10 Less Common But Effective Job Search Strategies
Job hunting is practically a full-time job itself. It’s often a monotonous and frustrating process but with some less common job search strategies you can find – and ultimately, land – better opportunities with a more pleasant and effective experience. Here’s less common and effective job search strategies!
1.Informational Interviews Are a Must!
This one had to make our list of less common and effective job search strategies. If you’re a job seeker, you should be doing several informational interviews a week in addition to submitting applications. Informational interviews allow you to get clear on your next career step as well as get intel of what it’s like to work there, build meaningful relationships, and potentially get referred into a role. Bottomline, if you aren’t sure about what you want to do next, keep doing informational interviews until you are.
2. Engage with Those You Can Relate To
Once you have identified a company or industry that you’d like to work in, send an email or a LinkedIn connection request to a hiring manager or key stakeholder to set up an informational interview. Instead of being intimidated by a cold reach out to someone you don’t know, make it a warm reachout. Find something about them that you can relate to, such as places you’ve lived/moved from, schools, or volunteering. You’ll see a much higher response rate and establish a connection easier. If you have a mutual connection, be sure to reach out and ask for a soft introduction!
3. Nail Your Elevator Pitch, Then Start Job Searching
Most phone screens and job interviews start with a question to introduce yourself and give your elevator pitch to the interviewer so they can put the pieces together of who you are and why this job could be a fit for you. If you are going to be attending networking events and job fairs (both of which we highly recommend!), nailing your elevator pitch is also important. This had to make our list of less common and effective job search strategies because it’s so versatile!
It is so difficult to connect with people when they launch into a rehearsed speech in response to, “What do you do?”. It can also be difficult to craft an “elevator pitch” that does NOT feel like you are pitching. Luckily, we’ve got a tried and true formula for you to use to craft the perfect, concise and thorough elevator pitch!
Formula For the Perfect Elevator Pitch:
- Write down the following: What you do, Who you do it for, how you do it, why it matter, and 1 related accomplishment
- Re-order and refine what you wrote so that it makes sense (and can be spoken in less than 1 minute)
- Then, add a question to the end of the pitch so that it doesn’t feel like you’re talking at them the whole time, with the awkward conclusion of, “So…are you impressed?”. The question should draw connections from your skills and experience to the person or company. For example, “Given my background in customer centric environments, do you see my experience aligning with your current business needs?”
4. When Interviewing, Remember That Questions Are More Important Than Answers
Interviewing always goes both ways. Ask questions like: “Over X years that you’ve been at the company, how has your role and the company changed?” or “Over X years that you’ve been at the company, what has built your loyalty to the company?” because they get the interviewer opening up and giving you an insight into the company’s trajectory as well as how much professional development they’ve gotten. More great questions to ask during a job interview here. Asking questions that prompt your interviewer to sell you on the organization will help them shift into a mindset of trying to hire you if they aren’t already!
5. Reach Higher
A job description is a wishlist. Why? The HR or hiring manager wrote the description before interviewing candidates and getting a feel for what the market looks like for the candidate profile they are seeking. Job descriptions are a wish list with every possible skill they could ever possibly need and want. Over the course of accepting and interviewing candidates, HR or hiring managers will identify which “must haves” will become “nice to haves” based on the skills and experiences of the candidates (like you!) – and realizing the candidate profile listed on the job description can’t exist within one person! More on this here.
Don’t wait to pursue roles until you are completely qualified! If several things on the job description will stretch and grow you – good!
6. Search When No One Else Is
An easy way to cut down the amount of people in the candidate pool you are in competition with is to job search when others aren’t. For example, every year from Thanksgiving to New Years, is when applicant numbers decline as many job seekers put their job search goals and careers on the back burner to focus on family and the holiday season. It can be a time for smart job seekers to job search and get ahead when there’s less competition. Other low-applicant times of the year include holiday weeks leading into Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day or when a company’s fiscal year is beginning so they have new budgets and ambitious sales forecasts.
The highest volume time of year is January-March when people set out with new year’s resolutions and are optimistically inspired to better their lives with new beginnings, new challenges and new jobs. What is your competitive advantage among this crowded talent pool? Don’t be part of it.
Also, when submitting applications or sending your resumes to recruiters, Sunday night is the best time to do this so that your resume is the first thing they see on Monday morning!
7. Know Your Triggers
So much of a successful job search is maintaining your emotional health and inner confidence. There is a lot of uncertainty and frustration that comes from having to put yourself out there emotionally with every interview and selling yourself. Know your triggers so that you can anticipate your feelings and help yourself cope better. For instance, if waiting to hear back from an interviewer if you are being moved forward is what drives you into a tailspin of uncertainty and doubt, ask the interviewer when you can expect to hear back on their hiring decision. This will help lessen the impact of that trigger.
8. Give Yourself a Weekly Quota
Setting a specific amount of applications/reachouts/interviews you want to achieve per week is a great way to stay on track with your job search goals. Additionally, we recommend using an Excel sheet to record not only your metrics but also activities. For example, in each row, list the job title that you applied for, company name and then make note of each time you have contact (email response received, phone screen, interview, etc) from someone at that company. This will especially help when you are applying for several positions with similar or identical titles!
9. Use Our Winning “Why Should We Hire You?” Strategy
When the interviewer asks “Why should we hire you?”, answer by reiterating what you know about the role, talk about your skills and results you’ve had that will specifically address those needs, then flip the question back on the interviewer by asking “Is that how you see me in this role?” Color them impressed.
10. Make Sure Your Resume is ATS-proof
When your resume is submitted online into an applicant tracking system by job application site (ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, etc.) or a company’s online application portal, complex designs (including infographics, images, clip art, and videos) are often mutilated and disoriented. To avoid being taken out of the candidacy process due to an illegible resume, make sure your resume contains the following:
- Use a standardized and simple resume format
- Written in a standard web font in black ink
- Does not contain graphics, clip art or images (other than a small headshot if desired)
- Uploaded in a PDF file format
- Make sure your resume is specifically tailored to the job you are applying for and contains keywords that are featured in the job description
More on avoiding deal-breaking resume mistakes here.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.
Featured in Forbes as one of America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms and a 5-time winner of the coveted ClearlyRated Best in Staffing designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE provides multiple placement options….
- Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
- Temp to Hire Auditions
- Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time
Our services for job seekers include….
- Resume reviews and consultations
- Access to the “Hidden Job Market”
- Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
- Confidential Job Searches
- Professional Career Guidance
We provide paid absence and healthcare benefits for employees assigned to work at client sites through our services…
To learn more about how one 2-minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now, contact PACE’s candidate services team at 425-637-3301 or email Candidate Services.