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The Top 7 Activities You Need To Be Doing In Your Job Search

Rachel Serwetz
Rachel Serwetz
May 17, 2022
The Top 7 Activities You Need To Be Doing In Your Job Search, Beyond Just Applying Online

It’s an unfortunate reality that we cannot rely on online job boards alone as a reliable, successful source to land a new role. If you’ve been applying online incessantly and not seeing results, let’s think about:

  • Are they the right fit roles for your background?
  • Do your materials represent your fit well?
  • Have you been networking effectively to break into the company after you apply?
  • Or most importantly, have you been devoting too much of your time to online applications?

So where else can you devote your time during your job search to efficiently land a fitting role?

Networking 50% ~ Online Applications 10% ~ Researching 10% ~ Events/Webinars 5% ~ Personal Branding 10% ~ Skill Development 5% ~ Reflection/Iteration 5% ~ Accountability, Mindset, and Self Care 5%

You want to think about all the ways that people can meet you (and thus understand your capabilities, value, fit, and potential), beyond just relying on being a resume in a digital pile of applications. Building your personal brand, participating in events, doing skill development activities, and directly networking with relevant professionals, are a few great ways to get your name out there. 

Let’s dive in deeper to learn about what you should be doing in your job search, besides the online applications.

Networking (50%)

  1. If you do apply to a role online, I suggest you land a networking call with at least one person at the company. 
  2. Oftentimes there are openings that are not posted online. You should network with people in your target roles and companies, whether you see an opening online or not.
  3. Each call can help you learn a ton about your target roles and industries, nuanced hiring practices, and also serve as a method to prove that you’re a strong candidate as well. 
  4. You can use the calls to uncover if there are any relevant open roles internally, and if so, see if they would introduce you or refer you to the hiring manager or internal recruiter to learn more about the role and team.
  5. If there is no opening, follow up in 4-6 weeks to check for any developments, but also see if the person is willing to introduce you to any of their personal or professional connections.
  6. Oftentimes, one call will lead into another call, which will lead into another call, and that’s where the job really is.
  7. Utilize a coach, mentor, or peer to understand how to find warm connections, how to effectively reach out, how to properly run a networking call, and how to follow up.

Researching (10%)

  1. Research is a critical component of your job search.
  2. You want to ensure that you learn deeply about your target roles, industries, and companies, to be sure you’re pursuing the best fit path.
  3. By learning, you will inform your strategy so that you can be more efficient in targeting the right opportunities. 
  4. It will also give you fodder to talk about during your networking calls and keep you up to date on the latest happenings in your field.

Events/Webinars (5%)

  1. This is a great way to both learn and meet people.
  2. Use LinkedIn Events, Meetup.com, Eventbrite.com, Google, or other niche industry groups to find events that are related to your target roles and industries. 
  3. These don’t have to be specifically positioned as networking or job fair events, but rather webinars, panels, or any event that is relevant to your career direction.
  4. This is a great way to learn about new companies, learn about your field, and meet people who work in your target roles and companies, so that way you can follow up for an informational call and uncover potential opportunities.

Personal Branding (10%)

  1. I typically suggest having your materials edited before beginning your job search, that way, you can focus on all the other important activities mentioned here. However, there is a lot you can do to utilize personal branding to your advantage, without spending too much time per week on it.
  2. Once per week, take a look at your resume, LinkedIn, and professional summary to see if you can adjust, remove, or incorporate keywords to ensure your materials are tailored to your ideal career path.
  3. Stay active on LinkedIn or any platform where your industry “talks” (could be Twitter, Instagram, etc). 
  4. This could mean posting or re-sharing an article or thought leadership while adding some of your own thoughts to the post, commenting and chiming in on an active thread or conversation, or writing your own blog articles or creating your own videos to share your expertise and thought leadership.
  5. You might even utilize these threads to network and identify people that are worth asking for an informational call, or they may reach out to you.
  6. You’d want to have a portfolio or website if that is relevant to your target role.

Skill Development (5%) 

  1. This could take the form of courses, certifications, bootcamps, diplomas, volunteering, shadowing, pro bono work, internships, consulting, freelance work or contracting, personal side projects, graduate programs, and more.
  2. Be sure you look into anything that will take you time and money to be sure its reputable and worthwhile, however, especially if you’re making a career pivot, investing in upskilling would greatly prove that you’re investing in excelling in your intended path if it’s a direction that is newer to you. 
  3. These are also great ways to build up your relevant experience and portfolio.
  4. Especially if you’re not working, this is an important way to keep your mindset positive, creative, and remember your value.

Measurement, Reflection, Iteration (5%)

  1. Like any project at work, you want to measure quantitatively what you’re doing and also reflect qualitatively on how you’re doing, at least once per week, if not daily, so that you can pivot wherever necessary.
  2. This will enable you to see where in the funnel you’re finding the most challenges and where you can iterate your approach and thus strengthen your outcomes. 
  3. Depending on the patterns and where in the process you’re seeing the most challenges, it will be quite telling (to a career coach) to identify where you can improve.
  4. If you have multiple options for roles and industries, it is worth taking a step back to clarify your best fit direction before revisiting the job search, by pursuing career exploration.

Accountability, Mindset, and Self Care (5%)

  1. Don’t forget to consider how you’re taking care of your mindset and what your self care routines look like.
  2. In addition, consider what accountability tools, processes, and routines will help keep you on track, organized, and productive.  
  3. Job search is a beast, and it can take a serious amount of patience, persistence, and resilience, so be sure to have methods for proactive and reactive self care.
  4. Ensure your workspace is an energizing space that easily allows you to focus.
  5. Consider setting a consistent routine for your job search schedule, especially if you’re not working. This helps immensely with one’s mindset.
  6. Incorporate activities into your daily routine to take care of both your physical and mental health.

For the remaining 10% of time, you can definitely utilize online job applications, but be sure to network with professionals who work at those companies to ensure your application stands out. The variety of activities listed here is a great way to ensure you don't solely rely on online applications. Statistically, networking is how most people land jobs, so take advantage of the creative ways you can make it happen!

The Top 7 Activities You Need To Be Doing In Your Job Search

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Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5+ years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, Columbia University, WeWork, and Project Activate.

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