Tag: networking tips


Limiting the Jobs You Apply to Is Healthy For Your Job Search

When looking for a job, it can be tempting to apply for a lot of open positions. After all, shouldn’t you cast your net wide, especially if you’re in a desperate situation? The answer is no, not typically. So what should you do instead? I suggest a better use of your time is to curate and apply only to jobs that make the most sense.

I’ll speak about how to determine which ones make the most sense in a moment. But first, I want to talk about why curation is both an important and necessary step in your job search.

Why you should curate job postings

There are so many jobs listed in various online job boards. You could spend an unhealthy amount of time with the online application process. This is not always time well spent. Especially given how 80% of the workforce found their jobs through networking, not applying to jobs.

This is why I tell my clients they should spend only 20% of their job search answering job ads, and 80% networking. But most job seekers have this reversed.

As a result, you should limit your job applications to a manageable amount, so your time is freed up for more networking efforts.

Also, being selective in the jobs you apply to shows focus. I’ve previously written how applying for a lot of different jobs, especially different roles within the same company, can signal to employers a lack of focus. They often view this as a huge red flag.

How many jobs should you apply to?

Allow me to use some similar language from Justin Whitmel Earley’s book, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction. He talks about the importance of curating the media we watch as one way to foster healthy habits. While he’s referring to media consumption, I’m going to refer to job applications.

So then, how many jobs should you apply to? It’s up to you to decide what your limit will be. “The point,” Earley says, “is to determine some kind of limit that forces curation.”

You can’t apply to every job listed in your field, but you should apply to some, perhaps even many. However, you also must curate them, instead of allowing the online job boards that care nothing about your career to curate them for you.

Earley says, “The good life doesn’t come from the ability to choose anything and everything; the good life comes from the ability to choose good things by setting limits.” You can substitute the word “career” for the word “life” in this quote, and it would still ring true.

Unlimited choices lead to “decision fatigue.” But limits, however, provide freedom. In the case of a job search, this could be the freedom to meet new people and grow your network, or discover opportunities not yet advertised.

By limiting and curating certain job ads, you improve your ability to make good career decisions.

What kind of jobs should you apply to?

Earley says, “Curation implies a sense of the good. An art gallery has limited space on the wall, so its curator creates shows to make the best use of that space according to a vision for good art.”

I recommend you develop a vision for good opportunities. The jobs it makes most sense to apply to are the ones meeting at least some of the following criteria:

1. Jobs matching at least 65 to 75% of your “must-have” requirements for a job. This will help you stay realistic without settling.

2. Ones where your skills match at least 65 to 75% of the qualifications. Remember from my previous post, “How to Know If You Should Apply for a Job You’re Not Qualified For,” job ads are written like wish lists. It’s unlikely there’s a candidate who checks every single box.

Where you might lack a particular skill, you make up for it with the ability to learn quickly, or with other assets such as emotional intelligence.

3. Jobs listed on LinkedIn or a company’s web site, instead of those listed on a big job board where the market is saturated and the postings are questionable.

4. Those your networking contacts have referred you to. This is the most effective way to apply for jobs. Therefore, you should spend much of your time building relationships with your contacts.

Conclusion

You may currently be in a situation where you feel like you have to find anything, and fast. But keep this in mind: by not being selective enough to curate a good list of job opportunities, you might find yourself right back in the same situation a year from now. This can turn into an unhealthy cycle. Is this really what you want?

It’s time to take a healthier approach so you can be more successful in your job search, and ultimately, your career.

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What Are Some of the Best Networking Hacks for Your Job Search?

Everyone knows networking is the best way to find a job. But many networking efforts have been hampered the past year due to the pandemic. Now, we’re able to cautiously step back into traditional networking methods in some instances, while continuing to use virtual means when necessary. As a result, I wanted to compile some of the best networking hacks and practices, both traditional and virtual, that I’ve previously shared on the paNASH blog. Enjoy!

Best networking hacks

1. Stop overthinking networking

Why You Need to Stop Overthinking Networking

First and foremost, you need to stop psyching yourself out about networking. I see so many clients who come to me overthinking networking, to the point they feel too paralyzed to reach out to anyone.

As soon as you stop putting so much pressure on yourself, you’ll be able to have a purposeful and productive conversation with anyone who could be a potential connection. To learn how to stop overthinking networking, click here.

2. Be realistic about networking

How to Be Realistic About Networking (Re-Post)

In addition to not putting too much pressure on yourself, you also shouldn’t put too much pressure on your contacts. This requires you to be realistic about your expectations of networking.

Click here to find out what this looks like.

3. Know how to handle the question, “What do you do?” when unemployed

How to Answer, “What Do You Do?” When Unemployed

Networking is intimidating enough, but even more so if you’re currently unemployed. Especially when asked, “So, what do you do?”

To learn how to answer this question without feeling like a failure, click here.

