With today’s competitive job market, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. However, make sure your tactics don’t backfire on you. In this two part series, I’m going to cover the Do’s and the Dont’s of job search.
– Sell yourself!
Companies want to know why they should hire you over others. Highlight your achievements, skills, languages, etc. There’s a fine line between selling yourself and self-praising. Highlight facts, don’t just throw in fancy words. Trust me, they’ve heard it all before.
– Take it Seriously.
If you’re unemployed, job search should be treated like a 9 to 5 job. Get dressed in the morning, as if you were going into work. Have a clean and organized work space, this will help clear your mind. If you’re looking to move jobs, devote a couple hours a day (outside of work hours) to do your research and applications. Don’t just fire off your CV here and there. This brings me to my next point…
– Have a Strategy.
Make the following lists:
– Your skills
– Companies you would like to work for
– Ideal positions (match these against your skill set)
– Languages or qualifications
Use these lists as the basis for your research. Look for different positions that match your skill set, be open minded. Research companies that would you want to work for, and make sure you know why you would want to work for them (trust me, this will help in the interview). Having a strategy will save you time. You will be more efficient when you know what you’re looking for, and more confident as you know you match the required skill sets. I would suggest having a couple of strategies to work with.
Research is the foundation of any good applicant. Know your stuff. This won’t just help with your job search, it will help with your interview. Look into who’s hiring, what industries are hot now, and which are predicted to be hot in the coming years. Know the companies you want to work for like the back of your hand, follow them on social media, create RSS feeds, watch them in the news. Look to LinkedIn to research the people that hold your ideal position and see what career progression they went through to get there. Know what qualifications will get you to the next level, and invest in them (this will make good use of your free time).
By networking I don’t mean going around everyone you know and asking to pass around your CV. People don’t tend to warm much to that. By network, I mean building your network, without “job search” being your primary driver. Learn to build and develop effective relationships, these people may not land you a job, but they will help with your career development by providing knowledge, possibly introductions, and teach you a very valuable skill: building and maintain effective relationships. Stray away from that attitude of “if they can’t provide me anything, then I won’t bother”, positive relationships can be very enriching, and by good I mean it goes both ways. If you feel that you are always the one making contact, it may be an idea to lay off for a while, and see if they come to you.
For all you job searchers out there, good luck!
To summarize, here are the key point of the do’s.
Use your time effectively, don’t be afraid to sell yourself, build a positive and enriching network, research, research, research, and most importantly, have a strategy!