It may be unexpected advice from a job-search coach, but ideally, you should not be looking for a job. Instead, you should be looking for problems to solve and letting the jobs come to you.
Here’s why you need to get off those job boards and readjust your approach:
1. Looking for a problem to solve is more effective.
Looking for a problem to solve instead of looking for a job requires you to identify skills you plan to use in your next opportunity and outline your accomplishments. If you stop searching for a job and start paying attention to what you have to offer, you’ll have more control over your job search.
This proactive approach forces you to network and interact with a variety of people, as well as research problems facing organizations that require your expertise. Identify thought leaders in your field and figure out how to join their conversations. One good way to do this is to read blogs about your industry. Check Alltop.com for a list of industry-specific blogs, or use Google’s blog search.
You can do a lot of research via your computer and social networks, but be sure you combine online strategies with in-person networking.
2. The best jobs aren’t advertised. Grow your networks so opportunities come to you.
If you manage your career well, enough people will know about you and your skills that you’ll never have to look for a job. Instead, jobs will find their way to you. Sound crazy? The hidden job market, or unadvertised jobs, represents the majority of positions filled. If you use today’s social media tools and have the expertise to back it up, it’s possible to generate buzz about yourself.
The key to creating a “personal brand” and attracting opportunities is making connections with others in your field. Magnetically drawing jobs to you requires legwork on the front end. That’s why it’s a good idea to start building buzz around you and what you offer before looking for an opportunity. Still, it’s never too late to start.
First steps to successfully using this approach:
• Create a completely filled-out LinkedIn profile and grow your network there.
• Open a professional Twitter account so you can connect with thought leaders in your field and tweet useful information and advice to your colleagues.
• Author a professional blog to demonstrate your expertise and improve your ranking on Google.
The personal brand approach is Career Management 101, and it’s not so different from advice years ago to build a network to land a job. The only difference is you will be propagating it to an extended and potentially world-wide network rather than only sharing your accomplishments, ideas, and suggestions with your close friends and family members.
Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer and owner of Keppie Careers. She teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success. Connect with her via Twitter @Keppie_Careers.