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Tips that will put you ahead of the pack in your Job search!

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If you are looking to change your job or get a new one in this challenging environment, you are not alone.  As unemployment rises in India and other parts of the world, finding a job has become a relatively tough proposition.

But what are things you should be doing before start your eternal quest for your new gig?

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Things to do before your start your job search. i.e. aim before you shoot

If the first thing you are planning to do is polish your resume and email to all your friends, then you should stop right here as you don’t need to read the rest of this post. Because no matter how articulate and effective your resume is, you need to really think through what your setting out to achieve what your target is. Here are some things that you should be considering before you start your job search:

1. Your target market

Can you identify the type of industries that you would like to work in? Specifically, what is the set of employers you want to target. One good way to be practical about your target market is to ensure that it has at least some *overlap* with your existing skills and experience. For example, if you are an electrical engineer, you might have IT, Utilities and Energy as target industries with a list of target employers under each category.

2. Identify the role(s) that you would like to target

It is possible that your next job might be not be ‘the dream job’, but it might be a step to that ideal job. Think hard about the role(s) that you would like to play in these organizations and see how you can demonstrate a natural progression from your current job to this new role. For example, if you are a construction site engineer, you could be targeting a project manager role for commercial projects in your new company.

3. Your unique value proposition

what is so unique and compelling about you that your target market would be interested in hiring you for specific roles. In other words, you must be selling what the employers in these industries are buying or would like to buy. See this line outside the Apple store? If you have a compelling value prop, that’s how recruiters will come after you.

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4. Communicate the value prop

Through your elevator pitch, through personal interactions, through your resumes and through various online and offline media.

5. Tap into your personal network

A great way to start leveraging your personal network is in your pocket. Yes, your cell phone. If you can download all your contacts and go through them, you can make a list of people that you can reach out to once you have your ducks in a row.

Let’s take a pause here. As mentioned in #4, developing a compelling value prop is easier said than done. You could be great at what you do right now – you might be a sales pro, a finance whiz, you are an IT guru, you are a customer support expert. All that is great for your current job.

How can you develop that value prop that will make you attractive to your next employer? Here are some ways you can go about it – use a combination of these elements and you will be able to score!

a. Learn a new skill that gives you the edge – Gain an additional skill that will set you apart from the competition. For example, if you are a sales or marketing person, you can gain more information about a particular geography, or a set of products or sales force automation tools. Or if you are an IT person, you can gain public speaking skills that enable you to effectively present your ideas.

Study your target industries to see what could be some unique skills that would be relevant to them.

b. Make it real – Just to build on the earlier point, think about what are the qualities or experience that you can bring to the table that can either increase revenues or reduce costs for your future employer. And if you offer something that can do both, that is just phenomenal. But thinking along lines of revenue and costs can help you quantify your value proposition.

c. Develop eminence in the area where you are seeking work – be known for your skills. You could speak in public about it, answer questions on LinkedIn, write a blog that illustrates your work or tweet about it. In fact the explosion of online tools available to provides you opportunities for eminence at a very low cost.

d. Develop your personal network – not only can your personal network help you find a job faster, it can also help you to increase your value proposition. Having a rich set of business relationships in an industry or across industries can give you an additional leg up. For example, if you get references from 3 eminent people in your target industry, think about the impact of those references to your job search!

Would you like to share your ideas around how to develop your personal value proposition?

This post is written by Abhijeet Khadilkar, a management consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also an advisor at CareerTiger,  where he coaches experienced professionals to find their next job.

  1. JJ says

    Handy tips!
    Incidentally there is an interesting website that is specifically dedicated to recession victims.It offers help and discusses all issues related to recession- http://www.angstcorner.com. It’s worth a visit!

  2. Anil Dave. says

    I am management consultant working for producitivity imrovements for business enterprises from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

    I am associating with like minded professionals for mutual benefits.
    If you find it convenient to use our contacts, presence and infrastructure in India, than write to us for next line of action.

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