Written by Catherine Adenle
What are your job search strategies? If you don’t currently have any job search strategies, the time is now for you to have right job strategies in place for you.
Remember that there are millions of job seekers all over the world and almost 10% of them rely solely on the internet for their job search according to the National Online Recruitment Advertising Survey.
It must be noted that just over 65% of people who applied for a job online have been successful where the average advertised vacancy has a salary of close to £31,000. Now you can understand why more people are opting to search online for their next position.
Regardless of how or where you look for work, it is imperative that you get the basics of your job search strategies right. These are 10 sure fire job search strategies to help you:
1. Need to have solid job strategies in place
Your first sure fire strategy is to have clear job search strategies in place.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do I have a clear understanding of my career plans and ambitions?
• What are my skills and what am I interested in doing?
• Am I relying on a recruitment agency or head-hunters too to find me a position?
• What do I need to navigate the job search path on my own?
• Am I well prepared to snag a job in this highly digitised era?
• What am I going to do in three or six months if I am still unemployed?
Remember, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. It’s good to make a plan and be well prepared.
2. Craft a great ‘core’ CV that you will tweak for each role you apply for
You cannot have your job search strategies without an effective Curriculum Vitae (CV). Your ‘core’ CV or Resume is a critical tool in finding a job and advancing your career. So, it is important to craft it carefully. It’s all about how you present yourself, skills and attributes on paper. Your CV needs to be clearly designed and well-organized on two pages in order to best reflect you, your skills, achievements and your experience.
Be sure to clearly summarise your education, professional experience, qualifications, publications, any personal information and more, in one succinct, easy to read 2 pages.
• Always tailor your ‘core’ CV to align with the position you are seeking.
• Your ‘core’ CV is a “living document.” So, develop a process by which you regularly add information to your ‘core’ CV and date it with each award, promotion or training certificate information.
• Have a respected colleague, friend or mentor to read your CV and give feedback. Not only can they help you avoid typos, but they can offer advice on the order or layout too.
• Always spell check and be sure there are no errors or typos! This simple rule is critical, as your CV reflects you, your career, and your accomplishments.
3. Prepare a winning cover letter
Having a winning cover letter can mean the difference between your application getting thrown in the bin or an employer picking up the phone to call you for an interview. It is your chance to introduce yourself, explain in your own words why you are a good fit for the job and introduce your CV. A winning cover letter will convince an employer of your skills and attributes and why you should be considered for the position.
Your cover letter should inform, explain and persuade.
4. Make the internet your playground and become internet savvy
There are thousands of job boards on the internet and it’s free to register on almost all of them. Visit these Top 10 Job Board Sites for Job-Seekers and look through them before you register with any of them. Most will let you register your details and add your Resume or CV onto a database that can be searched by any potential employer and head-hunting firms. Note that this puts your details in the public domain and increases your visibility in your chosen career.
Most job boards will allow you to block your current employer from seeing your details, so you don’t have to worry if your manager will discover that you are looking for another job.
The internet gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and your skills. It provides multiple formats, platforms and tools to allow you to tell the world about ‘YOU’, so take advantage of it and make it useful for you.
Note that most job seekers fall into the trap of applying for jobs on the internet using a blanket approach. It’s important that you know how to search for the job of your choice online.
5. Network like a pro!
Finding a job in today’s economy is tough, but there are opportunities if you know where to look. The best way to find these opportunities is by talking to people around you. Your network of friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances are all valuable job search resources. Networking may sound intimidating for some people, but it can be rewarding and fun.
“Networking happens everywhere,” says Eric Winegardner, Vice President at Monster Worldwide. You can network wherever and whenever you find people.
Nowadays, it’s who you know first, followed by what you know. Be sure to get involved in online networking. There, connect with and follow thought leaders via sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
Whatever you do, always be professional online. Remain positive and enthusiastic in your work. Invest time and energy into being visible, developing your networks and relationships. Respect people and earn people’s respect as this goes a long way in getting you noticed and achieving your dream job.
