These last couple of months, I've been supporting a few people impacted by layoffs through an outplacement service with one of our clients. I wanted to share 10 learnings and guidance I've given in hopes of helping others who might have been affected or are finding it challenging to find work right now.
1. Build your story.
When I'm helping a company to recruit, building the right story and pitch to take to market is crucial to inspire talented people to engage and join their teams. It's no different when you're looking for a new job.
Your story should help your audience understand who you are, what you do and why you do it. It should help them visualize where you would fit in their company and what sort of roles you'd be a great fit for. Don't rely on someone figuring it out for themselves!
2. Don't rely on job ads.
If applying through job adverts is your only search strategy then you may not be setting yourself up for success. It's also a fast way to lose motivation!
Try finding other channels - this can include alternative job boards outside of LinkedIn, making connections, searching for LinkedIn posts or Tweets that mention hiring, asking for introductions or referrals, and even just reaching out to hiring managers or recruiters direct.
3. Find ways to stand out.
There are a lot of people looking for work right now and standing out is really tough. Find ways to cut through the noise. This could be through the way your resume is put together and designed, it could be your portfolio and how that's structured, or you could even start to do more in terms of your own personal brand whether that's posting on LinkedIn, speaking at events, or writing articles.
4. Look for paths that are less trodden.
Some LinkedIn jobs have over 500 applicants. Sure, you could put an application in- but there's a high chance that your profile won't even be seen.
A couple things you can do: first, take a look at different job boards, and also look directly on company job boards. There's a high chance that those ads have less applicants. Also, look for application processes that are lengthy and likely have a high drop-off. Yes, we all agree they are a pain to fill out!! But, most likely, they will have far fewer applicants. You can also use the "under 10 applicants" filter on LinkedIn to find roles that have had less traction.
5. Network + get yourself out there!
There seems to be a real resurgence of networking events at the moment. Networking events can be a great way to meet people but also break up the empty and monotonous path of just applying for job after job. We've been networking a lot more recently and have found candidates for roles we're recruiting for at events. Get out there, make connections, and have fun! If you don't enjoy networking that's fine too - there are tons of Slack, Whatsapp, and Discord communities that you can join as well as virtual events that are getting better at creating connections.
6. Just because it's not advertised, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Many of the actual jobs out there are not on job boards. There's an entire hidden market for jobs that companies are recruiting for.
There's many reasons for this, which I won't go into here, but the point is don't be afraid to reach out to companies, hiring managers, and recruiters to see if they have any roles coming up that you could be a good fit for. Even better - describe to them what you're looking for! Again, the more specific you can be the better. While they may not have a role suitable at the moment, they might be able to put you in touch with someone that does.
7. Be flexible. Say "yes!"
In a market like this, it's important to be flexible to different opportunities out there. Say yes more than you say no, even if you're not sure if a role is 100% right. Not only will you make a new connection or get interview practice, but you might discover a different role that could be a better fit! Many companies that are hiring are hiring more than just one position. Also, being in more of a 'yes' mindset will help you to build the momentum you need to find your new role!
8. Build out your LinkedIn profile.
It's interesting how many active jobseekers have a LinkedIn profile with barely any information on it. Spend the time to optimize and build out your profile with as many keywords as you can. Ensure that you have a headline - this is a massively underutilized part of your profile. Think of this as your "quick pitch" on you. Build out a summary that really showcases your story + personality, and be sure your work experience has a good mix of key responsibilities and accomplishments. Keep an eye on your LinkedIn analytics to see if you're coming up in more searches as you continue to fine tune your profile.
9. Use the right tools to optimize your search.
Stay on top of your search by using different tools to optimize. ChatGPT can of course be helpful, but there are also tools to help track your search.
10. Go local!
Many companies are hiring locally again but struggling to find local talent. This could be your opportunity to really showcase the fact that you're based locally and open to hybrid or in-office work. Of course if you're just looking for remote, then totally ignore this advice! But if you're open to it, try using LinkedIn's filters for "on-site/remote" to search roles that are specifically looking for local talent. You can also mention this in your intro note as well as showcase it on your LinkedIn header.
Conducting a more localized job search can help you find roles a bit faster and stand out from people that are only looking for remote roles.
Thank you for reading! We hope this info helps you on the job search, but if you ever want a little bit more support- whether it's finding your next role or supporting your staff through an outplacement service, be sure to send me a message!