Compress Your Job Search Timeline
Tips for Job Search and Business Development Time Reduction
Studies show clearly that a critical factor in life and business is resilience in the face of adversity. The question many of the unemployed, or those dissatisfied with their present employment, ask, is will my resilience last long enough for me to find and start my new job. Reports in the media already show that many people in the job search process have just quit looking for a new job.
How many rejections, unreturned phone calls, unanswered resume submissions, or just everyday bad news about the market, have challenged your confidence and resilience?
The reward for your persistence may not pay off until the time is right.
However, you may be able to compress your job search timeline in simple, but proven ways, that you may have forgotten or abandoned. Let’s review some successful ways to secure that next job interview and proactively take steps to reduce your unemployment cycle.
Communicate Directly With the Decision Maker About a Job
I have a friend (let’s call him Bob), who boasted unabashedly, that he could secure business from any client in the world. Let me describe how he got to the decision-maker.
This example deals with one of the world’s largest retailers. Through his due diligence in his job search, Bob discovered his target company had a long tradition of executive meetings on Saturday mornings. He assumed that on Saturday the “gatekeeper” would not be working and the target executive would arrive prior to the scheduled meeting to get ready.
Bob went to his office on Saturday morning and called the executive, who answered his phone and was very courteous and receptive to Bob’s brief summary of his value proposition for a job.
I must admit that, in spite of the perfect timing, he was blessed with a little luck when this contact provided him the time to make his case for a job.
As a result, a meeting was set and within 30 days a very large contract was signed.
You may be thinking this was dumb luck, and the stars were aligned just right to produce these results. I believe this is more a case of resilience and perseverance, which is ultimately rewarded. Keep in mind that it is the strategic design and execution that is preeminent and not the tactical approach. You must be creative and diligent.
Key Management Changes May Work in Your Favor
Going into the end of his third year of trying to secure a potential client’s business, Bob read in the Wall Street Journal, that the company was bringing in a new president. Based on the WSJ story and his own knowledge of the company, he knew that this president had a different management style than any of this company’s predecessors. This president had a reputation for change and also had a history of taking over companies and preparing them for acquisition.
Based on Bob’s hard data, as well as his speculation that the company might be going on the market for sale, he wrote a brief but direct letter to the incoming president. He explained, upfront, his history of attempting to do business with this company.
He explained his company’s service and its history of adding value to clients.
Finally, he asked for an opportunity to meet and describe what made his company better suited to be the new president’s vendor of choice.
Bob was invited to present his company’s proposal. At the conclusion of the presentation, and after three and a half years of trying, the president awarded the contract to Bob and asked for his letter of agreement by the end of the week. This was clearly a case of preparation, perseverance and timing.
Know When Your Previous Bosses Move to New Companies
Stay alert to key personnel changes in organizations in which you either presently or previously had a positive job or business relationship. Many years ago one of my mentors said, “The road to the top is paved with neither roses nor thorns, but with people."
One of your most important resources for uncovering your next job is the people you have come into contact with during your professional life.
Be aware of when they change jobs or companies. Follow up for personal and professional job search and relationship opportunities.
Every Personal Encounter Can Lead to Your Next Job
Think of yourself as the quintessential sales professional who is “on” every waking hour. Don’t miss taking advantage of even the most routine or casual encounters to further your job search. I am suggesting conversations with targets of opportunity, where you initiate a brief interaction, which could lead to a follow-up conversation about a job or business opportunity.
This approach requires you to be yourself, and that you are courteous and approachable. During these brief conversations, you can uncover a lot about the person’s company, position, and how their business is doing.
It’s not that hard and the business discussion can pay huge dividends. This a great way to maximize your contacts while “in the process” of your job search. When you choose to not talk with someone, you diminish your chances to compress your job search timeline.
Don't Be Complacent About Finding Your Next Job
As an Executive Recruiter, I know that employer timelines sometimes extend into months and you may not be able to speed up their process. Even when a position is “immediately” available, the interview process, reference checks, and securing an employment agreement can take months.
However, don’t compound your problems about the time invested in the job or business opportunity search, by being slow to start your job search. My observations show that time is not an ally in your job search.
Typically, with the candidates I see, there is a timing relationship that shows that the longer you are out of work, the more difficult it is to be considered by employers. In today’s market, it is clear that more job seekers are competing for a diminishing number of positions, and employers are not the ones who have to find you.
You have to find them in your job search for your next job. Think about timing in your job search and do what you can to compress the job search timeline.
*Cleve Rowley is the President of Cleve Rowley and Associates which specializes in assisting companies improve performance through better screening and selection of potential candidates for key positions. Mr. Rowley was the Senior Partner of a prestigious boutique executive search firm in Atlanta for over seven years. Mr. Rowley has over 25 years experience in executive management, training, personnel management, and international operations.