How to be Successful in your Job Search 

In today’s weakening job market, unless you are actively being recruited for a role by a fund, there are a few steps I suggest all candidates, both active and passive, take to ensure success in finding that dream opportunity.

Step #1: All professionals should use this time to re-evaluate what they want out of their career and what defines their ideal job.  You may think about title or compensation but more importantly what responsibilities do you want to see in the job currently and where do you see those responsibilities going over the next 5 years.  The business of investing is changing and individuals need to take this time to identify what it is they want to get from their jobs and determine if their position has a future.

Step #2: Perform due diligence on yourself.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Review your network/rolodex and look deeply at exactly what your contacts can offer.  If you are a newer professional include your families’ network, college professors and previous managers from internships or summer jobs.  It is very important that you identify what makes you valuable to an organization. This will differ slightly for each opportunity and organization but having a general idea is a solid step.  

Step#3:  Rewrite your resume.  After completing your personal due diligence review it is good time to rework your resume.  Again your resume may change for each opportunity but a solid template will make the process much smoother. Since your resume in many cases is the first contact your future employer may have with you, it is critical that your resume represents you well and makes the best first impression.  It is essential to make your resume concise and efficient.

Step#4: Use your rolodex to network with people.  It is always easier to get an interview through a warm lead and in many cases employers like to hire people who come recommended by friends and colleagues. Be open and flexible with your meetings and try to work around their schedules.  Many individuals who are presently employed have to work harder and put in more hours than before so respecting their time and schedule is essential.

Do not forget to network with recruiters and visit internet job boards, especially niche job boards.  In a down job market experienced well connected recruiters can be extremely valuable and have the leads to the best jobs.  When working with a recruiter remember you need to be professional and considerate of their time.  Always let the recruiters know why they should work with you and what makes you valuable to their clients.

Since many firms have become very protect of their cash, niche job boards are an excellent place to look for new opportunities since these boards offer very cost effective recruiting sources for employers.

  Remember to follow up with people and regularly check in with those individuals you have met, interviewed with or spoken to during your search.  Do not be overbearing but rather make sure you stay on their radar screen. If you are unemployed, offer to perform a special project for them on a consulting basis. This is a great way for them to have an extended interview with you and vice versa.   Do not forget thank you notes or calls after meetings.  This follow up and appreciation for their time spent with you will leave a positive reminder.

Step#6:  Be prepared for your interviews and make sure you continue to keep as involved in the marketplace as possible.  Take this time to strengthen your resume with extra credentials or classes. Start the CFA or CAIA process if you have not already.  Remember the old saying, “Looking for a job is a full time job” which is especially the case in today’s market.  Consider volunteering for an organization or attending a charity event which is important to you and/or is backed by others in your field. Non-profit organizations are a great way to network while benefiting your community and expanding your interests.

Bottom-line in today’s weakening market-unless you are the lucky one being actively recruited from your present office-it is extremely important that you stay very active and persistent with your search.  Again, “looking for a job is a fulltime job”.  In order to present your best during the job search process you need to fully understand yourself, your goals, strengths and weaknesses.

© 2008 NyamiNyami Holdings, LLC