6. Know your industry
One of the most important sure fire job search strategies is to know your industry like the back of your hand. Many professionals become too comfortable in their zones and don’t seek to acquire any new skills or predict what may be needed in the future in order to remain on center stage. You have to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME). What that means is that you should continuously research your industry so that you know the ins and outs. You have to be aware of any emerging technology, trends and have your finger on the pulse of things.
Remain current on any issues or developments in your field, read trade journals or professional publications, and subscribe to pertinent RSS feeds online. It is extremely impressive during an interview if you know about the latest merger or takeovers in the industry. What this will do for you is that you will blow all your competitors out of the water because you can offer trending knowledge and competitive skills, which cannot be easily found in anyone else, and certainly, will wow the potential employer, knock their socks off and get you the job.
7. Look the part!
Spend some time revitalizing your image. Upgrade your wardrobe to ensure that you have just the right outfit for a job interview. Ensure that you do whatever will make you look good and feel good about yourself. It is important that you package yourself like a professional. A polished physical appearance, CV, covering letter, presentation and professional attire do matter!
You need to sprinkle some stardust on your candidacy packaging. Flicker with the right brand as an SME and with confidence aimed at the right audience; look confident and composed, then see how potential employers react to you. With a swag that says I am cool, calm, and enthusiastic but above all, I am confident but not cocky, the sky is the limit.
8. Courageously blow your own trumpet a little to promote and showcase your skills
As a job seeker, never make the mistake of not tooting your own horn. Ensure you can ‘radiate’ your competency on cue. Trust me, if you exude that special ‘je ne sais quoi’ and a bankable glow that says ‘I know what I am doing and can demonstrate the value that I can add to your organization’; someone is bound to scoop you up right into your dream job.
9. Sharpen your interview skills
Read up on how to ace job interviews. There are tons of articles on the internet. With interviews, you need the 3Ps – Plan, Prepare and Practice. Get your mentor, ideally one who hires to help you with your interview skills. Get him or her to give you a mock interview or two. Ask your mentor to be very honest about how you come across and what you could do better. Also, learn how to ask good questions. Asking occasional questions at a job interview is a good idea. This takes the pressure off you for a bit because people will often take up on the opportunity to talk about themselves and their work. Insightful questions show you’ve thought carefully about the role and the company.
As well, explore how to answer these 35 Most Popular Job Interview Questions. If you improve your interview technique you will definitely increase your chances of getting a job.
10. Get a mentor
This is yet another important one of the 10 sure-fire job search strategies. When it comes to the wisdom that you need to help you advance, a mentor will be the one there helping you to open doors. Whether your goal is job search, career advancement, career change, entrepreneurship or a job seeker, if you need to soar, you need to get a mentor.
Research has shown that mentoring relationships succeed and are satisfying for both parties when both the mentor and the person being mentored take an active role in making the mentoring work for him or her. A mentor will:
• Take you under his wing
• Help you to discover the career path that you may need to take.
• Help you stay motivated
• Understand what it takes to get a job.
• Be a valuable resource by answering your career and job search-related questions and providing good advice
• Provide you with a wealth of knowledge and resources.
• Help to connect you to various Subject Matter Experts
• Help you discover new opportunities.
• Open the doors to different other opportunities.
• Be your own personal cheerleader.
• Be an advocate of your achievements and will be there for you every step of your career.
Job search rules have changed
Above all, it’s important to recognise that the job search rules have changed. If anything is not working for you, ensure that you change it so that you can get your dream job.
Sending in CVs on a regular basis and not getting any callback? Ask a few trusted people for feedback on your cover letter and CV.
Going to interviews and not getting an offer? Ask for assistance on your interview skills and arrange to have mock interviews.
Multiple interviews with multiple companies and no single offer yet? Then ask someone for feedback on your interviewing and or negotiation skills.