Looking for work? Not getting the kind of results you’d like? It could be that how you are going about job searching is part of the issue. One of the questions you might be asked by someone like myself when you first talk is how you are currently going about your job search.
Now many will of course use the computer. Sitting down and calling up job postings on a website is going to give you many jobs you can apply to. It’s important to realize however that the ease in which you have found all those jobs makes it equally easy for you competition to find the same jobs. So you’ve got lots of jobs and lots of competition for those jobs; the pros and the cons of conventional well-known websites.
Here’s something else you should know and remind yourself about; the more work required to dig and find job and career postings, the less people you have to compete with. Why? Simple really for three reasons; 1) not everyone knows how to go about unearthing those so-called, ‘hidden’ jobs, 2) some job seekers are too lazy to put in the effort required when there is no promise of return and 3) some job seekers who were once full of enthusiasm in their job search have become so frustrated they’ve eased up.
Now before you get too critical of number 2 above where I identify some job seekers as lazy, I want to tell you that the job seekers themselves are the ones who often tell me they’ve grown lazy; their words then, not mine. And hey, if they call themselves lazy, who am I to disagree with their own self-assessment?
Now employer research is often cited as an integral part of a job search strategy, but what does that really involve? Well, the easiest thing to do is once again sit at a computer and check out a company website. Look for the, “about us” tab or something similar. Take note of basic information like how they got started and when, what are their products and services, their values, mission statement, core beliefs, culture and size. Ask yourself if all that information jives with your own outlook.
Another way to go about job searching is connecting with people who either hold down the same kind of employment you are after or who work in the companies you have identified as ones you would ideally like to join. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you could talk with these people, you’d get a good first-hand account of what it’s really like to work there? You could find out the good and the bad about jobs from people in those roles. And while one person isn’t enough to necessarily give you an accurate portrayal of what you would experience perhaps, the more people you speak to, the more you can sift through the feedback you get and land at an informed perspective.
This business of connecting is also potentially going to give you insights into job openings you’re never going to get any other way. Ever seen a job posting that gives you the skinny on the boss you’ll be reporting to or the dynamics of the team you might be part of? Of course not. However a current employee of an organization could reveal some key needs on a given team, and yes maybe something about the reputation of the person who supervises that group.
Two of the oldest ways about going about a job search are to walk in to businesses and hope to meet hiring personnel in person, and pick up the phone and engage people via a cold call. So let’s look at these briefly. In retail for example, many large companies have moved to on-line recruitment methods. So if you walk in resume in hand and ask to apply, they might turn you around and tell you to head for the nearest computer and apply on their website. However, even in these cases, if the person you spoke with is the Hiring Manager, they still saw you, how you dressed, watched your body language, and maybe what you had to say in those few precious moments. They might therefore write your name down when you leave and look for your application to have you in.
There is a good chance too that you might just land an on-the-spot interview because the person is impressed with your first impression and many employers are always on the lookout for people who understand service excellence.
The cold call goes in and out of favour. It’s more than just phoning up an employer and saying, “Are you hiring? No? Oh, okay then, well thanks anyway.” Cold calls could be to determine openings, but they could also be to set up a face-to-face meeting to introduce yourself in person and gather information.
You might also hook up with a temp. agency as many companies now use these organizations to pre-screen applicants and save them from being bombarded with phone calls, drop-ins, emails and faxes. Going through a temp. agency might not sit well with you, but it could be a short-term solution to getting in. Signing on with a Recruiter or Head-hunter is another strategy for many these days. They gather a pool of talent and link the talent to employers’ needs.
The best way to job search? Using many of the above ideas simultaneously.