You don’t have to be actively looking for a job to heed this advice. Your job might be safe and secure today.
But when the time comes to look elsewhere, it’s likely you’ll be competing in a competitive candidate pool. A buyer’s job market (a concept that’s illustrated beautifully in this article).
With that in mind, here is my advice for preparing for a job market in which supply outstrips demand.
(I will share follow-up posts to elaborate on each of these points. See the bottom of this post for info).
1. Start by defining your buyer.
Before you run headlong into your job search, take time to reflect and plan effectively. It helps to start by understanding your ‘buyer’. This is person you typically report to, your sponsor, and/or the person who feels the pain that you relieve.
Once you are comfortable with this, use it to navigate the market and to guide your communications.
2. Create a ‘system’.
We’ll call this a CRM system – ‘Contact’ Relationship Management in this instance.
Whilst you’ll need more than just a strong network to land a good role, relationship management is an useful skill.
And the most effective relationship managers use a tool and make things systemic. This can be as simple as excel or the contact section of your email account. The aim is to keep track of conversations, join the dots, and ensure you follow-up.
3. Don’t rely too heavily on LinkedIn.
Job searching is multichannel. Yes, everyone’s on LinkedIn, but that only exasperates the problem with the platform. It’s saturated. The scale and the algorithms don’t work in your favour.
Even if you enjoy reading threads, writing thought provoking posts and commenting on others. When you’re actively looking for a role you can spend your time more productively.
4. Build relationships with the right recruiters.
Target the better recruiters in your field of expertise. Ask your peers who they recommend. But ensure the recommendation is in the right context – this is about your next job, not about hiring for you. That’s an important nuance if you’re to use your time wisely.
Don’t put your eggs in one basket. But, at the same time, if you spread too thinly you could spend all day chasing-up, or fielding calls from, recruiters.
5. Identify ‘Connectors’.
Who else can lead you to your next interim client or permanent employer? Which of your existing contacts might already deal with your buyer?
In my experience, good connectors include Management Consultants, Private Equity and VC firms, NEDs, etc.
6. Take your CV seriously.
The CV is not dead. Yes, there are other effective ways to demonstrate your capability that are role specific. But, as a standardised document, the CV still wins.
Which means it’s worth the time and effort. Make it good.
I’d like your input on this post and future content, please.
What additional advice would you give to help prepare for a buyer’s job market? And, if I am to produce additional content on the above points, what would you like to hear more about? You can contact me here.
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