Some of the critical success factors of leading an organization or running a business can also apply to an individual career management strategy or job search. For example:
Product Placement: What business are YOU in? Identify your niche and target your career management efforts accordingly. Don’t waste valuable time and resources pursuing opportunities that don’t match your abilities or enable you to have a competitive advantage. Likewise, make sure your search is oriented toward the activities, audience and venues that produce the best return on investment.
Marketing & Promotion: Your resume, cover letter (introductory email) and online profile represent your marketing tools. Use them as you would a brochure for a product or service. Does your career focused collateral list the most attractive attributes to differentiate you from the competition? Is it easy for a prospective employer to recognize exactly how you would meet their needs? Are your tangible materials visually appealing, easy to read and understand?
Strategic Planning: Ongoing business development is built on reputations and relationships. Are you leveraging your personal and professional network for the next phase of your career? Proactive and creative methods often get noticed and remembered. Are you continuously gauging progress and modifying your actions in response to market trends and the rapidly changing employment landscape? Think beyond the current state to anticipate and plan next steps.
Sales & Follow-up: Job interviews share similarities with client meetings – you learn what their needs are and communicate how you can provide that solution. Following up and being persistent is essential. Each contact made should establish the groundwork for a potential sale or future lead.
Preparation, organization and attention to detail are always essential elements of business management and career management. Streamlining various aspects of a job search campaign can make the difference between getting results sooner versus later. Viewing all of the above objectively is the best way to recognize gaps and implement changes to ensure a successful outcome. After all, your career is YOUR business.