JOB SEARCH STRATEGY
Every job seeker falls into one or more of these categories;
- Actively seeking employment
- Currently employed, seeking better opportunities
- Looking for a career change
- Trying to test the job market
Notwithstanding the category, we are all in the search of that dream job, especially for those who are not entrepreneurs.
It’s no news that some people get jobs as soon as they graduate or ready for it. Some call it luck, favour, connection and so on. But the other reality is that some actually labour and toil before getting their dream job.
No matter how difficult or how tight the job market is, people are getting jobs and some are changing jobs day in day out.
At this juncture, we need to Stop! Think! Evaluate! the efficiency of our method of job searching and opt for an effective method.
Here are few strategies to consider;
You need to invest time and energy into job searching and treat it as a real 8-5pm job. It won’t be a bad idea to have a weekly plan and dedicate 3-4days of the week to job search.
Don’t just apply for every available vacancy, it is important to have a target, focus on a particular area and stick to it.
I quite understand that the struggle is real but, if you are asked what you can do in terms of job, don’t say ‘any job’. You need to have a plan and be focussed.
Job hunting without a focus is tantamount to shooting in the dark with no target in mind. Be focussed and Be Specific!
Every job seeker need to ask himself-
Who is my target audience? Who do I want to attract?
Recruiters from which industry?
Which company do I want to work for? And in what capacity?
Here is the list of industries to choose from;
- Administration & Office Support
- Building Design/Architecture
- Consulting/Business Strategy & Planning
- Creatives (Arts, Design, Fashion)
- Customer Service/Call Centre
- Human Resources
- IT/Web Developers/Programmers
- NGO/Community Services/Humanitarian
- Oil & Gas /Mining/Energy
- Project/Programme Management
- Quality Assurance & Quality Control/HSE
- Real Estate/Property
- Sales/Business Development
- Supply Chain/Procurement
- Trade and Services
Make a list of the industries you would like to work for and specific companies under each?
Don’t wait until jobs are advertised on job boards or social media. Visit career page of your desired companies, search and apply for relevant roles. You can also subscribe for job alerts (if available).
Follow your desired companies on Social Media- Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and so on. This is necessary in order to keep updated about relevant news or events, not just job vacancies.
Leave your comfort zone and network with people. Don’t be shy to let acquaintances know that you are open to new job opportunities but please don’t bore them with job request. Just because a friend/relative has a company does not mean he/she must hire, you can mention it and ask for referrals.
You can join professional associations and be active. Build relationship with professionals and participate in intellectual discussions. Always be prepared to maximize every opportunity.
Prepare and practice your ‘Elevator Pitch’ also known as ‘Elevator Speech’ as many times as possible. You can practice in front of a mirror or a friend.
You never can say, there might be an opportunity to market yourself or to discuss the values you can add. You need to make a first great impression.
“An elevator speech is a clear, brief message or “commercial” about you. It communicates who you are, what you’re looking for and how you can benefit a company or organization. It’s typically about 30 seconds, the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator. (The idea behind having an elevator speech is that you are prepared to share this information with anyone, at anytime, even in an elevator.)” SOURCE: http://sfp.ucdavis.edu
3. Compelling CV/ Résumé:
No matter how archaic you think the idea of a CV is, some hiring companies/managers still see it as an initial tool for assessing applicant’s fit for a role.
Is your CV up to date? Is your CV just a list of your work history and not compelling enough to convince recruiter that you can do the job you are applying for?
It is not just how your CV looks on its own but how it looks or how it stands out in comparison to others. I believe that a well-written CV/ Résumé should earn you a right to an interview.
You can turn your CV into an effective marketing tool by spending time to develop it and making it competitive.
Therefore, it is time to look at your CV from the recruiter’s perspective. If you were a potential employer would you hire ‘YOU’ based on your current CV?
Don’t make your CV look like an obituary, spice it up with active verbs Must Use- CV Active Verbs
4. Advert-Targeted Cover Letter:
Cover Letter can also be referred to as Application Letter.
Your Cover Letter should be tailored towards the relevant terminology, keywords and phrases in the job description. This is necessary in order to present you in the most effective way possible, by showcasing your skills and the value that you can bring to an employer.
If you are applying for a vacancy that request for just CV/ Resume, it is advisable to copy and paste your cover letter as the body of the mail.
5. Effective Use of LinkedIn:
It is startling that you would meet an upwardly mobile jobseeker and then you realize he is not on LinkedIn!!
Linkedin is a social networking site for professionals. It has over 1million members in Nigeria and over 200million users globally. Hundreds of thousands of recruiters are using LinkedIn to source, search and hire candidates. In addition, hundreds of jobs are advertised on LinkedIn on a daily basis. It is therefore crucial to keep your LinkedIn profile updated and attractive to recruiters.
Signing up for LinkedIn is free and it gives you a platform to position yourself for opportunities as well as connect and network with hiring managers/decision makers in various organizations across the globe.
If you want to increase your chances of finding jobs, then it’s time to be active on LinkedIn.
How to Search for Jobs On Linkedin;
- You will find a tab ‘Jobs’ on the top navigation on your LinkedIn home page.
- Click on Jobs.
- Add keywords related to the jobs you are interested in, such as job title, keywords, or company name, and Location
- Click Find Jobs.
- Click Discover to access new job postings.
When you view a job posting, you’ll see the following options:
- Apply ‘on the company website ‘
- Save (and apply later)
For those jobs where you apply directly through LinkedIn, your profile will be forwarded when you apply. There could be an option to add a cover letter.
Update Job Preferences on LinkedIn:
You can set your job preferences by clicking the Preferences tab on the far right.
- LinkedIn will automatically recommend the right jobs to you.
- It also gives you the opportunity to let recruiters know that you are open to new jobs.
- You also can indicate the type of job you are considering and at the same time ‘Share your profile’ with recruiters.
6. Job Application:
It is mandatory that you have a good understanding of the job responsibilities and requirements. Please apply for roles you are qualified for.
Make sure you follow all the instructions given when submitting your employment applications.
If it requires sending a CV and/or Cover letter as an attachment via an email, please ensure you use the right or required format.
- Cross check the mail address.
- Proofread the mail before sending and ensure that the documents are attached.
- If the attachment is large, please put in a zip file.
- By default, you should use your name as the title of the CV or Cover Letter attachment unless otherwise stated. E.g.
- CV-Chinwe Aduke Mohammed
- Cover letter- Chinwe Aduke Mohammed
- Make the job title or Reference No (if applicable) as the subject of the mail. E.g.
- SUBJECT:Re: Application for Human Resources Manager (Ref: #34089)
- Do not forward the mail you have sent to another recruiter and if you must do so, please edit and avoid leaving a mail trail.
Always remember your e-mail etiquette!!
7. Job Tracker:
It won’t be a bad idea to keep tabs on all your job applications. You can create a job tracker using excel worksheet or any other app. Keep updating the status of each application and indicate necessary action.
Many jobseekers are frustrated due to unsuccessful job applications, failed interview, broken promises etc. This is not the time to throw a pity-party, it is time to change your ‘job-search’ strategy and take charge of your career.
At the same time, we cannot over emphasize the need to develop yourself while job hunting- WORK GAP