Many of us have a better job at the top of our resolutions for 2016. But what can you do differently this year to ensure that your job search activities bear their fruit and strike a more successful chord with employers? The answer is a lot!
Here are a few tips to help you optimize your job search strategy this year:
Search for and employ new ways to apply for jobs. If you have previously relied on one method, such as newspaper ads or social media updates, augment your activities with new methods such as job fairs, region-specific online job sites, college alumni network, high school alumni network, and aggressive professional networking.
Perfect your toolkit
The paper your CV is printed on may be award-winning A-grade recycled parchment and you may have the correct address and an environmentally friendly postage stamp on the envelope. However, it does you little good if your CV and cover letter are flawed. Think of yourself as a warrior in the mine-ridden brick and mortar world of job mobility and seek nothing less than perfection in sharpening your essential toolkit which should consist of a complete, candid, grammatically-correct and compelling CV, a well-researched and attention-grabbing cover letter, and at the back-end, a simple, detailed system to manage and document the job search workflow.
Some industries are booming and making news while others are slowly being relegated to the yesteryears. Some companies are hiring aggressively such as the banking and finance sectors in the UAE for example, while others due to restructuring, downsizing, industry consolidations and falling oil prices are cutting back. Some companies pay salaries that live up to your expectations while in others the reward may be the prestige, the rigorous training and the long-term career development. Some companies advertise their job vacancies aggressively while others prefer to hire through employee referrals or by confidentially examining online CVs. You will only be able to successfully navigate the corporate labyrinth by tuning into the hidden job market and customizing your search optimally while investing a proportionate amount of time in research. Aim to read industry publications regularly, systematically study company websites, subscribe to relevant newsletters and look for any up-to-date books that shed light on your chosen company, occupation or job search techniques.
Ever considered that the average employer may occasionally have items more important than your CV on his desk? If you are waiting for him to give it top priority and seething at the delay, chances are you will be disappointed. Take matters in your own hands and proactively follow up. Call to ensure receipt, resend if delivery failed and ask for a meeting at a specific time and date that is agreeable to you and which the employer can then work around. Aim to follow up at every stage of the job search process.
Don’t throw in the towel after a few weeks of unsuccessful CV mailings. Our research indicates that a job search takes on average 3 to 6 months to be successful. Keep applying and following up diligently and meticulously to all applications sent. Being realistic also means understanding your qualifications and how they relate to the jobs you are pursuing; you should gain a better understanding of what jobs you are and are not qualified for, and whether it is advisable or a waste of time to pursue the job search trajectory you have been pursuing. Learn from your mistakes and adjust your job search objectives, materials and strategy accordingly.