4. Understand the etiquette specific to LinkedIn

LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

To some people, LinkedIn can feel like an easier, more casual way to network. But you must remember it is still a professional setting, even though it’s in the form of a social media platform.

There is a certain etiquette which must be followed on LinkedIn. Click here to learn the rules of LinkedIn when networking remotely.

5. Write emails people will want to respond to

How to Write Networking Emails That Will Get Responses

Email is still a good way to make an initial connection. It gives the recipient the chance to respond when it’s the most convenient time for them.

To ensure you receive not just a response, but the kind of response you want, it’s important to know how to word your subject line and body of the message. To learn how to craft the best networking email, click here.

For more networking tips, check out these resources:

How to Avoid an Epic Fail When Networking

Networking often feels awkward, and can sometimes backfire, even with the best of intentions. Add to it the awkwardness and limitations of a pandemic, and you’ve got yourself a potential epic fail.

We’ve all failed at least once in our networking strategies. This week, I want to provide some tips to help you try some new and different approaches to avoid an epic fail.

Stay tuned for next week when I share some out-of-the-box interview tips!

Successful networking strategies

One of the most successful strategies is to spend more time doing it! Job seekers should spend 80% of their job search networking and only 20% actually applying to job ads. However, most job seekers have this reversed.

But to be successful, you also have to understand the etiquette involved in networking. Check out these previous posts for five tips most people fail to implement.

1. Avoid appearing desperate on LinkedIn

Every job seeker knows it’s important to be on LinkedIn, but they don’t know how to keep from looking desperate. Recruiters can detect desperation just from a job seeker’s profile, and will steer clear.

Click here to learn how to avoid looking desperate on LinkedIn.

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

2. Create a more inviting elevator pitch

An elevator pitch, created from the same old cookie-cutter approach, will make your listener want to pitch themselves down an elevator shaft!

Instead, click here to try a more inviting and less annoying approach.

The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech

3. Don’t ask, “Can I pick your brain?”

Leading your networking conversation with this common question can quickly result in an epic fail.

For a lot of professionals, this question is a trigger. To them, it’s code for, “I want to take from you your years of knowledge, advice, or contacts, without giving anything in return.”

This is not a good way to start off on the right foot.

But good news! There are appropriate ways to start a conversation with a potential new contact. Click here to learn how to do so using proper etiquette.

Why “Can I Pick Your Brain?” Is the Wrong Approach

4. Become a good networking contact yourself

Instead of just trying to find good networking contacts, you might also have better luck by serving as a good contact yourself.

To learn five ways you can give back and contribute more to your networking relationships, click here.

How to Stop Networking for Good Contacts and How to Be One!

5. Protect yourself from toxic professional relationships

You’ve probably heard the popular networking advice, “Never burn a bridge.” But I also say, “Never stay standing on a bridge someone else has lit a match to.”

While it’s important to maintain good networking relationships, you should also protect yourself from the toxic ones. Especially if they could hurt your other professional relationships.

Click here to learn how to recognize toxic relationships in your professional circles.

Never Say Never: How to Know When You Should Let a Bridge Burn

Related resources

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile, but typically say they don’t do anything with it. That is, until they need to start looking for another job.

After their profile has sat dormant for months or even years, they will dust it off, update it, and do one of two things.

Either they will go back to ignoring it after they’ve made their profile updates. Or, they’ll go overboard with their use of LinkedIn, to the point of appearing desperate to recruiters.

Neither strategy is a good one.

I’ve already written several posts on the importance of utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, instead of taking a “set it and forget it” approach. But today I want to highlight some of the things you should avoid when using LinkedIn so you don’t look desperate to recruiters.

And trust me, recruiters can sense desperation from a mile away!

4 ways to stop looking desperate to recruiters

1. Stop using the word “seeking” in your headline

I know recruiters who say they immediately avoid LinkedIn profiles with the word “seeking” in the headline. Not all recruiters do this, but a lot of them do. They say it indicates desperation on the candidate’s part.

You’re not limited to the default headline listing your current or most recent position. Your headline can be anything you want it to be. So why not make it grab the reader’s attention, in a good way?  And always include keywords relevant to the type of work you want to do next. This brings me to my next point.

2. Stop being too general in your headline

At least once a week, I come across a LinkedIn profile with the headline, “Looking for new opportunities.” That’s it. I want to scream, “Looking for new opportunities in WHAT???”

If you don’t clearly state what you’re targeting, the right recruiters will never see your profile when they do a keyword search on your chosen field or role.

And if by chance you do pop up in their search results, they’ll bypass your profile for the ones clearly and immediately indicating their professional goals and what they have to bring to the table. Recruiters will not spend their time digging through your profile to figure out why you’re on LinkedIn.

Make it easy for readers to know exactly what you’re looking for, and how you can help solve their problem.

3. Stop joining job search groups

Yes, you should always join LinkedIn groups to improve your networking efforts on the platform. And yes, you should be in a few job search groups when between jobs if you find them helpful.

