Crushing that Job Search - Authentically
That “next job” itch - it’s a very specific feeling. It’s not a wandering eye, per se, rather it’s a consideration of possibility. When someone is ready to look for new opportunities it is rarely just about compensation. Rather, they are looking for a change in their professional status, more challenge, and potentially a more appreciative environment. Before jumping into a job search, individuals must know what they are seeking, or they will find themselves in a potentially unsuccessful search - even if they get an offer.
Let’s talk compensation. Look, making more money is great - I am not going to ever tell anyone that compensation shouldn’t impact your decision making when considering a new job. However, if you are going into a search seeking more than money, you may have to make the money the #2 consideration. Be sure you go into your search armed with questions you need answered to determine if opportunities will position you for job satisfaction.
As a first step, do some research into what you are really looking for in a job. Search a multitude of job descriptions - don’t get hung up on titles and locations of the jobs - this is about developing an understanding of what you are seeking to do, and determining if you have the qualifications to get you those jobs. Take the job descriptions and your resume or LinkedIn profile and connect the dots between description and qualifications — literally. This is an exercise that is much more successful when done on paper. Consider what responsibilities, what aspects of the job, what about the mission of the employer is driving your interest.
When crafting your cover letter, be sure that you are highlighting “fit” as much as you are highlighting “skill”. This is not a simple task, you must be cautious of tone and how you may be interpreted, however, it is important to include. An effective recruiter will look for the intangibles that make for a more robust candidate pool, and potential fit within the organization will be an aspect of recruiting the best pool. Submit references that speak to your potential fit as well as your skills up front, and illustrate in your reference materials how you know each reference and what they can speak to. For instance: “Chris Peters was my direct supervisor from 2008 to 2013, and we maintain a mentoring relationship. Chris can speak to my collaboration skills and my ability to take initiative. Chris is also able to discuss my work in managing specific projects related to our proprietary client management system.” This shows that you have not only lined up your references, but you have thought through where you may be a fit for the organization, and who can speak to your potential fit.
Remember, there is a difference between authenticity and arrogance. Arrogance does not win over a search committee, authenticity does. If you move from “paper” review in a search to a phone, video or in person interview, knowing that your authentic self was selected to move forward in the search will allow for you to develop a heightened level of competence.
Mentors, and in some cases current supervisors, can be helpful as you ramp up for a job search, however, it is not a-typical for job seekers to benefit from objective and informed help in structuring their search. If you are at a point in your career trajectory that has you seeking executive leadership, and you believe you would benefit from some strategic alignment of your job search, consider Fortify Yourself. Designed to provide our clients with a combination of straight forward feedback as well as tangible action items, Fortify Yourself is just the right balance of vision and task.