Read the RiseSmart blog for any length of time, and you’ll see that we use the phrase “career transition” a lot. That’s because changing jobs is more just a “search,” a term that too many people use to describe a three-pronged process. To our thinking, the actual job search is the part that should demand the least amount of your attention. How little? Just 10% of your time should be spent searching for job leads.
Yes, just 10 percent of a career transition—there’s that phrase again—should be spent scanning job boards and searching online for posted openings. That’s because by the time a job has been posted, there is tremendous competition for the role. Hundreds of resumes are being sent in. The hiring manger in charge of filling that position is overwhelmed. Your chances of getting an interview are slim at best.
So if you’re only supposed to be spending 10 percent of your time on job boards and searching for job positions, you should make the most of that time. There are a couple of ways to do that and make sure you are only seeing the positions that apply to you.
Set Up Saved Search Alerts
Maximize your time by creating saved search alerts, which will send appropriate jobs directly to your email inbox. Use Boolean search strategies to create the search alerts and tweak your search parameters as necessary before saving them to ensure you only receive relevant jobs.
Post Your Resume to Job Boards
Thoughts are mixed on whether or not you should post your resume online. In the end, it’s a personal decision, but there are good arguments to be made for it and against it.
Arguments for it: Some recruiters frequent job boards’ resume databases to search for available candidates. If you do choose to post your resume, include your city and state only and consider using an email address dedicated to your job search. Generally, it is best to focus on niche job boards for your location, industry, or position type. Use a Microsoft Word version of your resume named with your target job title(s), not your name, and be sure to “refresh” your resume weekly so that it remains at the top of search results.
Arguments against it: You may get spammed. Be a savvy job seeker and thoroughly check everyone out before responding to inquiries. Receiving spam is something you will have to accept if you choose to post your resume. Also know that some recruiters and hiring managers see posting your resume online as an indication that you are not being selective about your search.
How to Spend the Rest of Your Time
So if 10 percent of your time should be spent searching job postings, that leaves 90 percent of your time unaccounted for. How should it be spent? Mostly on networking.
70% on Networking: As many as 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. That’s why it’s so important for those in a career transition to put most of their focus here.
Spend your time reaching out to or following up with contacts; going to networking meetings, lunches, social gatherings, and professional events; online networking; and volunteering.
20% on Preparation, Planning, and Professional Development: Spend this time focusing on building your brand. Make sure you’re visible to recruiters, hiring managers, and your network; research target companies and contacts; and build your skills.
When you are planning your day, where are you putting your focus? If it’s into searching job boards for the right position then you may have your priorities backward.