By Mark Bartz
Reverse engineer any success story in job searching, and you are bound to find some silver bullets. These are those wonderful “little” things the successful job seeker did that others didn’t which helped them succeed. Our problem today is we often think there are only a few silver bullets (there are many) or that if something seems obvious to us it can’t possibly be of value (not true – people overlook the obvious all the time). Enter the wacky world of job seeking. I make my living getting people into medical sales roles. What follows are some silver bullets I found recently – which apply to nearly all professions and industries. First, turn off the television and stop reading the news – you’ll end up being a commercial for Prozac. Time to discuss what works – not what doesn’t work. In these last few weeks the Bureau of Labor Statistics (part of U.S. Department of Labor) put out an interesting report: Job Openings and Labor Turnover – May 2012. As a sweeping overview some 3.3% of the labor force (we’re talking all markets, all demographics and geographies) “changed” (i.e. turned over) in the month of May. It was a wash: the hire rate was 3.3%; the separation rate was 3.3%.
Bullet #1. Wouldn’t it be interesting to break down all that data and find where there is that wonderful trend of more job openings than total separations, i.e. where the jobs are? The report looked at all sectors, e.g. manufacturing, trade, construction, education, etc. In only two sectors were there more job openings than total separations: Education and health services; health care and social assistance. Consider careers in these sectors.
Bullet #2. Consider that 3.3% turnover rate. That was for one month. Yes, that does translate into an annual whopping 36%+ turnover rate nationally. Which means your timing in landing one of these roles, before they are published to the general public, is pretty good. Note that the government defines separations as quits, layoffs, discharges (a polite version of the word termination here) and “other separations”. Bottom line – a position is open. Should you pursue that role? Best bet is to talk to someone working at that company – get the straight scoop on the corporate culture. Best way to find these unpublished opportunities? LinkedIn. Here’s how. Go into your Linked in 1st level connections and send individual InMails to those connections working for employers you are considering working for. Tell your connection you have updated your LinkedIn profile – and are reaching out to advise them of that fact and ask if there are opportunities on the horizon where they work, i.e. any recent turners within your profession.
Remember. Most positions these days are filled via referrals - what better referral than someone who works for the employer? When’s the last time you did this? Chances are it’s been eons if ever. Is this an “obvious” thing to do? Why yes. Which doesn’t disqualify it as another silver bullet. Practice this every 6 months - not via a mass-sent "update" on LinkedIn, but via a one-to-one personal InMail or e-mail. It works. Happy hunting.