Friday, November 26, 2010

5 Practices of SMART Job Hunters

Since starting this blog back in 2004, when (according to my friend and fellow career blogger Alexandra Levit) I was one of the first voices blogging about career issues, the blogosphere has exploded with a plethora of wonderful career experts and resources.

In fact, it's somewhat overwhelming. How do fledgling job seekers sift and sort through it all to discover the most reliable voices and the best ideas that will help them find meaningful re-employment?

First, let me list a few voices that I admire and follow. Then, I will outline five practices that I frequently recommend to job hunters.

Some reliable and generous career experts:

Alexandra Levit = her blog is called Water Cooler Wisdom

Abby Kohut = her blog is Absolutely Abby

Hannah Morgan = her blog is Career Sherpa (I love that metaphor!)

Nick Corcodilos = his blog is Ask The Headhunter

Donna Svei = her blog is Avid Careerist

And the Career Realism blog

Note: There are many many more that have a lot of good advice for today's job hunters. For example, Curt Rosengren, Alison Doyle, Walter Akana, Susan Joyce, Barbara Safani, Meg Guiseppi, and Keith Ferrazzi. And don't miss The Riley Guide. (If you are on twitter, check out my list of career experts)

Now for some takeaways. Here are five practices that will make you a SMART job hunter.

S = Story: Why would an employer hire you? Because you told the best story. The story of Who You Are. And what you can bring to the employer's organization. Your Story is your Brand. Telling your Story is the way you sell the prospect.

M = Market: How do you find potential employers? Like a Big Game Hunter tracks and snares his prey. With clear intent and unrelenting pursuit. You know what you want. You know your market. Because you know your Product. And the product is You. Remember: when you are in transition, you are in Sales & Marketing.

A = Acquisition: How do you rise above the rest of the job hunters out there? They want a job. But you are looking to acquire a company. Sure, you want a job too. But think about it for a few minutes from the point of view of the recruiter who is beating the bushes to find and attract some good candidates. You are doing the same thing from the other side of the equation. So get into acquisition mode.

R = Research: How do you wow the employer? By demonstrating how much you know about him or her. You did your research, using your network, LinkedIn, and other resources on the internet. You prepared a list of questions to ask. You know so much about the employer that you may actually stun the interviewer.

T = Tools: The well-equipped job hunter always carries his most trusty tools, especially business cards, a pen, a fully charged cell phone, and a box of "Thank You" note cards. But the Swiss Army Knife of all job search tools is one's network, the people you know, the people you can count on, the people who are looking out for you.

Be smart, baby. Be smart.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, a veteran job hunter. For more ideas on job search, career change, and how to find the meaning and happiness you seek out of life, invite Terry to speak to your organization.

5 comments:

Career Sherpa said...

Terrance,
When I first started blogging 3 years ago, I found your blog and ever since, have greatly admired your intellect and high quality information!

You never disappoint! I love today's SMART acronym! Acquiring an employer is just the mindset today's job seekers need to stand out (along with the four other super points, of course!)

I am deeply flattered to be included on your list! Thank you so much!

reginammiller said...

SMART as per usual ::))

Terrence Seamon said...

Thank you both for your kind words.

Laura Brandenburg said...

What a nice new spin on SMART. I was expecting a spin on SMART objectives, but your new twist made my day. My favorite is M. I work with a lot of job seekers and it's so easy to forget that you are marketing yourself as a product, not just applying for a job.

Terrence Seamon said...

Thank you Laura.