Using tried and tested strategies in your job search can improve your chances of success exponentially.
Finding a new job is a job in itself.
How many times have we heard that? It has more than a hint of truth in it, and the truth is that using some tried and tested strategies in your job search can mean the difference between success and failure, believe it or not.
The old phrase ‘good things come to those who wait’ most certainly does not apply to finding a new job. You will have to be on the front foot, be prepared to work harder and smarter than the candidates you will be competing against, and if necessary, be prepared to stick it out until you come out on top! This is why using job search strategies is so important for every job seeker.
These 10 strategies will help form the backbone to your job search and will improve your chances of success:
1. Know Yourself
Before you begin searching for a job, make a list of all of your interests, your goals, your experience, your achievements and your values. One of the keys to a successful job search is knowing yourself and what differentiates you from other candidates (i.e. what makes you unique as a job seeker). If you identify this right at the start of the job search process, you will have a much greater chance of being able to communicate this effectively both in your CV and at interview stage.
2. Aim For The Right Target
Try and align your interests, goals and values with your choice of career. Also, if you have identified a particular goal, make sure that the jobs you will be targeting achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to find a new job that has a higher salary, do some research into the types of roles and the types of companies that will pay a higher salary. There is no point applying for a job if it does not meet some of your key goals (this is also commonly referred to a your key ‘driver’ in the recruitment industry).
3. Be Proactive & Assertive
As I mentioned earlier, the old adage ‘good things come to those who wait’ will NOT land you your dream job! You have to get out there and make it happen. Make a list of some fantastic companies that you would love to work for and give them a call to introduce yourself and enquire about any current or upcoming roles. This may sound intimidating, however, this is a seriously powerful strategy and it is so important to get in the door in front of the competition.
4. Do Some Investigating
Believe it or not, employers and recruitment agencies do not advertise every single role they have. In fact, some roles only exist in the mind of the hiring manager, and if you can present yourself as a great candidate for that job, you will stand a fantastic chance of snapping it up before any other job seeker even gets a sniff of it!
If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to network more. Networking should be at the very core of your job search strategy. Speak to your friends, your family and even some of your most trusted colleagues and tell them to keep their eyes and ears open for any opportunities for you. If you haven’t already done so, join LinkedIn. It is such a powerful tool to help you find a new job. Also get back in touch with former colleagues and schoolmates, sign up for newsletters and get involved in professional online discussions.
6. Get Some Professional Help
Recruitment agencies are an excellent resource for finding a new job. They do most of the leg work for you, and they often have exclusive agreements to supply staff to some fantastic organisations. Do some research into which agencies are specialists in your field of expertise and try as much as possible to build relationships with their best recruitment consultants. Be careful, there are a lot of very bad recruitment consultants out there, however, if you find a really great consultant they will be invaluable to you so if you don’t find one right away – keep looking!
7. Be Flexible
Sometimes, the path to a better job is not a straightforward step up. You may need to consider a sideways step in your career that will eventually lead to the step up you are looking for. The key to this is keeping an open mind and trying not to close your mind off to the possibility of a role you may not normally consider. It may lead on to something fantastic in the future.
8. Say It Loud & Clear
I have always said that ambiguity is your worst enemy when searching for a new job. You must tailor your CV to every single job application you make. This means tailoring your CV so that it aligns with the key requirements of the role you are applying for. You need to connect the dots for the reader and ensure that you make it extremely easy for them to identify you as the perfect candidate for the role. Check out my post on how to write a great CV here.
9. Track Your Progress
Make sure you keep a record of all the applications you have made to date, as well as all the contacts you have made along the way. This will help you to visualise your network and build your key contacts. The main things to keep track of are all of the applications you have made, interviews you have arranged and the follow ups you need to make. Being organised will ensure that you are completely on top of where you are up to in your job search.
10. Be Persistent
Remember that searching for a new job is tough. Sometimes it will be really tough. There will be times when you fill feel a little despondent, but try not to lose hope. Everyone has been through this feeling at some point in their life, so try and stay in a positive frame of mind. You have to believe that your perfect job is out there somewhere and that you are very close to finding it!
About the Author
Chris Morrow is a Job Search Coach who founded his own online education and coaching business called ‘ChrisMorrow.Careers’ in 2014. Chris coaches job seekers from all over the world on areas such as Job Search Strategy, CV and Interview coaching. You can download Chris’ free guide to becoming a better candidate here. Check out his website, catch him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.