How to Measure Your Job Search Progress

October 31, 2022

Pictured: notebook with the words: how to masure your progressDo you sometimes feel like you aren’t making any progress in your job search?

It’s a long and sometimes frustrating process, and it can often feel like you’re spinning your wheels. So, that’s a great question to ask:

How do you measure how much progress you are making in your job search?

It can be difficult to tell!

Most job seekers measure how their job search is progressing by how many online jobs they have applied for, how many interviews they’ve had, or whether they’re waiting to hear back from a recruiter or hiring manager.

But then recruiters don’t call back when they said they would, interviewers talked about moving to the next round but you haven’t heard anything more about it, and you feel ghosted. When you haven’t heard back from the companies where you thought for sure you were qualified, the frustration is real!

One minute, you think you’re making progress; and the next minute, you aren’t. It feels like one step forward, two steps back. You’re feeling on top of the world, only to be let down and wonder if you’ll ever find a job.

Why is this?

It’s because of what you’re using to measure your success.

How many interviews you’ve done and which whether you’ve gotten to the second or third round of interviews are what I call a “vanity metric.” It can feel like you’re making progress, but it can be a false hope and you can go from hero to zero in a second. This is not what you need to be paying attention to!

Instead, I recommend these criteria for measuring your progress:

  • How many people (ideally hiring managers) in your targeted companies know what you want to do in your next role?
  • How visible are you on LinkedIn, especially to your connections, people you want to get to know, and people within your targeted companies?
  • How many face-to-face meetings do you have on your calendar each week?
  • How many people have you met with since you’ve started your job search?
  • How many new names have you added to your list of contacts from your one-on-one meetings?

As you may have noticed, these measurements are all about talking to people. Are you wondering how you’re going to find a job when that’s all you’re paying attention to?

That, my friend, is the whole point!

The best way to find and land the right job (not just any job) is to find out about new openings before they are posted online. Help people in the companies you want to work for get to know you (and by “people” I mean the hiring managers and the people they trust). Then, when there are new openings, you are the first person they’ll think about.

There’s one more benefit that you get when you focus on how many people you know and how visible you are: You eliminate the highs and lows that come with doing all of those interviews for jobs you aren’t even sure you want.

What if you could find out about job openings before they were posted?

Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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