Many of my clients receive 2, 3 or even 4 job offers in a 10-day period, after 4-8 weeks of serious job seeking. How could that possibly happen in this job market?
Well, it’s actually very simple. It’s a matter of campaigning for a job, creating momentum, and then bringing it all to a crescendo at the end—a beautiful finale that gives you choices and leverage to negotiate your best deal.
Here are some tips to make this happen in your job search:
- Heal from your job loss or from the pain you experienced in your last position. Because of financial pressures, most of us jump into a job search too soon. While you don’t want to waste six months watching daytime TV, do take a few weeks to relax, enjoy your family, and heal. When you are ready, hit the job search hard.
- Treat your search as a job. Have a special desk or area where you keep all your records and supplies. Create a professional-sounding voice mail message. Set up a fax account. Print business cards. Have regular business hours. These actions will also allow you to maintain balance in your life. When you are working on your search, really work. Take breaks and enjoy your week-ends.
- Have a clear focus. Make sure you know what job position(s) you are seeking by name. Customize your resume and cover letters so that everything proves you are a perfect match.
- Start with people you know and build your network outward. The best job leads come from friends of friends. Start by having coffee or lunch with friends, former coworkers, clients, vendors and other business contacts. Focus on the other person. Ask about their careers, and they will return the favor. You will get lots of job ideas. Follow up consistently on each one, and report back to the person who provided the lead.
- Apply freely for jobs that are right for you. Don’t be too concerned about whether you would like a specific company. You can determine that in the interview process. Be open to surprises. The company you were avoiding just might have a great new division that is heaven to work for. By applying freely, you might just get opportunities to interview. Worst case, you’ve won a chance to practice your skills. Best case, you’ve stumbled on a job that you really want.
- Don’t wait, keep moving forward. If you have a great interview, go back to your office and apply for more positions. Don’t get too focused on one job. And, please don’t wait around for the offer. Companies are taking much longer—sometimes up to six weeks between a successful interview and the offer. If you don’t get the offer, you have other options. If you do, you have other opportunities you can use for leverage in your negotiations.
- Tell everyone “I’m getting lots of interviews.” This statement is a bit of attraction theory—when you speak it, your subconscious begins to believe it and your behaviors start to cause it. The statement also puts subtle pressure on HR managers to get you in for an interview fast. If you say it in an interview, it makes the future employer think, “We better make an offer soon.” It’s all good.
When you are in momentum, you feel more confident and upbeat. So, get out there and take lots of little steps that rev up your job search. Wouldn’t it be great to get 2, 3, or even 4 offers at the same time?