Great Insurance Jobs’ Cofounder Roger Lear is here to help you overcome obstacles to your career and job search. This month, he offers insights on how to change your job search strategy.
Q: I’ve made it my resolution to change jobs this year. Before I jump in, do you have any strategies that might be helpful to keep in mind?
A: As the new year is upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on your job search and make some resolutions to improve your chances of finding the perfect job. Oftentimes, job seekers rely only on job boards to find employment. While this will work, job seekers must take advantage of hundreds of opportunities in the hidden job market. These are the jobs that are never posted anywhere. Finding these jobs requires you to think differently and leave your comfort zone. Applying to open positions online is easy (and still needs to be done), but learning how to find jobs that others cannot can be a homerun for your job search strategy.
One resolution is to be more proactive in your job hunt. Instead of just responding to job listings, try to identify companies or organizations that you would like to work for and reach out to them directly. Google the top 100 property and casualty companies; on this list, you will see companies you have heard of and many you didn’t even know existed. Pick 10-15 companies, go directly to their career centers, and see if they have any insurance jobs that fit your background. If they do, apply directly on their websites. If you are still looking for jobs that match your skills but miss your location, this is where the job search gets fun. Claims managers are always on the lookout for talent. Identify the claims manager in your city on LinkedIn and connect to them. In your connection message, let them know you would love to work for their company. The manager will check out your LinkedIn profile (now your resumé); if they have an opening, you will get a response.
This is a simple, powerful strategy. The challenge is changing the job seeker’s mindset to let them know direct contact with a total stranger is 100% OK. Social media is designed with this in mind, and anyone using that understands they have put themselves out there. Take advantage of this!
Another resolution is to focus on building your personal brand. In today’s job market, having the right skills and experience is not enough. You also need to present yourself in a way that sets you apart from the competition. This means having a professional-looking resumé and LinkedIn profile, and also showing your personality and unique talents. Some claims professionals have even started blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels to share their knowledge and expertise with others. This can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field and make you more attractive to potential employers.
Finally, consider making a resolution to network more. Networking can be intimidating, but it’s one of the best ways to find job opportunities and get advice from others in your field. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with others on social media. These connections can be valuable resources when you are looking for a new job and can also help you learn about job opportunities before they are even advertised.
So, if you want to improve your job search in the new year, consider making these resolutions: be proactive, build your personal brand, and network more. These strategies can help you stand out from the competition and land your dream insurance job.