It’s okay to not know where to start with your job search. The internet is filled with so many job boards and online recruitment firms that it has become difficult to identify which ones are legit. The fact that you have a job, and it is not aligned with your career goals is frustrating. What’s even worse is being unemployed. Someone who speaks from a place of privilege will probably tell you that all you need to do is go online, find a post you like, apply, and land the job. Don’t we all wish it was that easy?
Finding a job is a lot more complicated than one would realise. Not done right, you will put in over 100 applications per week and not even get 1 hit. Just one job interview to showcase yourself. I mean, 1 is not a lot to ask for with the hundreds and thousands of available vacancies online, right? Ask someone who has already started the job-hunting journey how painful it can get. Getting the “We regret to inform you that your application was unsuccessful” email is way better than receiving no response at all.
Let’s not even start on the ones that require you to complete psychometric assessments immediately after putting through your application. Sure, they are testing if you would be able to contribute towards the bare minimum once hired, but sitting there for 2hrs, doing an assessment, and getting no response in return? Wasted time! You could have put 50 more applications through and prayed for a miracle.
There are a number of important elements you need to consider before you start job hunting. Remember, the hiring managers are no longer the gatekeepers; ATS has taken over. Before you even start sending out your applications, you need to be certain that you meet the minimum requirements. Your CV and cover letter need to represent you. They have a tough job because they are required to beat the bots, and once that is done, they have to at least try and capture the recruitment team.
Once you are sure that your docs are impressive, you can then start asking yourself questions like, which are the best job boards you need to target for yourself. Think about what exactly you are searching for to finetune your job search results and make sure you have the basic documents and information to keep the process moving.
Once you learn the tricks of the trade, the process does not become easier but rather simplified. It will take you a few minutes to submit your job applications, and you will get traction and secure some interviews. Here are some strategies on how to go about it:
A key component of your job search. This is where you evaluate yourself. Understand what kind of job you would like to apply for to ensure that you set your filters properly and receive appropriate job alerts. Conduct a lot of research to understand the market, including hiring trends in your target industries and sectors.
Make sure that you target industries that will play best to your skills. You would hate to change your career or get a job in an industry that might be on the downturn. Position yourself within an industry that is experiencing long-term growth. Think Tech, HR, and Finance. These are just examples of sectors that are constantly growing and most of them have a secure stream in relation to funding.
The most important phase of the job search process is your career brand. Remember that this represents you when you cannot represent yourself. The hiring manager needs to know how you are going to benefit the organisation and why you are the right candidate that fits with their overall company culture. So, you need to invest the time, and in some instances the money to construct your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile for fruitful results.
Build up your network.
Nothing simplifies the job search process like knowing the right people. When you are looking for a job, building relationships is not a choice for you but mandatory. Learn how to communicate and leverage LinkedIn to build yourself a strong network. People are generally willing to help when they can. Your approach is what matters. Be memorable.
When an opportunity arises, people need to be willing to reach out to you because you are “top of mind”. You need to be at the top of their mind. Do not just take from your networks, be willing to give back and the relationship will go a long way.
If you have done the first 3 steps right, this stage is inevitable. You will have a few interviews lined up, and do not shoot yourself in the foot by being underprepared. Yes, the competition is tough, and you might not get the job, but it cannot be because you failed to research the company and properly articulate yourself in the interview.
You have the skills, maybe the experience too, if you are not a graduate. You will be the perfect fit should they hire you. You just need to be able to convince the recruitment team.
If you do not take away much from this article, at least remember these main components:
- Be selective with the jobs you are targeting.
- Maintain a strong digital presence.
- Network regularly and professionally and.
- Bypass human resources.
I wish you all the best with job hunting and remember, that it is not all going to work out overnight. Do not lose hope, remain positive, and maintain the same high energy through it all. The universe is bound to conspire in your favour.