The job market is a difficult place for even those people new to job seeking, but if you’ve been searching for some time then don’t lose hope! There are many exciting opportunities just waiting for you to find them. Maybe you just need to up your game and reassessing your job seeking techniques.
A positive outlook is one of the most important factors in finding a job, which is why those candidates that have been job hunting for a long time tend to feel less confident as they are aware of their dejected outlook. Approach every job hunt with a smile on your face and in the knowledge that this time it could be you!
Here are five tips to freshening up your job search:
1) Take time to make a job search plan
You need to take some time to evaluate the skills that you already possess, and the possible career routes that you can take. It is vital that you make a plan become focused and passionate about that plan – in most cases your passion is portrayed to the recruiter through your application and interview.
Start out by writing a list of at least 10 skills that you already possess, i.e. administration, time management, people management, colour coordination. You should then write out the things that you really enjoy doing, so that can be the skills or knowledge areas, i.e. horses and animals, communicating, shopping, organising things. Also write out a list of the things you really don’t enjoy doing, i.e. teaching, running.
Now evaluate the types of careers that might really work for you. Using the skill examples above you might try for careers as veterinary secretary, retail assistant, personal shopper. Instead of just sending out applications for every job you could conceivably do, you can now narrow down your search to specific careers and target these by calling companies and asking if there are vacancies, perhaps even before they are advertised!
2) Know what you’re talking about
Once you know which field or career really interests you then you should do as much research as you can about it. The more you know about what the job entails and what employers will be looking for in a candidate, the better your job applications will be, increasing your chances of selection.
The best way to find out about a career is to talk to someone in that job. Get networking and talk to people about your ambitions. The chances are that someone out there will be able to help you out.
If you can’t find any friends-of-friends out there to talk to, then use the internet and make contacts through them. Use LinkedIn and other social media sites to get in contact with people that can help you to understand what the job is all about. You never know, these new contacts might be able to point you towards a job opening too!
3) Don’t take the first offer that comes along
Do apply for all the jobs that you find that match the job profile that you are looking for as these will provide invaluable experience in applying for jobs. Even if the location or company is not your ideal, you can learn what the employer is looking for, and the sort of competition that you will be up against.
But that doesn’t mean accept any old offer for a job. Certainly if you are unemployed and desperate for a job in that field you may be tempted, but if you have received a job offer then you are a wanted candidate, and this will give you more confidence for future roles so the chances are you’ll be offered other roles that are more suitable to you. If you accept a job that you are not really delighted with, the chances are you’ll end up on a job hunt again before long.
4) Maintain a positive outlook
Job hunting is a stressful and sometime demoralising task, especially if you’ve applied for many posts and not even received a response let alone any feedback or an interview offer. But it is a proven factor that the positive and therefore usually more confident candidates are much more likely to leave a good impression with the recruiter and be considered more favourably for the vacancy.
It is not difficult to understand why: Imagine you are a recruiter. You receive 70 applications for a vacancy and take about 3 hours of your time going through these applications to narrow this down to 10 candidates with reasonable skills and experience for interview. All 10 of these applicants have suitable skills and experience… they all arrive at the interview on time and answer questions in a similar way. How do you decide between them? At the end of the day it comes down to how well you get on with them during the interview. If they mumbled their way through and didn’t crack a smile then you’re only going to think that they are someone you do not want to be lumbered working with.
It’s pretty straight forward really. Make sure that you don’t waste your time sending out a bunch of generic CVs for each and every vacancy that you come across. Narrow down your search by working out what you want to do and target those specific jobs. Even if it takes you longer to get yourself employed, you’re much more likely to find a job that you will enjoy and stick with it for much longer.
Above all else though, try to be positive and keep smiling. Things invariably work out well in the end.
Image by: Idhren