It’s that time of year again. Jobs will soon be flooding the market like a sudden invasion by the First Order. Now that the holidays are over, employers are looking to revitalize their staff with new people. Some even go as far as to hire recruiters for their skills as bounty hunters. During a job search, employers often feel like faceless entities or insurmountable empires.
So, how does the average job seeker face these kinds of odds (approx. 3720 to 1) and compete with other job seekers in a busy, fast paced market? How does one person outwit the cunning hiring manager and their advanced computer screening systems? How do you awaken your career and get the job you really want?
Answers, you shall find, young Padiwan.
1. Preparation and Tools of the Jedi Job Seeker
Before tearing off into the frontier of job postings, work on your job searching tools, including your resume, social media profiles and employment website settings. Your resume is your lightsaber, one of the most crucial tools of the Jedi. Your social media profiles, including LinkedIn, are your Millennium Falcon, able to get you in contact with actual hiring managers of the companies you are applying to in less than 12 Parsecs. If any of these are in a poor state, you will be cut down by the insidious HR department long before you ever speak to a single person at the target company.
The January hiring surge is short – learn everything you can about the hiring process itself to become a competitive candidate. Remember, you are literally fighting hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants for every job. Make the most of every opportunity.
2. Know the Mission. Know the Enemy
The rebels never would have blown up both Death Stars if they had not known the weaknesses of the Empire and their engineering. The key for you and the job search is to actually research your target employers. The more you know about the company, the better off you will be when it comes time to interview with them. Not to mention that research is the best way to discover and contact the key managers involved in the hiring decision. Plus, research give you clarity about the company’s culture and work environment.
Start off by selecting and researching at least 10 potential employers each week, even if they don’t have any posted jobs yet. Research includes finding out about their business, the size, where they post jobs and key managers and employees. Of course, add companies that have posted positions that peak your interest as well.
Work on building your LinkedIn network to create some connections within these target employers. Your social network is essentially your rebel alliance. This is your support, your connections, and sometimes direct lines to your target companies.
3. The Jedi Job Seeker Code
“There is no emotion, there is peace…”
First of all, don’t let your emotions rule your job search. This can be a challenge, as finding a great position can be invigorating. Similarly, receiving the rejection email can be a devastating blow. Try to keep an even keel during your job search so you don’t lose your perspective.
“There is no ignorance, there is knowledge…”
Just blinding applying to jobs without research is to barrel forward in ignorance. Take the time to learn about your targets to make the most of every single job application and submitted resume. Similarly, educate yourself about the hiring process to empower your own job search. Knowing the tricks and traps is the best way to avoid HR’s sarlacc pit that consumes most resumes.
“There is no passion, there is serenity…”
Sorry, Jedi, but here I have to disagree. Passion is paramount in the job search. Smart managers hire people who are passionate about what they do. Traditionally speaking, the passionate employee with produce better work, stay longer, be more committed, call in less, and is in general a better hire. Don’t be afraid to express your passion in your cover letter, your resume, and the interview.
“There is no chaos, there is harmony…”
A job search conduct in chaos is not effective. This means that frantically applying to jobs over your lunch hour is not going to work. Set aside time every day to work on your search, including creating a space within your home dedicated to this purpose. Still the mind and let go of your anxieties and stresses of the day before tackling something like writing your resume or starting a complex online application. Just a few calming breaths to reset the mind can make a world of difference.
“There is no death, there is the Force.”
Death is but a transformation, including job changes, career transitions, and new opportunities. To be effective, we have to let go of the former life to experience the new one. In many ways, this is aligning ourselves with our higher selves – if we work towards it and allow it to happen.