouble finding a job? This might be why.

How to find the right job for you

Having trouble finding a job? This might be why.

October 18, 2021

Are you struggling to find a job?

Not just any job… the right job. The job where you’ll be happy, with a company whose culture fits you well, and where you can see yourself staying for the long haul?

You, my friend, are not looking for a job; you’re looking for the next step in your career. And unfortunately, it’s no surprise that you’re struggling.

The process of looking for a job is convoluted and bottlenecked. Almost every job seeker goes to the same big places to post their resume and look for jobs, and almost every company goes to that same place to filter through the chaos in search of that one perfect person who checks all the boxes on their job listing.

Unfortunately, this will stay as it is so long as everyone keeps doing what they’re doing.

I think it’s interesting that both job seekers and companies with job openings all go through this same process over and over, even though it’s convoluted and difficult to work with. I recently wrote an article addressing how companies could do things differently.

I’m wondering… did you know that you have options?

Posting to LinkedIn and the common job boards is just one way to try and find a job. But since most other people use that same process, it’s going to be incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to stand out.

So, what can you do instead? You can tap the hidden job market.

This means you’re going to have to do something active rather than passive.

When you distribute copies of your resume to LinkedIn, job boards, and directly to companies, you’re actually being very passive. It’s a lot like throwing your resume into a huge haystack of resumes and hoping the person reaching in just happens to grab yours.

If you really want the right job, you’re going to have to get active. When you actively job search, the people who have a job opening that fits you will already know about you. They won’t reach into the haystack; instead, they’ll download your resume from their email, or even just pick it up off their desk.

What is the “active” action that will make that happen? You’re going to have to talk to people.

Here’s the thing: The best jobs are found through your network.

It’s ok if you don’t have one yet, or you do but you’ve let it languish. We all need to build our networks, and then we need to maintain them.

If you’re looking for the right job right now, the best thing you can do is reach out to your network. Get connected and stay connected.

If your next question is, “But what do I say?” I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my recent articles that will help you be strategic in how you connect with your network:

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Solve the Hidden Talent Shortage with a New Approach

Solving the Hidden Talent Shortage with a New Approach

Solve the Hidden Talent Shortage with a New Approach

October 4, 2021

Solving the Hidden Talent Shortage with a New ApproachAccording to the Manpower Group, almost 70% of employers report that they cannot find the people with skills they need. (Manpower Group, 2020, The Talent Shortage.) In the U.S., employer intentions to bring on workers is at a ten-year high. (Manpower Group report, Q4 2021)

At the same time, the U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.2 in August 2021.(Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 3, 2021, The Employment Situation – August 2021)

In short: There are jobs available, and there are plenty of people looking for those jobs.

So, what’s the problem? The operative word is “talent.” There are plenty of people who are looking for jobs. But companies struggle to connect with the job seekers who have the right skills and experience to fill the open roles.

I believe this challenge exists because companies are using old ways to find new talent.

Thanks to improved technology and changes that we’ve need to make around the globe to adjust for a global pandemic, the use of video interviews and social media outlets to drive recruiting strategies has increased. But where companies find the talent to interview has not changed.

Until companies start approaching the talent pool from a different direction, finding the right talent to fill open roles will continue to be a challenge.

The strategies for finding talent that companies typically use are no longer working. To get ahead of the trend, companies need to become proactive not reactive in finding talent, and they need to bring in more of a human touch to the process.

There are some nuances to this problem that I want to address: It starts with where companies are looking for talent, but also includes what they are looking for from within the talent pool.

First, companies habitually look for talent when the position is ready to be filled. They open the position and only then do they hit up LinkedIn and other online platforms. They work their way through the pile of unknown talent via resumes from people they’ve not yet met. Bigger companies may even filter those resumes with technology using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which removes any sense of the human behind the words.

But what if companies reversed this process?

What if they started with the pool of talent and got to know the people interested in working with them… and at the same time, gave those people an opportunity to get to know the company and its culture better?

What I’m suggesting here is that companies could build their own Hidden Talent Network where they can gather the pool of interested job seekers before the job is open.

This would allow the companies to address the second nuance that I mentioned above: Changing what they are looking for from that talent.

Typically, companies look for ideal candidates who already have everything that is listed on the job description. That means they miss one key factor: the candidate’s potential.

Finding the right person for a job isn’t just about whether they’ve got all the boxes checked. It’s also about their potential to check more boxes as they grow with the company.

Why does this matter? Turnover is expensive!

It can cost a U.S. company $4000 or more to hire one employee, and it can take up to 52 days to fill a position. (Toggl.com) If you hire someone who doesn’t stay, the company starts the process again, losing more money and time in the process.

Therefore, the goal should not be to hire someone who checks all the boxes in the job description; rather, hire someone who has the potential to check those boxes and much more. Hire someone who envisions themselves staying with your company for the long term, and who you already know fits the culture.

Building your own Hidden Talent Network would help you do this. It provides you with a pool of people that you already know, and who have gotten to know your company as well. Before the job is even open, you can identify the people who tick most of the boxes and show potential to grow with your company. You’ll shorten the time to hire and potentially reduce how much money it costs to find them.

