Over the last 16 years as a Career Management Professional, I have watched many people pass through the transition process some seamlessly and some very painfully. There is no doubt it can be a laborious process. There is no way to conduct a perfect job search with so many scenarios and external influences you have no control over.
Here are my Top 10 Tips in a job search:
1. Show determination and confidence
People are intuitive to you from the first moment. I see this attribute in my clients. The more energy they exude the faster a job search will conclude. Be buoyant in your self-presentation as well as your résumé and cover letter. It can be tough, but you can win the race!
2. Résumé and cover letter
Spend many hours working on these critical marketing/sales tools. They can make or break you! The documents have to entice the reader, lure them into wanting to read further and make them pick up the telephone to call you for an interview. Always write the résumé in the third person and the cover letter in the first person.
3. Develop a relationship with a recruiter
Recruiters can be a resource for you. However, they can only work for you if they have a client at the other end requiring your unique service offering. Relationships don’t happen overnight. You have to establish trust and rapport. Recruiters are extremely busy people and everyone in a job search wants their time. Source out through your network the recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise and send your résumé and an introductory cover letter outlining if you are willing to relocate. Call them to open up communications a week later. Be persistent in your calls and leave succinct messages, but don’t be a pest.
4. Never miss out on face time with a recruiter
While employed many people are contacted by a Recruiter for an interview but turn the offer down because they are either not ready for a move or don’t have the time. Wrong, a huge mistake. A Recruiter before his/her call has obviously completed due diligence about you, is hunting heads and has you as the target. Never miss out on face time with a Recruiter. You may not want a job, but at least you will have met in person and he/she will remember you for further assignments.
5. Identify potential employers
A job search is a combined race and hunt. It can be very time consuming. However, there are processes that can considerably reduce the time spent searching. By far the best practice is to identify the companies you would like to work for. These can be for various reasons such as: you like the corporate culture, their products are intriguing, and you would like to sell them, or they may be going public, and you would like to help them. Use directories, the Internet and your network to obtain the name of the decision maker, who has the budget to hire you if you have the right skill sets. Avoid Human Resources, they can be a major stumbling block in your recruitment. Their function to hire only comes into play as a result of an advertisement in either print media or online which is only about 10% of all jobs.
6. Do your research
Too many people get to the interview stage and think it’s going to be a breeze…..no way! Research the company in great detail. With the advent of the Internet, researching and gathering data has become easier.
7. Ask questions in the interview
An interview is a two-way conversation, and a sharing of ideas. Ask provoking questions about the position, the company’s future and how the interviewer sees you fitting into the culture. As a result of your research you should be able to think of some good questions.
8. Write a follow-up letter
Your job search strategy should be to remain competitive, outperforming the many others in the job search process. Only a small percentage of people send a letter to the interviewer to thank him/her and pose some further questions stemming from the interview. Also elaborate further that you are interested in the job and would accept an offer. This will show the prospective employer in your own handwriting how well you write.
9. Let your network know you are actively seeking a new position
Tell the world in confidence what you want. Don’t be shy! Statistics tell us that the further you stick your head out from the water, the more interest in your services you will receive.
10. Be patient and persistent
A new position doesn’t just fall into your lap. The whole process can be extremely frustrating, and you may have to bite your tongue and be willing to cope with rejection. However, with the advent of a huge skill set shortage in all functions across North America, your job search will see a positive return on your prudent use of time.
Happy job hunting!
About the Author:
Martin Buckland is a Professional Career Management Expert with offices in the U.S. and Canada. President of Elite Résumés, he is certified in résumé writing, executive & career coaching, job search strategies, personal branding and interview coaching. He has extensive knowledge of the best strategies to secure a job most effectively and is well networked with recruiters and human resource professionals across North America.