Remember that the job search process is a business process...a marketing process to be more specific. It is the action of marketing the product (you!) to yield sales (a job!).
But to look at the entire process as a whole can be overwhelming. Break it down when determining yield rate. Is your resume yielding interviews? Are your interviews yielding offers? Are your offers competitive? Are you valuing yourself proactively when negotiating an offer?
Are you struggling with any of these? It’s time to ask yourself some questions. Evaluate your job search strategy the same way a marketing strategy is evaluated:
Is your content relevant?
Expectations of resumes and cover letters are fairly straight forward. You need to:
- Target your documents so that the content is relevant to the position for which you are applying.
- Highlight your transferrable skills.
- Quantify your accomplishment.
Are you promoting to the right people?
Focusing a disproportionate amount of time promoting yourself to the wrong people can lead to a decrease in your ROI, leading to frustration. Figure out who are the right people for you and in your industry. Remember to:
- Be on a 24-hour job search alert! You never know where the right person might be.
- Force yourself to go to networking events to meet the right people.
- Let your network know you are exploring options and perhaps they can unknowingly lead you to the right people.
Are you listening to your audience?
At its core, the employer is going to make the decisions. So, ultimately, you have to hear what employers are saying. Additionally, you must hear what employers are asking for so that you can target your approach when applying to positions.
What are your competitors doing right?
Do you know others who have secured better jobs? What was their process?
When things are going well, it is easy to identify your strengths and accomplishments. When they are going poorly or are challenging, it is difficult and often painful to assess your weaknesses. Take the high road and learn from your competitors. Look at your competition objectively and see how you might strengthen part or all of your search to gain success.
It’s often difficult not to personalize the job search because, well, you are the product! But, if you can objectively evaluate the process and determine if you are successfully marketing yourself, you will gain a stronger yield on each step of the search process…..getting you closer to yielding a new job!
Teresa Balestreri, MEd, 1992
Director, Career Services
University of Missouri-St. Louis