A Guide to Having a High-Activity Process-Based Job Search

The job search itself boils down to this: You take your brand (who you are) and couple that with the amplification potential of your network (who you know and who they know) and insert them into a High-Activity Processed-Based job search. 

The more action steps you take, the better organized you are, and the better you will do.  Progressive action steps keep momentum in your court. They are logical steps to advance the conversation closer to your objective (next interview, internship offer, job offer). They keep the dialog going. This is why you should always plan on what you want to happen when you next connect with the hiring manager or recruiter.  

You make sure you are always getting closer to what you want. Also, you don’t want to fall off the hiring manager's top of mind and you want to always be advancing the dialog- it betters your chances of getting the role.

If your job search is effective, you should be having this positive dialog thread with at least three recruiters.

Remember if you are a college senior then you have invested 16 years in your formal education.  Your objective must always be multiple job offers and a great search process will better your chances at this. He or she who engages in high activity will have the best chance of getting these offers. Formal jobs or internships, same story.

One other point prior to drilling down on this and I will put it in capitals to gain its appropriate emphasis. THE PATH TO A GREAT JOB IS MOST OFTEN PAVED WITH MULTIPLE INTERSHIPS. Internships are where you learn, network, and get a feel for what you like and do not like. You should try to get them every summer (freshman to sophomore are the hardest but it can be done and you should try). If you do three over your college career, or even two, and you nail them (remember they are 60-day job interviews) you should always have the objective of getting an offer from that organization upon graduation (again, if you like the company and your fit).

First let's dig into High-Activity: 

There are many activities you can engage in to positively affect a job or internship search in order. The key is by way of example:

  • Meeting more hiring recruiters or managers:
    • At job fairs (make sure you look campus-wide, there are more than the one central one)
    • Check with guest speakers in your classes
    • At networking events disguised as alumni activities as in, pre sporting events, or volunteering to help with a departments board meeting and the like
  • Work your network (email, phone, in-person)
    • Friends who have graduated and who are in the workforce
    • Your professors
    • Your peers who are also on a search
    • Your peers that have landed a job (they often know of other positions they turned down that could be perfect for you)
  • Engage with campus resources
    • The Career Center
    • Advisors
  • Research:
    • Look beyond the companies that come to campus
    • When you see great success from a company in the news, if it is your field or has people with your training, chances are they are hiring (that is what happens when companies grow)
    • Follow-Up
      • Follow up professionally with all you have been in contact with by email.  Often after you speak, and with the prompting of your message, they will think of another way to help you
      • When following up on a known position, keep the follow-up progressing in a logical sequence (if you were asked to submit something, do so, then ask for feedback and an update, or if it has been a while since you met, contact them and ask them if they will be returning to campus and see if you can get on their calendar. If not, have a phone update)

Now let's dig into the Process-Based Part of It: 

You want to stay organized and be consciously working on your search a few times a week.  Even if that is a simple review of your spreadsheet. Job Search Radar works in that it will prompt you. If you want, you can use another tool or create your own. The key is, that you have to have a central place to track progress and be working on the next steps every step of the way. Things like:

  • The date you sent in an application or met the recruiter
  • Last date you connected live (in person or by phone) with them
  • Last date you left a voicemail
  • Date of the last email
  • If you promised some material or next actions, what is its due date

Having steps like this in one place prompts you to keep the ball moving. 

Your skills rise with a lot of activity.  Now get after it. 

If you are lost, get help.  Time is of the essence and if you try to get internships every summer, you have no time to waste.

Finally: 

The bottom line is that it is about execution, organization, and consistency. The more meaningful activity you do the better. The more activity, the more potential positions you have in play. When you are busy, those in contact with you sense it and everyone wants someone who is wanted by others. 

More activity = more results = finding a job.  Good luck, now get moving.

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