Finding a job these days is a complicated process.It used to be fairly straightforward – you’d check the classified ads in the local or national papers on specific days, depending on the industry you wanted to work in, ring up for an application form, fill it in or submit your CV/resume. And you’d expect to get several interviews relatively quickly.
However, these days many people submit hundreds of applications and don’t even get a reply, let alone an interview.
So what can You Do?
This will depend to some extent on the type of job you are looking for. Search on and offline and in relevant publications to see exactly where the organizations you are targeting place their ads – do they use online/printed newspapers? Or perhaps they just use their own website and their social media accounts. If you want to work in a small local company, they might place ads in the window and use the local paper.
Network Like Crazy!
Networking is probably the number one technique for finding a job – a classic case of not what you know, but who you know. Although having relevant skills and knowledge is also important! This applies to large corporations and those small local firms and everything in between.
As soon as you start looking, you should talk to everyone you can about what type of job interests you. You never know who might know someone who could point you in the right direction. A friend of a friend might be an employer looking for someone with your skills.
Or your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister might work for the company you’d like to work for. These days many employers ask their staff for recommendations when they are ready to hire. So knowing someone on the inside can improve your chances.
You can also actively seek out people working in your preferred industry and ask them for advice. People generally enjoy giving advice as it makes them feel important.
Try to talk to more than one person, so that you get a balanced view of the career. Remember that only a small percentage of job vacancies are advertised. So if you don’t look beyond the classifieds, you’ll miss the majority of opportunities.
Career fairs are a great place for expanding your network and making contacts within the industry.
If there are volunteer opportunities in the area in which you’d like to work, take advantage of this, even if you can only volunteer during summer holidays, at weekends or one evening a week. You will gain invaluable experience and a reference which is relevant to your career. And occasionally a voluntary position can lead to a permanent job – but don’t bank on.
If you are a student, choose summer jobs which can help you develop the transferable skills necessary for your chosen profession. And make sure your part-time jobs during the term are also giving you experiences which will enhance your resume. These days you need work experience as well as a degree to get the best graduate posts.
Making good use of the internet and in particular social media is also a great way to improve your chances of getting a job. Social media will also enable you to learn about the companies you’d like to work for and can also get you an introduction.
But you also need to take a look at your own social media pages to make sure there is nothing there that could prevent you from being hired. Most companies these days will look you up online before offering you an interview and a considerable number of applicants don’t make it past this stage. So remove any photos or posts about your drunken exploits or anything else that wouldn’t go down well with a potential employer.
Follow the FB pages, LinkedIn pages and twitter feeds of companies you’d like to work for, subscribe and like the companies that interest you. This ensures that you’ll get notifications when new jobs come up. Join relevant groups on social media and also forums in your area of work. help out by answering questions and creating posts with useful information.
LinkedIn is probably the best place for this – you can create a profile similar to a resume and highlight all your top skills. LinkedIn is also used by employers seeking employees and you can sign up to be informed of relevant jobs.
If you don’t find suitable jobs, try to get to know people already working where you’d like to work. You do need to be a little careful – don’t just send a request to connect with the head of HR. Look out for discussions in LI groups, also check Facebook pages where you can comment on posts, showing your interest in the organization and your knowledge of what it does. If you get to know someone by posting and they reply to your comments, it’s easier to connect on LinkedIn.
Do the companies you want to work for have open days or other events that you could attend? If so, be sure to go. If you are following them on social media, you should get notifications.
Would you like help with your jobsearch? If you are ready to really move your career in a positive direction, have a look at my 6 week package – or consider booking a one off session to improve your CV/resume, learn how to write a covering letter that will make you stand out, or tackle a complex application form. https://wallerjamison.com/career-coaching