How To Land Your Next Role In 5 Easy Steps
Y'all I couldn't even TYPE that title without laughing. As if it's that simple.
BUT WAIT! What if we COULD distill the process down to a reasonable, repeatable, 5 step process? Let's discuss.
I actually DO believe we can create a simple roadmap for finding your next role. Here are the steps I came up with - let's pick them apart down below.
- Determine the companies you'd like to explore / could see yourself working at
- Look at their open roles, apply to ones you clearly fit the qualifications for (caveat - employers have a responsibility for being clear and concise in their postings - I know this doesn't always happen)
- Threefold networking - Recruiter/Peers/Leaders - more on that and how to get templates below
- In tandem, make sure your trusted network knows you're open, what you'd like to do and what you're good at - they may often recommend companies you may not have considered or that didn't make the cut in step 1
- Rinse and repeat as needed
So why does this WORK? The key to all of this is QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. So many job seekers (and God love ya recruiters are lousy for this too) think that "if I just spam ENOUGH PEOPLE SOMEONE WILL RESPOND".
Oh nay nay.
In step 1 we are carefully curating a list of companies we could see ourselves working at. There's no magic number or criteria here. YOU decide who makes the list. Maybe it's all of FAANG. Maybe it's anywhere within a 10 minute commute. Could be 3 companies, could be 30. You decide. Although 30 you might want to break down into 3 separate efforts. :) Check out my video on Dream Jobs HERE.
GREAT! You've got your list. On to step 2. Now check out their careers pages. Look for roles that light you up. Do they actually hire what you do? That's a good place to start - once you've found a role (or maybe a few in HUGE companies) start working on those applications! The key here is to make sure your resume is well targeted to the job description and those pesky Basic Qualifications are clearly addressed. If you've already created your master resume and are targeting a handful of related roles, this should not take more than an hour or so. This is TIME WELL SPENT. The better targeted your profile and resume are to the needs of the role, the more likely it is a recruiter will contact you. That said, we're not going to sit around and wait. WE ARE HUSTLERS AND READY TO MAKE SHIT HAPPEN!
So now we're at step 3. NETWORKING. Yes applying is important - but that doesn't mean you can't use every means available to you to get noticed. Job seekers often default to contacting recruiters - which is a GREAT idea, if they're the right ones. I wrote about networking with recruiters HERE. You can also email me with "NETWORKING" in the subject line for updated templates and more guidance on how to reach out to recruiters, possible peers/colleagues, as well as potential hiring managers.
Whew! We can see the finish line. Now here's the part where you call on your friends and family. If you're open to a change, TELL PEOPLE! Your colleagues, neighbors, your kid's t-ball coach, all these people know other people. Now this is not a license to spam everyone with your career problems, but if you know the guy across the street works for your dream company, hit him up at the next HOA meeting! It can be as simple as "hey I'm looking for my next career move and applied to a role at XYZ Firm. How do you like it there?" See where the conversation takes you. If neighbor guy is uncomfortable, he'll change the subject pretty quickly. Let it go. OR - he could be like most decent humans and tell you all about it. Maybe even offer to refer you! Employee referrals are fantastic when done right. I actually landed my current DREAM JOB after grabbing a glass of wine at happy hour with one of my girlfriends. She works for a company I had actually avoided for years. I'd interviewed a couple of times but didn't have the best experience previously. While hearing about how much she LOVED her job I knew I had to at least throw my hat in the ring. Nearly 6 months later I'm the happiest I've ever been career wise! Take the shot.
Ok Amy I did all that and I STILL don't have a job!! NOW WHAT? Well, do it again. That's step 5. You may run through this exercise a few times before you get THE call. This is why it's so important to start with a (very) short list - give your resume and application (and networking emails and outreach) the right attention up front. You can do it again with the next few companies. And the next. And the next. I'm not asking you to limit the number of applications or outreaches - I'm asking you to do it strategically, methodically, and with the other person in mind. No spam.
This FEELS like a no-brainer to me, but somehow seems to really piss off the so-called experts. You'll recognize them by their constant shouting about how "the process is BROKEN" and telling you to stay away from people like me. They may also be selling something and are often found hollering at me in the comment sections of everything I say or do on social media. ;) There is no one size fits all foolproof solution. The minute I try to create that, some fool will come along and prove me wrong. Look, this is YOUR career - you decide where you're going and how you'll get there - I just happen to think I've got a pretty reasonable map.