Finding a job can be so difficult and time-consuming that it is often a full-time job in itself.
Here are a few tips on how to increase your chances of success by using your time and energy correctly.
- Know what you want
Focus on spending time working out exactly what you want to do. Before putting the work in, do some self-analysis. Being aware of goals, as well as your strengths will allow you to save time and ensure you come across as focused and self-assured. It will also help you make others aware that they should think of you when a particular opportunity arises. The practical exercise book, “What to do next?” by Charlotte Billington (available on Amazon) is an easy, cost-effective way to learn how to do this.
Build your network. This involves reaching out to relevant people, learning from them, and seeking out others that you could be introduced to or speak with. Be sure to also contact senior people who are more likely to have hiring power. Speak to people who have excelled in your chosen field. People who have succeeded in their area and enjoy it are often very happy to talk to someone who appears passionate and is considering entering their field. You can learn from others by talking to them about how they did it or by checking out their bios. Doors should open once people are aware of your interest. You can also get recommendations from people in your network about courses to help your development in your area of interest.
LinkedIn should be used to its full advantage. During your job search you could consider joining LinkedIn premium facility, which is free for the first 30 days, or check out their job seeker app. Because LinkedIn is such a significant recruiting and job search tool, it’s important to spend time perfecting your profile. It’s being used by recruiters, headhunters and decision makers are using, so not taking full advantage of it is a mistake.
Identify and join three or four recognized agencies, headhunters or search firms that recruit the sort of positions and seniority that you are looking for. Ask your network for tips, and consider joining good agencies you have used in the past. Contact a few of the companies you are interested in working for and inquire about which agencies they use. One other important tip is to build a relationship with your key recruiter and their team, because if they like you they will fight for you. It’s very important to establish this relationship.
- Build your experience
Once you have determined the role you want, work on gaining experience in that area. Methods to do this include offering to work on projects internally within your company or volunteering outside of work. It’s also important to locate and highlight any relevant experience on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
- Be visible
Ways to be visible and get noticed include in-person networking, attending events and conferences, and joining online discussions and groups.
- Work on presenting yourself
Work on your interview skills and an elevator pitch, as well as making sure you look good in person and on paper. Spend time making your online presence, resume and LinkedIn profiles as impressive as possible.
Tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile, making them as relevant as possible to the job specifications that you are looking at. Include key words and pertinent experience that you have.
Research is key once you have identified a position. Look into the company hiring process and find all you can about the person interviewing you, others who work there, the market, and their presence within the market. Read any articles related to them. Dig deep to be as prepared as possible.
- Follow up – Ask and re ask if you need to
Don’t be afraid to reach out, ask and talk to people. Find out if there’s any way you can help them out. Try contacting and sending your resume to that person at the company you have always wanted to work for. They can always say no, but it can’t hurt to ask.
- Testimonials and recommendations
Ask people to write recommendations for you on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea to have at least six from a 360 perspective – boss, colleague, client, etc. You’ll need to inquire, because people generally have to be approached and asked to do this.
Look for and take any relevant courses you can complete while still working at your current company.
- Keep up-to-date
Learn, read and absorb any and all relevant information. Join LinkedIn groups, sign up to blogs, subscribe to an industry relevant magazine, and sign up to newsletters. Go to conferences and related meetings. Sign up to Google alerts, which will flag newsworthy content and email it directly to your inbox daily. Also use Google alert keywords for info about the companies you are interested in and interviewing for. Doing so will help you come across as more knowledgeable and up to date with market changes and may help you find information on openings or help you decide which areas you are most interested in. It’s also important to stay current by purchasing a daily newspaper or reading online publications to keep you informed and up to date.