Why effective job hunting matters for your future growth?
Rarely do careers have a straight trajectory. It’s common for a person to take a few left turns and even change careers a couple of times.
Professional soul-searching is very much a real phenomenon, but you don’t need to be completely at its mercy. Neither do you have to lose time and potential experience at the wrong position or by ineffectively looking for jobs.
10 steps to job hunting
Job hunting puts stress even on seasoned workers. Fresh graduates to the labor market are all-the-more flustered and overwhelmed. We’re here to reduce the steep learning curve with ten basic tips to earn a solid job offer:
Create a strong CV
It’s a no-brainer to have a strong CV and this goes beyond what credentials are (though you should think about what to include and what to edit out depending on a specific position).
Ask family and colleagues to study their resumes and keep in mind that companies use application tracking systems (ATS) for automatic processing, so tailor your CV to their format. Here are some tips on writing the perfect cover letter.
Research for opportunities online
COVID-19 has made it difficult to find positions as easily as before, so you have to get proactive with your research. We’ll discuss job sites below. This point is more for knowing what you want and going out to find it.
Research for THE dream job and company. Head to specific forums on the subject of job hunting or groups on LinkedIn or Facebook. Pull in from as many places you’re able to seek out new postings.
Use RSS feed for a more targeted search
RSS is an all-around powerhouse tool to optimize your work performance. If you’re not using it, what are you waiting for. More importantly to this article, RSS can be repurposed to syndicate any new job postings to your RSS feed reader the second they’re published.
Rather than have to visit job sites or company sites over and over again daily, RSS reverses the entire process and supports specific, targeted searches. Inoreader allows you to create an RSS feed link for searches, Google Alerts and hashtags.
Check in social media
Social media is a cornerstone in job hunting and job application. Depending on your professional aspirations and position in your industry, you should be:
- Using social media to seek out recruitment whether it’s through specialized hashtags or the company staff advertising new positions.
- Strengthening industry networking way before you’ve started seeking out a new job.
- Cleaning up what you’ve done online. Delete those old unsavory tweets and keep posts that present you in a negative light private.
Write a cover letter
Writing the perfect cover letter is an art form unto itself. You’re not only selling yourself, but you are also hyping the company. A fine line to walk as you can either come off as arrogant or boring, sycophantic or unenthused.
You should not leave writing your cover letter for the last minute and bring a very detailed-oriented eye to the whole process. JobStreet has a very comprehensive guide on the subject.
Apply for jobs
Some fast and hard rules about the actual application process:
- You don’t want to wait for a comfortable time to send out your application. Recruiters and HR personnel remember those who submit first, so have your finger on the trigger to shoot off your application at a moment’s notice.
- Tailor each email for the application and cover letter to the specific organization. You don’t want to be impersonal or recruiters will think you’re just sending off a template application to everyone. Address the right person correctly, if you can.
Prepare for interviews
Nobody enjoys interviews. That much we can all agree on. Yet, there’s no other way to get through the job hunting phase. You’ve tracked down your prey. Time to go in for the kill to secure that job.
Nerves are normal, but be sure to cover the basics – eye contact, open body language and address everyone in the room. Poor manners have been the downfall of many a shoe-in applicant.
Know about the company. It’s inexcusable to fail even a basic question regarding brand, products or services. If you don’t understand something, ask. Interviews are conversations and you’re expected to actively participate.
Prepare for tests
Skill tests are not uncommon. Portfolios and sample work have their place in the early application stages, but companies will also want to see you in action. How does your skill set translate onto a company’s vision? Is there going to be chemistry? Are you well-suited for the position? Does the credential match the reality?
Tests answer all these questions. You’re also tested on time management, professionalism and the simple ability of understanding basic instructions and following them as the client requested. As such tests are an all-around evaluation of you as a professional and potential employee.
It may help build your confidence, if you skim across new developments in your industry in order to refresh your memory.
Get a job offer
You’ve overcome every obstacle and arrived at a job offer. Congratulations!
Now, resist the urge to accept and sign the contract as soon as you receive it. At this stage, you’re required to do your due diligence and read the employee agreement. It’s a matter of self-protection. You don’t want to verbally agree to conditions only to sign on something completely different.
Don’t speak legalese? Consult with friends and colleagues or even forums on how to read legal documents.
You have the power to walk away. Be prepared to walk away at the sight of red flags, which will undoubtedly affect your working environment.
Beware of companies unwilling to negotiate, rigid corporate cultures or recruiters avoiding concrete answers to your concerns and requests. In recent years, ‘fun’ office culture has also been exposed as exploitative.
All terms and conditions have been drafted in favor of the employer. If you can’t reach a happy medium, reconsider devoting yourself to such a company.