A common complaint I hear these days from job seekers is the length of time it's taking them to find a new job. People (wrongly) assume in a good economy there are plenty of employers seeking their skills. While it's true, the number of companies hiring is up. But, what you may not realize is the number of people looking for work is up too! In short, you've got way more competition for those coveted good jobs. Now, if you're willing to take a lower-paying job with an employer that has a terrible reputation, no worries. You'll be hired immediately. But, if you want that killer job with the hot company, well that takes some serious strategy. Finding a new job is a proactive process. The more clear and intentional you are, the faster you'll get results.

The G.L.O.W. Method for career growth

In my first book, I introduced the four-step methodology I use to help people create career satisfaction on their own terms. The G.L.O.W. Method teaches you a simple process you can use throughout your career to drive professional growth. 

  1. Gain Perspective = force yourself to look at your situation from a new point of view.
  2. Luminate the Goal = dial-in tightly on a specific result you want to achieve.
  3. Own Your Actions = map out the specific habits you'll need to succeed.
  4. Work It Daily = set up systems to build those habits consistently.

Let's look at how that third step can help work smarter, not harder on your job search.

"Spraying & Praying" is the lazy approach to finding work.

Those same people who complain about how long their job search is taking, often share this as a follow-up:

"I mean, I don't get it. I'm sending out dozens of resumes each week. I'm applying to everything. Anything that I'm even remotely a match for, I apply. And still, I get no responses."

That's when I get to be the messenger of bad news and explain studies show less than 3 percent of online applicants ever get called for an interview. The reality is, technology has made employers really good at screening out candidates. Which means, if "spraying & praying" has been your job search methodology to date, you've really not been looking or work at all. Just because we can apply to 1000s of jobs online, doesn't mean we should. There's a better way to spend your job search time...

Want to stand out? Find your (human) point of connection.

There's a reason 80 percent of all jobs are gotten via some form of referral. Hiring managers like to talk to people who have been "approved" by someone they know. When you get referred into a job, it's a leg up. You're being screened in because someone is vouching for you. Don't worry, you still have to crush the interview and impress the company. Nobody's going to give you a job just because your friend recommended you. But, what it does do is set a more mutually positive tone for your first encounter. You're more confident because you've been recommended, and they're more interested for the same reason. Better still, that positive vibe usually carries throughout the entire hiring process, giving you an advantage over those in the process who lack connection.

Don't have a connection? Then, you need to create one.

Tools like LinkedIn make it easier than ever to find and connect with workers at your dream employer. You just need to know how to properly introduce yourself and build a relationship with them first so they'll be open to recommending you to a job. In short, getting hired today requires human connection. All the tech in the world won't help your job search. Today, your network is your net worth when it comes to landing your dream job.

P.S. - If what I'm explaining makes sense so far, check out my next article which explains how you can Work It Daily to land your dream job.

Published on: Jun 28, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.