Searching for your dream executive job is often a full-time job all on its own. But, while unemployed job seekers have time on their side, how can employed job seekers -also known as passive job seekers- possibly find the time to land their next opportunity while working 40 hours (or more) each week?
The answer, it turns out, is pretty straightforward. Passive job seekers must learn to work smarter by avoiding the following pitfalls:
1. Flawed Professional Branding
Just as fishermen use bait, successful job seekers use their resume and LinkedIn profile to attract target employers. However, the overwhelming majority of resumes feature pointless mission statements, place far too much emphasis on job responsibilities and lack the quantifiable data that truly distinguishes top talent from the thousands of other candidates.
Premium professional branding includes a target role, highlights your unique business value proposition, features select accomplishments that showcase your skills and includes examples of business challenges you’ve conquered in the past. Numbers grab attention and invite questions that allow you to demonstrate how you’ll help an organization make money, save money or save time.
2. Time Wasted on Activities That Seem Productive
The most successful people excel at setting priorities and investing their time productively. As a passive job seeker, you too must work efficiently to maximize your visibility. But did you know that companies use technology to filter out 95% of online applications? Or that most recruiters often lack the requisite functional knowledge to properly evaluate you as a candidate? Or that headhunters spend 0% of their time marketing the resume you sent? ZERO!
When passive job seekers rely on the channels above, it’s essentially like they’re playing the lottery. Research shows that over 50% of leadership roles are never publicly posted. Therefore, a much smarter approach is to engage directly with hiring managers. This tactic not only increases your visibility among businesspeople who are actually empowered to hire you, but it also allows you to have intelligent conversations with individuals who can recognize you as the missing piece on their team.
3. Where’s The Urgency?
There are two types of people in this world: those who make things happen, and those who make excuses. Serious job seekers find a way to get things done.
How important is it for you to earn what you’re worth? What about tackling exciting projects, collaborating with enthusiastic people, or mastering new skills? Is it more important than watching a football game? Maintaining your tan? Catching up on your favorite TV series?
Write down your weekly goals, set deadlines for completion and treat each task as if it were a deliverable to your boss. Start with small, achievable goals and get in the habit of building momentum into your weekly routine. Block time, just as you would for work, family or friends, and find a way to advance your objectives. If you don’t do it, then who will?
4. Reinforcing Bad Habits
The world’s top athletes practice daily, with a coach, to reinforce the proper fundamentals. Similarly, savvy job seekers leverage a proven plan with ongoing support.
Left to their own devices, passive job seekers often fall into some bad habits. The longer you put things off, the more comfortable you become with waiting. The more advice you read, the more confused you get. The more applications you submit, the more time you waste. The more recruiters you engage, the more frustrated you get. The more rejection you encounter, the more confidence you lose. The more complaining you do, the more unhappy you become. You begin to accept mediocrity.
Extraordinary things start to happen, however, when you engage a job search coach. Working with an expert teaches you a better way to search for a job and keeps you focused on proven, validated habits.
5. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Imagine traveling back in time to share years of knowledge, perspective and wisdom with your younger self… you could accelerate your learning curve and have so much more to show for it.
After all, why did you earn your degree? Why do you seek out mentors? Why do you gain certifications and attend training seminars? You do these things because you anticipate a return on investment. And yet, so many job seekers end up settling for less because they assume their ad hoc job approach will eventually work.
But here’s the honest truth: acting on job search tips from bloggers carries a huge risk when you can’t hold those writers accountable. Spending a day submitting online applications is completely useless if you don’t land an interview with a person empowered to hire you. Lining up an interview is a huge waste of time if that meeting isn’t in pursuit of your dream job. The future is what you make of it. If you continue to wing it, you’ll never reach your full potential.
In order to achieve the things that most people can only hope for, you must do the things others are unwilling to do. It’s that simple. At MeetYourGig.com, we help our clients create a professional brand that resonates with hiring managers. Not only that, but we eliminate the unproductive activities that masquerade as productive ones, implement a plan that emphasizes accountability, break bad habits, and arm you with proven and validated tactics that really work.
Take our FREE Career Boost Accelerator Course and discover the strategy that enabled 1,000+ business leaders to generate 20,000+ meetings with influential executives, secure 2,500+ target jobs/clients and boost cumulative income by $12,500,000+ in 3 years. This comprehensive step-by-step guide includes detailed examples and validated case studies to ensure you get superior results.