Are you a new job seeker? Are you looking to optimise your job search in a highly competitive labour market? Then you need to be prepared, create a jobs strategy, reach out to your network and actively search for new opportunities. Here are 4 ways to optimise your job search.
1. Always Be Prepared
Record a professional voicemail on your mobile phone, ready to capture any incoming missed calls from employers. Similarly, create a professional email address that can be used on your CV or on an application form. Review your social media accounts, setting strict privacy settings, preventing any future employer sifting through your personal photos or posts. Create a LinkedIn Profile, if you haven’t done so already. Or update your current one. Also, create a CV and cover letter template. One that can be customised quickly and easily for each job application.
2. Online Jobs Search Strategy
Searching for a new job should be a task that is integrated into your daily t0-do list. Take control of the search and create a job search strategy. This is essentially a document that lists the desired companies you want to work for. It can also contain a broader scope and include the types of roles that appeal to you, in an industry or sector that you want to target. Then the strategy should outline the tactics to achieving this:
- Visit job boards: list all the major ones to search daily, set up alerts for specific keywords that match your job search criteria and sign up for any of their newsletters. In addition to the major jobs boards, look for the niche sites in the area you want to work.
- Visit company and organisation websites: many companies and organisations post their job openings on their own websites. Seach for career vacancies or employment opportunities through the site’s internal search function.
- Search social media: use social media to search for jobs listings. With an increase in the number of companies using social media for recruitment, including this in your search strategy will broaden your resources.
- Use online and offline networks: use LinkedIn and other professional networks to search for job opportunities.
3. Reach Out
Reach out to your informal and professional networks to enlist their help in optimising your job search. Draft a simple email stating specifically what you are looking for. For example, you could email a friend you know in a company you would like to work in, asking them for a referral to their hiring manager. Ask family or friends to keep their eyes out for any opportunities that might suit you. You could also ask an old colleague to send you any information about news or developments in the industry that may indicate future new recruitment. In the email point out your current position, the length of time you have been there and what you are looking for.
Also, reach out directly to the companies you have on your target list. Don’t wait for a job posting to be advertised before making contact with the company you are interested in working for. From your target list of companies, send an email to each of them expressing your interest. List your key achievements and summarise your experience. Explain why you think you would be a good fit for the company and what you could bring to the role.
4. Be Active
As well as online research and sending emails, get in front of employers as much as possible. Attend jobs fairs and speak to recruiters. Attend local workshops and make contacts in your local business groups. You never know when the next opportunity may present itself and who your next employer might be. Also, get in touch with recruitment agencies to get on their books. If you think it will improve your job prospects, enrol in a short training course or another education programme. Even if you haven’t completed it before a job opportunity arises, it will impress an employer to see how you are staying active and working to improve your skills and knowledge.