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Tips for an effective job search
Looking for a job
Member Name: Praskipark
Looking for a job
Date: 10/10/09, updated on 10/10/09 (76 review reads)
Advantages: Imaginative and effective way to find a job
Disadvantages: None, I can think of
If you are looking for a job or thinking about moving company, you need to get wise as to how the job market works today. Never has the phrase, "it ain't what you know but who you know that counts," been more relevant. Long gone are the days when job hunting involved waiting for the weekly job supplement in the local paper and sending off a couple of applications. The current job market is more competitive, unpredictable and faster moving than ever before. To keep track and come out a winner, you're going to need a combative and multi-faceted approach; here's how!
It might sound unpleasant but you have to think about yourself as a product or commodity. What is the essence of you? What are the qualities that you want to project? What is your brand identity? You need to be able to define yourself in very specific, marketable terms. Always bare in mind the interviewer 'tie-breaker' question. Faced with two candidates, equal in every respect, why should I choose you?
Your CV should be polished. Make sure information is up to date. Where necessary, customise it to appeal to a particular employer by placing more emphasis on the things that count. Don't just say, 'I did this and then I did that,' but explain the payoff. eg - saving the company $250,000 or reducing absenteeism by 4% etc. If a photo is required, it is worth paying to have it done professionally and not use a happy holiday snap.
Now you are ready to start job hunting; there are basically two strategies and you should use both. The first is the volume approach; the second is targeting.
Play the numbers
Job hunting is a numbers game. Imagine how stupid it would sound if you said, 'I applied for a job once but I didn't get it so I never tried again,' If you extrapolate that idea, the more you apply for, the better your chances. Don't get emotional or downhearted by rejections. Nearly all extremely successful people can relate stories of people who turned them down - even The Beatles! One of the best ways of doing this is to register with recruitment agencies. Don't stick to one but enrol with many. The majority are now free so you really have nothing to lose. Look for websites that post vacancies and write replies to all that you think you have a chance with. Dare to go for a higher job than the one you have.
This is the age of social media so get networking. Business based platforms such as Linkedin are fantastic for this purpose and you can
place your profile there, express your interest in job proposals and get connected with literally thousands of people. You can join groups linked to your profession, post and join in discussions. This too can get you noticed but make sure it's for the right reasons. Don't go shooting your mouth off but make constructive, informed comments. This portal is part of your marketing platform. It takes a little time to set up and maintain but it will be worth it. Networking in this way works at the volume and targeted level.
Write a blog
Not any old blog but one that is job related and demonstrates your skill and knowledge. You need to submit around 10 posts per month for it to be credible but it's another useful self-promotion device and one which you can add to your CV or enquiry letters.
Send speculative letters/e-mails
Often the best jobs are not even advertised, so identify the companies that you would like to work for and send them speculative enquiries. Don't just ask if they have any jobs but explain that you have always wanted to work for their company and would welcome the opportunity to visit and talk about prospects in general. Many will say just send your CV but some will meet you.
Set up a research project and ask to interview people
Think of the issues pertinent to your job or profession. Plan a small research project that you will write up. You can ask people if you can interview them online or in person and of course, you can send them your paper afterwards. This is a great step towards by-passing normal recruitment channels as you can build a direct relationship with your target employer and demonstrate your value.
Let it be known, ask around
Question: How do you get your company profiled on national TV?
Answer: Listen to and talk to the cleaning lady!
Strange but true; I know of such an example where a language school owner was talking to her cleaning lady who also cleaned for a TV executive who just happened to be looking for a school to profile on his show. Well, one thing led to another. Never underestimate anybody or the incredible power of good luck and co-incidence.
Work hard, be lucky!
Remember, the harder you work, the luckier you'll be. Dust down that CV, define your brand, put yourself about, don't wait for things to happen but take the initiative and you'll be surprised just what a lucky job hunter you'll become. Good luck!
*First published on Helium*
Summary: Ideas for finding a new job