In this blog we’ll break down the steps to searching for a job. As we all know there are so many ways to advertise a job and so many places for a candidate to search. There are so many places to look, printed listings in newspapers or industry specific publications, or digital, with various company job boards, recruitment and job search platforms.
Whether you are looking to start a career or move a long your career path here are seven vital steps to keep in mind. Working to these seven objectives will save frustration and wasted time and help you get started in or moving along your chosen career path sooner.
1. Goals; Know and understand what you are looking for. First start by outlining the industry or industries you are interested in. If the industry is wide ranging, take Human Resources for example, are you looking to specialize in an area such as recruitment or labour relations? Or are you looking to be a generalist and be wide ranging? As you start on a new career this isn’t necessarily a bad choice. Further down your career path these choices may change. Have an understanding of the companies you would like to work for. Also be aware of a salary or wage range you are looking for (although we all try and avoid it, this question will inevitably always be asked.) Have clear expectations of what you need from a role, if you are moving along your career path are you losing or gaining benefits? These are all goals we have in mind that should be preplanned, never after thoughts.
2. A lean mean fighting resume (I know what you wanted me to say); Your resume should be fine-tuned, think of it like a car. You want your car to be at optimum performance and perform to the best efficiency possible. Your resume should be treated exactly the same, nobody is interested in a car that splutters along. You don’t put gas in a diesel car just to fill space, as you don’t put words in a resume just to fill space. Repeating your achievements throughout your resume isn’t interesting or impressive, only boring. Be clear in your opening objective, what is the purpose, what are you looking to achieve. If you scan your own resume what do you pick up in the first 6-10 seconds? That’s what a hiring manager is going to pick up… or less.
3. Personalize; Do your homework, know who you are applying to and what they are looking for. The hiring company even makes it easy for you, they have keywords in their job description. Make sure to integrate these in your resume and covering letter. Don’t force words in, make the effort and take the time to personalize every resume and every cover letter you submit. Five minutes of preparation will save you hours of continued job search. Dependant on your chosen field, career and industry you may also choose to include supporting documentation such a published article or blog posts.
4. LinkedIn; This isn’t a maybe, this is a must. It also isn’t something to be taken lightly, it is an extremely useful tool in your search and in the promotion of yourself. Take the time to complete your profile in full, but don’t just copy and paste your resume. Just as your resume needs to be at optimum performance so does your LinkedIn, this is an opportunity for hiring organizations to see you and your achievements in a different format. Whilst taking the time to review and develop your LinkedIn profile take the time to review your general social media presence. Are there potentially embarrassing Facebook status’s or photos from your college days? Now is the time to review them or make sure your profiles are private. They could be a contributing factor in the hiring process. Frustrated with your job search? Hate every hiring manager you’ve applied to? Having a bad day? Social media and any potential hiring manager don’t need to know.
5. Maximize your time; Be efficient, time is money. Did you know that data shows us that applying to job boards is one of the least effective ways of getting a job? Also ask yourself the question, “Am I wasting my time applying to this job?” If you don’t meet 80-85% of the requirements or qualifications, the answer is probably yes. Be smart with your search, understand that some search platforms, such as Indeed or Workopolis. They are also aggregators and they will publish positions to various search platforms. Don’t waste your time or a hiring manager’s time by applying through every platform. But do be smart and search locally, some areas will have local new or community websites where employers may post.
6. Schedule your time; Treat your job search just like a job itself. Make a daily plan of attack (POA) If you are laid back in your efforts your results will reflect this. Know what you need to do to further or improve your search each day. Which platforms do you need to check, do you need to update any profiles. Are there any networking events you are able to attend to further you chances or meet the people you are hoping to be hired by.
7. Reward yourself; Focus on the positives of your search, not only the negatives. It is easy to be disheartened by rejections or by not receiving answer or feedback. Do keep a record of where and who you’ve applied to. Track, whether you have applied in writing via email or face to face. If one option hasn’t been successful, have you considered the others? Keep your records up to date.
When one door closes another one opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell.
Good luck in your search!
Do you have advice you could contribute?
We would love to hear from you.
Written by Billy Price