Searching for a job can be an excruciatingly long process if not done in a structured manner. Today’s job market is highly competitive and you can only ace it if you have invested enough time in preparing yourself. Here are some tips that will help you hit the ground running in search for the next dream job.
1) Set your objectives: Once you have made up your mind to start looking for a job, set some time aside to evaluate your skills and capabilities. Next lay down clear objectives with regards to the kind of jobs you plan to target. Be sure to take into account the type of industry, employer, size of company and location. If you feel you need to obtain additional qualifications to be eligible for certain roles, then spend time on obtaining them. These could include certifications, part time courses etc.
2) Prepare for your communication touch points: Before you get started with even looking for jobs online or working on your resume, you should ensure you have all your coordinates in place for hiring managers to reach you. These would include:
- Professional email address
- Complete LinkedIn profile along with a clear description of all the roles you have held in the past, recommendations from peers and superiors in your previous workplaces and a professional profile picture
- Set a voicemail on your phone, in case you miss answering a recruiter’s phone call. Be sure to record a crisp and professional sounding note.
3) Work on your resume: Your resume is an advertisement of your professional skills and achievements. As an advertising professional would do, you must work on the copy and ensure it captures all the key words required to woo the target audience – in your case the hiring managers. List all your recent achievements, promotions, volunteer assignments, not for profit board appointments, any certifications etc.
4) Getting started with Informational Interviews: Such interviews are strategic touch points with employees working at the organizations you are hoping to set foot into. They are means to help you build relationships and know more about the job requirements and the organizations’ practices in general. These meetings are your first step towards networking. You should ideally get started with them even before you start scouting for openings on job boards. Always go equipped with your business card and resume for such meetings.
5) Using job search engines: Use all the major job search engines like indeed.com, glassdoor.ca, Monster Canada, simply hired etc. to look for jobs. Be sure to enter the right key words to get the best results. Since you have a list of your target companies, you can visit their individual career portals and save a version of your resume in their database. This adds you to the pool of applicants for any future role that might be in sync with your profile. Lastly, do not forget to create/sign-up for an email alert to receive announcements on openings.
6) Reaching out to recruiters: Another avenue you should utilize is recruiters and head hunters. Building relationships with recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise may expose you to career opportunities that you might not learn about otherwise. Most employers don’t advertise the positions they hire recruiters to help fill, which are typically a firm’s most senior and highest paying. You should check industry groups on LinkedIn, job boards, recruiter directors etc. to make contact with recruiters.
7) Follow a plan: Create a routine and follow a plan to achieve the goals you had set for yourself. Use social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to network with professionals as well as to search for job openings. Create a timeline for yourself and aim to achieve your objectives well within it.