It’s important to use strong strategies for a successful job search. You’d be surprised how many people ruin their chances of being selected for the job they want by not being well prepared.
Conducting a successful job search is a skill. You have to know what you are looking for and present yourself appropriately. Don’t fall into the same bad habits that keep other people unemployed for long periods.
Understand Job Search Language
Of course sometimes the language used in selection criteria is subjective. When an employer is looking for a ‘dynamic’ person, what exactly does that mean? It may be code for ‘young’ or ‘good looking’ because discrimination legislation makes stating requirements that are discriminatory illegal in most countries. It could be that they want a dynamic personality who won’t be downtrodden by other more negative members of staff. Then again, they may simply want a strong vibrant person on staff for the energy and fun they will bring to the team.
Broaden your job search
You must broaden your search. The days of looking at job ads in a Saturday newspaper edition are almost prehistoric! Internet and mobile technology are heavily used for job postings. Online sites offer thousands of jobs and such ads can come and go at any time.
Online job boards usually enable you to set up job alerts enabling you to have jobs that meet your criteria emailed to you. You list the keywords related to the work you are after and each time a new ad appears in your field it appears in your inbox. The job ads find you.
Hopefully, you are also starting to notice trends about where and when the jobs you are interested in are being advertised and the recruitment agencies that specialize in specific industries.
A successful job search requires networking
Are you aware that more than half of job vacancies are filled without job ads? This usually happens through internal appointments, people making their availability known to an organization they would like to work for, and through networking.
Who do you know who may be able to connect you with a company for which you’d like to work? Where are your past work colleagues now? Have you let your friends and family know the work you are looking for. Networking is an essential element of a successful job search.
Recruitment can be a painful and expensive process so if a good fit is available, ready and willing to take the job, the recruitment process is often bypassed altogether.
Don’t waste your time
Research any company you are contacting to make sure you would like to work for them and you suit their employment requirements. For example, don’t send your resume as a book-keeper to a firm which sub-contracts their financial activities.
However, if there are companies that particularly suit what you are looking for by all means make personal contact. Many managers will file a resume they like and make contact if a job arises. It’s a win-win situation because the employer does not have to advertise, and you have an advantage of them knowing about you if a position arises.
Don’t skimp on the cover letter. It is far easier to fill out an application and hit submit without worrying about a cover letter, but you are missing an opportunity to impress. A well written cover letter can make you stand out in the crowd and can help your resume to actually get read.
Rehearse your interviews. While you cannot anticipate every question that will be pitched at you, you do know the obvious ones. So take the time, maybe in front of a mirror, to practice your responses. Nothing ruins your chances more than a lot of hemming and hawing, um’s and uh’s. Speak with assurance and poise.
Be honest, but discriminating. Resist the urge to badmouth your previous employer or situation. Keep everything positive. This will create a better impression as opposed to labeling you as a troublemaker or boat rocker.
Monitor your internet presence. If you’re applying for an executive position and there are pictures online that you’d prefer a future employee didn’t see, get rid of it! You have to assume that they are going to check you out online. Make sure your internet and social networking presence is something you are proud of.
It is possible to get a job even in this difficult economy. Just make sure you so all you can for a successful job search, and put your best foot forward without tripping over it.
If you are having any trouble with your job search or a career change, contact us today.