Get The Job That You Deserve With These Simple and Straightforward Job Searching Tips
Searching for a job can be one of the most frustrating experiences a person can go through; especially in an economy that is still feeling the effects of the recent recession. Whilst it is once again becoming a ‘candidates market’ the job market continues to be fierce, with many candidates vying for the most attractive posts.
Even though the job market has dramatically improved over the last few years, whether one is a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, it can still be incredibly difficult to get hired. By using a defined and directed job search strategy, job seekers can find positions that they are ideally qualified for, meet their criteria, and that they stand a good chance of getting.
Map Out Your Plan:
When embarking on a serious job search, your first step should be figuring out what your personal career goals are and the types of roles you are truly interested in pursuing. Take some time to make a list of what your own criteria are when it comes to job description, growth potential, and compensation. It may help you to download our ‘job search checklist’ as part of this plan.
Establish a time frame for finding a new job and make a list of achievable goals along that timeline. Start with polishing up your CV or having a fresh one written for you if it has a number of years since you applied for a job. Finding a job can be a bit of a full-time job in itself so determine how much time you are able to devote daily or weekly to applying for jobs and stick to your schedule.
Keep a careful record of all the responses you receive and stay organised when it comes to scheduling interviews. If you are serious about finding a new role, you will simply have to find the time to attend interviews.
Specialist Recruitment Agencies:
There are thousands of recruitment agencies out there so channel your energy into one that is right for you. Are they a specialist or a generalist agency, i.e. are they regularly advertising the kind of roles that you are looking for and do their consultants have links to workers in your industry sector within their LinkedIn profiles?
If so, they will probably have access to a mine of terrific jobs that are not available on the ‘open market’. Recruiters, including ourselves, get inundated with applications so make the difference by detailing in a cover note exactly why you are the ‘stand out candidate’ and detail precisely what you are looking for in your next role in terms of industry sector, role types and salary (and indeed if you’re prepared to work for a competitor). Then recruiters can quickly see whether they have the roles that will be right for you.
Networking is still one of the best ways to get a new job, with studies showing that over 50% of all hires are made through referrals and recommendations. However, if you are a recent graduate, or school leaver, you may not yet have this 'work-network' so start with your University alumni association or career office. Speak to friends and family members and even your old teachers about any jobs they might know of in your field of interest.
Social Media Networking:
Use your social media accounts to highlight your career accomplishments and goals, especially on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, all of which are routinely used by recruiters to announce job openings and scout for potential candidates. If you are unemployed or your current boss knows that you are hunting for a new job, it is alright to mention that you are actively looking for a new position in your status, and can help drive more interest your way from hiring managers.
Regularly update your LinkedIn profile as this will signal to recruiters that you are proactively looking. Whilst managing your social networks remember to ensure that they show you in your very best light!
Direct Your Energies:
The old-fashioned techniques of cold calling for jobs can still be a very effective way to find job openings in sales. What better way to experience your sales prowess than to actually pitch yourself in to gain an interview!
However, it is important to make sure that you are directing your energies towards companies in which you are seriously interested and know something about. Take the time to research companies in your industry and make a list of those that appeal to you, both for what they do and how well you think you might fit in. Make the call to the hiring managers, send an updated CV and write a short bullet pointed cover letter, which specifies why you are particularly interested in their company and why you would be a good fit for them.
Whether you approached the company proactively or responded to an advertised opening, make sure to follow up with the human resources department or hiring manager, either by phone or email.
Let them know why you are interested in the job and briefly re-iterate your skills. Hiring managers often sift through hundreds of CV's a week and taking a few minutes to check in on the status of your application will go a long way towards making you stand out from the crowd.
The job hunt can certainly be a frustrating experience, but by employing the right strategy, you can make your search that much more successful and rewarding. Perseverance is also essential – don’t give up if it takes a bit of time. Finding the right job is simply a matter of patience, research, and following a solid plan.
We’re in the process of overhauling our Career Tools section for candidates in preparation for 2015. Why not take a look at it for more career advice that has been specifically written for sales professionals.