For most of us, finding a new job can often be a very challenging and stressful experience. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. There are steps we can take to make the job search experience less complicated and a little easier on ourselves. Below we will discuss some practical steps we can take to make the journey more comfortable.
Job search strategies and skills can be categorized into three parts:
• Practical steps that you can take to improve your chances of getting a job
• Tools and tricks that a job seeker can use to increase interview chances
• Positive psychological attitudes and outlooks that can help to reinforce the process and keep it going
Traditional job search skills
The foundation of a successful job search begins with traditional skills. They are the skills that existed before the dawn of the Internet, instant communication, and online profiles. They consist of scanning newspapers, using the phone, walking into establishments and generally having a strong sense of purpose to find employment. You may be wondering why it’s important that you practice these skills in the year 2017. This is because they still work, and they leave a strong impression on employers.
Here is how you can start your job search:
Scanning newspaper classified job ads for employment is still a key method for finding a job. Not all employers are web savvy, nor do they need to be. Many are older and more traditional — therefore, the classifieds job section in your local newspaper is still worth looking through.
What should be your strategy when looking through newspaper job ads?
- Get a pen, and circle jobs that look relevant to you
- Choose jobs that are below your pay grade. Do not be too fussy — throw out a broad net, just in case you run into bad luck.
- Choose jobs that are above your pay grade. You may surprise yourself and end up in a better position than you could have imagined.
- If there is a phone number, give them a call directly. Even if there’s also an email attached.
- Send a resume and cover letter via the email address given.
Telephone Cold Calling
Nobody really likes it, but it can create too many opportunities to pass up. These are the benefits of cold calling:
- You can clarify the application process, if it is unclear
- You may be first in line if the company has just decided to hire new employees
- You’ll leave a strong impression on the hiring manager, who is likely to be surprised by a confident cold call
- You can cold call any company you want — especially the ones that could give you your dream jo
- Be sure to speak into the phone with confidence. If you sound meek, you may leave a negative impression!
Walking into an establishment to ask about employment is even more nerve wracking than cold calling, but the potential is even greater. Take these steps to ensure a successful visit.
- Dress up to make a smart impression
- Bring copies of your resume and cover letter
- Do your research, and ask to speak to the hiring manager by their specific name
Make sure you’ve done your research on the company before walking in. There is a possibility that you will get interviewed on the spot, if you’re qualified and lucky enough. You don’t want to stutter and look foolish, having walked into an establishment without knowing its purpose and cause for existence!
Pull Your Network
Did you know that the number one trait of successful people is that they ask other people for help? Ask your friends, friends of friends, and family if they are aware of any employment opportunities. With luck, that person will recommend you directly to the hiring manager, which will almost certainly put you on a short list for an interview, given that you are qualified enough.
If you don’t have many friends, family, or connections, this may be harder. It’s never too late to start making new friends.
Modern job search skills
Modern job search skills are quickly becoming an absolute necessity to successfully apply for jobs. By “modern” we are talking about the Internet and its various jobs search tools and aides.
However, the rapid evolution of the Internet means that you’ll need to constantly improve your skills in order to increase your chances of getting a job.
Here are the major tools you’ll need to succeed in the current era:
Job Search Engines
Although utilizing your personal network is best, sometimes it may need to be supplemented. Job search engines are great because many of them now aggregate job postings from other websites, providing a huge collection of postings from around the web.
Australia’s common job search engines include;
• Career one
• Australian Job Search
When used correctly, search engines are a great boost to any job hunt. There are hundreds of candidates looking for jobs right now, and employers don’t have to compromise. They will persevere until the right candidate comes along who ticks all the right boxes.
How to prepare for tough interview questions
Below is a list of tips you can utilise to prepare yourself before any interview:
Tell me about yourself
This is your elevator pitch, your opportunity to succinctly reference your academic qualifications and how you gained your skills/experience related to the role you are applying for.
What do you know about this company?
Make sure you’ve done your research and looked at their website and/or asked people who work there about the company, what it stands for, the culture and why they like working there
Tell me about any recent developments that have occurred in the marketplace that may affect our business
Look at industry news / trends to understand the industry landscape
How would you add value to our company?
Think about the role you are applying for and match your skills, experience and qualifications to show you have what they want. Give me an example of when you had to solve a problem at work, how did you do it and what was the outcome?
You’ll have lots of these. Think of relevant problems that relate to the position you are applying for so you can show how you’ve overcome or handled the situation.
What is your biggest achievement in life?
I’m sure you’ve had many of these too. Pick out sporting, academic, voluntary, charitable or travel related example.
Tell me 3 main weaknesses you have
Everyone hates this question and it could be asked in a different way to elicit your weaknesses. Always turn your weakness into a positive. For example: Public speaking is a weakness, however I have joined Toast Masters, a Debating team or speak at a Networking group which has improved my confidence.
Why should we hire you?
Avoid the obvious answer – because I’m the best person for the job. Reiterate the skills, experience and/or academic qualifications you have and how you will add value to the company. Include your interest in the industry and based on your research you share the same work ethic and believe in the product/service
Looking for a job can be a stressful time for many people. Being proactive can improve the situation. Plan ahead, talk to people, cold call and join networking groups. You will be surprised at how many doors open when you are committed to an outcome. Happy job searching!