But if the majority of your groups are those just for job seekers, you’ll really appear desperate to recruiters. Plus, when you do this, you’re not putting yourself in front of the right people.

Instead, you need to join the groups relevant to your industry so you can be in front of the industry’s decision-makers. Your participation in these groups is how you get noticed.

Also, if you’re planning to relocate, you’ll want to join some groups based on your targeted geographic location. This not only can be a great networking resource, but also an information source for relocation logistics.

To learn the etiquette of LinkedIn group participation, check out my post, “LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely.”

4. Stop spamming recruiters

No one likes to be spammed on LinkedIn, recruiters included. Be sure to always personalize any InMail messages you send recruiters.

You don’t want to send the same standard email to every recruiter, for the same reason you don’t want to send the same cover letter for every job application.

How to get help with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is ever-changing and can be confusing and cumbersome to use. paNASH has taught classes, led group sessions, and individually guided clients on how to maneuver and leverage LinkedIn for a successful job search.

Now, paNASH has added a new coach, Dr. Denisha Bonds, who is a nationally certified LinkedIn strategist. She can help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to increase your responses from recruiters.

Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

Related posts

LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

Even as businesses and offices start to reopen, networking is likely to remain virtual through the fall. Which is why it’s important for you to know how to use LinkedIn effectively, using proper LinkedIn etiquette. This means doing more than just setting up or updating your profile and letting it sit there on the platform.

Most people only create a LinkedIn profile and then expect recruiters to magically start sending them invitations for interviews. Or, they try to cold-connect with someone on the platform they don’t know, and expect him or her to immediately accept their connection request.

This is not how LinkedIn works. First, there are many more things you can do with LinkedIn beyond creating a profile, which is something I spend time teaching my clients. They’re always amazed at the different things I show them because they had no idea the platform could do those things.

Second, there are more things you need to do to build your network on LinkedIn. But, there is an etiquette to it. If you fail to follow proper LinkedIn etiquette, you’ll likely turn off the people you want to connect with most.

LinkedIn etiquette basics

1. Put a face with your name

Before you connect with anyone or ask for an introduction, make sure your profile includes your photo. No one likes to receive a connection request from a faceless stranger.

Make sure it’s a clear picture of you looking professional. The photo doesn’t have to be a professional photo as long as it’s clear and you look professional in it.

2. Don’t go on a connection rampage

If you try to connect with too many people you don’t know at one time, you run the risk of them indicating they don’t know you. If enough people say they don’t know you, LinkedIn will “black ball” you from being able to connect with other people.

At this point, the only way you’re able to connect with anyone on LinkedIn is if you already have their email address. This restriction can last for months or even years.

Only connect with people you know, people you’ve been introduced to by a mutual connection, or people you’ve previously met in another setting.

3. Ask for an introduction

So how do you connect with new people on LinkedIn if you should only connect with people you already know?

LinkedIn used to have a “get introduced” feature which let you choose a mutual friend to request an introduction from, directly from the profile of the person you want to meet.

But, in typical LinkedIn fashion, they changed this functionality after everyone finally got used to the “get introduced” feature, and then of course made it slightly more cumbersome. (Thanks LinkedIn!)

Now, to get introduced, you have to ask your mutual contact to go to your profile, and have them select “share profile via message” from the “more” button.

You’ll probably have to follow up with your connection to make sure he or she has done what you’ve asked them to do.

Always ask a mutual connection you know well, someone you trust to complete the task. And don’t forget to thank them for doing so!

4. Include a personal note

When connecting with someone, always choose the option to include a personal note in your connection request. This is common courtesy, but most people fail to take this extra step.

Your note should be brief, such as reminding the person how you two met. And it should NEVER include anything about asking for a job or asking to “pick their brain“!

5. Don’t spam people

Once your connection request has been accepted, don’t spam your new connection’s LinkedIn inbox. Spamming is one of the biggest complaints people have about LinkedIn.

Make sure you’re private messages are personalized and sincere. Take the time to build a rapport before asking for anything in return. I teach more about this when I discuss informational interviews in my on-demand program, The Secret to Successful Networking.

6. Be a contributor and a resource

Be helpful by contributing and sharing information that’s of interest to the people you’re trying to attract to your profile. This is especially important to do within the various LinkedIn groups.

(You are joining LinkedIn groups, aren’t you???)

Understand the audience within each group, and share links to articles and other information specific to the interests of each group. Avoid posting anything unprofessional or anything irrelevant to the group’s focus.

Also, like, comment, and share other people’s posts within groups. They’ll be more likely to connect with you without an introduction if you show a genuine interest in what they’re posting.

Stay current

As you follow the unspoken rules of LinkedIn etiquette, remember to also pay attention to the frequent changes in LinkedIn’s functionality.

As I stated earlier, it’s typical for LinkedIn to change its functionality much more frequently than other social media platforms do. If you don’t go into LinkedIn and peruse the site on a regular basis, you can easily get lost or confused.

So, always stay current, and always mind your manners!

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