So how do you build a Hidden Talent Network? Slowly, over time, by scouting talent and giving the talent the opportunity to scout you.

For example, you could host talent events where you can speak to them in groups about where your company is going. In what ways is it growing and what types of talent do you hope to be looking for in the future? Talk about your organizational culture and what you value. This would also be a great time to set expectations: What can job seekers expect during your hiring process? Which skills and qualifications are mandatory? What can they do to be an even better fit as the anticipated jobs come open?

Transparency on your part will help you find the right people and get the conversations started early.

From all the years that I’ve spent working with job seekers to help them find the right positions that will help them build a career for themselves, the one thing that I’ve consistently seen is that the best jobs are found through the hidden job market.

That “hidden job market” is something that a job seeker builds for themselves by making connections with the companies that they are interested in working with.

Companies could do this as well by making it easier for individuals to connect with them and speeding up the whole job placement experience for everyone involved. It could also provide them with an untapped market of talent that they could onboard quickly.

The world has changed and continues to do so. If companies want to get the best talent, they’ll need to change with it. The global pandemic has made us all more human. Connection matters more to us. The companies that are embracing this humanness are the ones that will find the best people.

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Why & How to Use LinkedIn Even When You Do Have a Job

Use LinkedIn when you have a job

Why & How to Use LinkedIn Even When You Do Have a Job

August 9, 2021

Use LinkedIn when you have a job

Many career professionals only use LinkedIn when they are looking for a new job. I think this is a big mistake!

When you step away from active networking on LinkedIn, you stop growing and nurturing your online network. You miss out on opportunities to stay informed about your industry and current market trends.

You also lose important ground. If you stay connected, you keep yourself in the right position to put your network to work as soon as possible. A job loss often comes with no warning. Maintaining your online network is an important buffer that can reduce the amount of time you spend between jobs.

And what if you decide to look for a job but you want to stay at your current one until you find it? If you are already active on LinkedIn, your online activity won’t raise any red flags with your current employer because you are always active.

When my clients find new jobs, they often tell me: “I am going to keep networking!” I would like to tell you that many do but unfortunately that’s not true. Most people get involved in their jobs and don’t make the time in their new schedule for.

LinkedIn is the ideal place to keep your network alive while you are working.

...and it doesn't have to take too much of your time either!

Here are three things that I recommend you do on LinkedIn every single week, even if you have a job:

  1. Every day before you begin your workday, go to your LinkedIn home page and notification section and engage with your connections.
  2. Schedule between 1-3 virtual coffee chats each month with people you want to get to know better. Don’t just stick to people you already know. Also connect with people who seem to industry connectors or appear to be the someone “in the know.”
  3. Find a LinkedIn group related to your industry that is active. Look for groups that have regular posts and members who are commenting and sharing information. This can be a way for you to become a subject matter expert (aka an SME) and bring your expertise to the group.

If you do these three things each week, you will keep your network alive. When you need help with your next job search, your network will be ready and willing to help because you have stayed connected.

Finding time to keep your network alive while you are employed is challenging. But building and maintain your relationships is key to your career success. Being active on LinkedIn will keep you visible with your network and it could lead to a new job even if you were not looking for one.

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Looking for a Job? Do This Every Day on LinkedIn.

Do this every day on linkedin

Looking for a Job? Do This Every Day on LinkedIn.

July 26, 2021

Do this every day on linkedinYou’ve already heard about the importance of using LinkedIn for your job search.

Some job seekers think that having an “All-star” rating on their profile is enough.  It is a good start, but it’s not enough. If you are not actively engaging with your network, then you are invisible.

Recruiters and Hiring Managers are on LinkedIn looking for talent every single day.  If you want to be found by them, you need to be visible to a broad network.

Based on my experience working with thousands of job seekers, here are the top three things you must-do on LinkedIn every day that will help you be seen by the right people:

  1. Work toward having 500 connections. The broader your network is, the more people will become aware you are in job transition. This increases your chances of knowing someone in one of your targeted companies who can refer you to a job opening.
  2. Visit your LinkedIn home page every day and also check your notifications. These are the two places where you can engage with your #1 and #2 connections. Think of these areas as where your online networking happens. Talk with your connections, share articles, get a sense of what’s trending… and keep an eye out for people talking about job openings. Yes, you should also check out the jobs section, but that actually isn’t your first stop. When people in your network are talking about openings and opportunities, you can step into an active conversation with the key people involved.
  3. Actively engage with your connections. Reply to people you are following and comment on articles posted by companies you are targeting. Use a balance of likes, comments, and shares. Just liking a post will not give you the visibility you need in your search. Commenting, however, allows you to share your perspective and develop new relationships. Sharing is a form of goodwill and will show your connections you are thinking of them, which in turn might have them think of you. People will go to your profile because you have showed up on their notifications.

Quick tip: When you comment or share, tag the original poster or the person you are replying to (using the @ and their username). This will increase your visibility!

LinkedIn is an essential part of your job search. If you use the steps above every single day, you will become visible to the people who can help you find the job you’re looking for!

Do you want to make sure you're happy in your next job?

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