8 Effective Job Search Strategies
When you suddenly find yourself unemployed for one reason or another, the thought of having to search for a job again can be pretty intimidating. I often compare it to being thrown back into the dating scene all over again after having been off the market for years – it’s scary, unnerving, and often leaves you wondering where to start. With all this being said, finding a job soon after losing/leaving one can be done – provided you job search effectively.
While job searching online might seem like a good (and easy) way to find employment in the internet-driven world of 2017, it only holds about 20% of jobs on the market. The other 80% or so, known to many as the hidden job market, is filled with jobs that are not even publicly advertised.
Generally speaking, most employers prefer to hire someone they know, or someone connected to a person they know. For them, it’s less risky, saves money in advertising and other recruiting costs, plus saves them the time that would have been spent sifting through resumes and interviewing potential candidates. Many companies even go as far as offering their current employees cash incentives for referring people they know. Send someone qualified their way, and if that new hire successfully makes it past the probationary period, you get paid for your referral. Everyone wins.
Needless to say, networking has become one of the most effective job search strategies out there today. What you know may be important to doing a job well, but who you know is what will land you the interview in the first place. Once you have that opportunity to sit down with the hiring manager, you’ll get to show them that you’re the best person for the job.
Here are a few job search strategies to help you get one step closer to landing the perfect job:
Attend networking events
Networking is not simply about meeting new people, it’s about meeting the right people. In this case, the right people will be well connected in the industry you’re trying to penetrate, or will be able to connect you to those who are well connected. Attending industry events is a great way to meet, mingle, and make positive impressions on people in the industry who may eventually refer you for jobs and vouch for your skills.
Sign up with a job agency
Many small – medium sized companies dread the hiring process, and find it easier to solicit the help of reputable employment agencies when trying to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. Once you’re registered with an agency, a Job Developer will be assigned to your file with the sole purpose of getting you employed. As job opportunities land on their desk, they will refer you to positions based on the types of jobs you expressed interest in. Many people I know (including myself) have found great jobs with amazing companies this way.
Reach out to Corporate Recruiters
Many large companies like to build their candidate pool for future hires, and have a department solely dedicated to recruiting qualified talent. Reaching out to Corporate Recruiters/Talent Recruiters every so often will work in your favour by putting you on their radar. If you make a good impression and keep in touch with them, they’ll keep you in mind and reach out to you when positions you’re qualified for open up.
In today’s job market where precarious employment is increasingly common (especially for young people and recent grads), information interviews are becoming more popular as a way for people to get their foot in the door. As I mentioned in a previous article, it’s a great way to make professional connections and build relationships with people in the industry who may end up opening doors for you in the future. At the very least, if you make the effort to nurture the relationship and maintain the connection, they can become your eyes and ears, letting you know of job opportunities as they come up.
Simply put, volunteering gives you the opportunity to show off your abilities while giving something back to the community. If you do a great job and the company begins to see value in having you a part of the team permanently, they will most likely make you an offer for paid employment. For the company, it inadvertently works as a no-pressure way of vetting potential candidates for what could turn out to be a permanent paid position.
Most employers today value experience over education, and that fact is reflected in their hiring decisions. Those with lots of relevant work experience in their field of choice gain employment faster, and unfortunately, young people and recent graduates are at a disadvantage. Without an internship (or an institution appointed work placement), racking up years of relevant industry experience is difficult at the beginning when most recent grads have nothing but an expensive piece of paper and an eagerness to work. As a result, post-secondary students who gain experience while in school will have a much easier time getting hired upon graduation than their counterparts.
Think of companies you would like to work for and check out their “Careers” pages
Many companies stay away from posting on public job boards like Indeed, Workopolis, or Wow Jobs, but still advertise on their own “Careers” webpages. That’s where you’ll hit the jackpot. You’ll be surprised how many “dream job” companies post job opportunities on their websites. Companies like Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Disney, Disney Cruises, Google, Microsoft, and Loblaws Corporate all have amazing and attainable job opportunities listed on their websites.
Field specific job boards
With popular job boards like Indeed or Workopolis, thousands of people view the same job postings that you do. By the time you send in your resume, you’re competing with hundreds of other applicants. Lucky for job seekers, many industries now have job boards dedicated solely to them. The biggest advantage of applying for jobs posted on industry specific job boards, is that there’s a lot less people responding to the same job posting.
Between the 8 options above, you’ll be that much closer to landing an amazing job in the field of your choice.