The Art of the Job Search

The job search is a process.   A process that involves training, strategy, and patience.  Much like an artist works to craft and design their masterpiece.  The planning and strategy involved with your job search should begin no less than six months prior to when your job search begins.  These preparations involved include fostering relationships, establishing connections, creating an online presence and developing a long-term strategy to grow your professional skills.

For your job search to be effective, one must start at the beginning.  This involves an honest assessment of your skills, qualifications, and how you stack up against the competition.  I liken this to artists drawing sketches or creating molds prior to casting their iron masterpiece.  This preparation involves a great deal of time and attention.

The most effective way in which to develop your job search strategy involves conducting a gap analysis. A gap analysis is a common planning and strategy tactic used by businesses to determine ways a brand can adapt to market conditions to reach their goals.  For a job seeker, these goals could be to meet new industry connections, get their work published, or to find a new position.

Performing a gap analysis involves a simple five-step process:

  1. Start with a list known gaps — holes in the market where a need is not being served by the products and services currently available.
  2. List potential gaps — areas of opportunity that could arise later.
  3. Make a list of triggers that may lead to gaps — what could you do to turn a potential gap into a real opportunity?
  4. List market trends related to your industry or blog specialization. Where do you fit in?
  5. Assign actions you can take in these areas.

An analysis like this can be as involved or as simple as you wish.  The goal is to benefit the end user and its complexity depends on the complexity of your own brand, a new job and long-term career goals.  The key is to focus on the long-term strategy being meticulous and calculated.  Just like a work of art, your career and job is often a reflection and celebration of your accomplishments.  With a clear strategy and plan to get there, you’re job search and personal brand can be a work of art.

Are you a recruiter, hiring manager, or business leader?  Consider joining in the #GiveLabor Day movement and spend 15 minutes on Labor Day to help get America back to work.  Learn more by visiting the press release, get your badge, and follow the Twitter hash tag #GiveLabor to learn more.  Leave a comment and tell me how you are going to make a difference. 

FTC Disclosure: Smartrecruiters is a client of Xceptional HR. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. And I believe in the Zero Unemployment Movement.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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