It’s safe to say there is a lot of competition out there for work. Some of you are considering a career move, a change in jobs, or perhaps you are looking for your first job ever. So what are you doing to prepare yourself?
Hunting for a job is one of those things in my opinion that many people do, but few do well. The average job seeker will throw together a resume and send it out to as many companies as they can just hoping that someone calls them for an interview. But are these the jobs that they actually want? They might end up with a job they like, but it could be they ended up wasting a lot of energy and time finding this job when they didn’t have to.
Recruiters also don’t want to waste their time sifting through applicants who aren’t really interested in the job they are hiring for. It’s best not to waste their time especially if there is another job in that same organization that you might want to apply for later. It doesn’t look good to a recruiter if they see someone applying to a bunch of jobs all over the map within an organization. It gives the perception for many of those recruiters that the applicant has no idea what they are actually interested in and that the applicant lacks direction.
So for those of you about to embark on a job seeking adventure I would like to offer some tips. Each of these tips is an idea that has helped many people including myself.
Figure out what you want to do – Nothing is worse than taking a job you aren’t even interested in or have the ability to do. Consider the following:
- What am I interested in? Simply put, is this something you think you can do for 8 hours a day and still enjoy it? If not, then consider focusing on something else.
- What does a job like this look like? For instance many people like to cook at home. They are creative and enjoy experimenting with food. However to work as a cook in a kitchen for a restaurant it is very different. The menu is decided by someone else as is how the product is made. You are not able to experiment and essentially act as an assembly worker of food products catered to the customer’s order. At home meals are made to fit your schedule and you eat when they are done, but in a restaurant it is the customer’s schedule that you are held to and people are not very forgiving if they have to wait too long for their clubhouse sandwich.
- What skills do I have that relate to that interest? Do you have the skills to do the job you are interested in? Does the job require certain skills or are they something that is expected to be learned on the job? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you build your resume and tailor it to the role you want to apply for.
Build your resume – Depending on your individual skills and experience this can vary how you may want to format this document. It’s important however to tailor it to the role you are applying for. Once your resume is written it is always a good idea to ask people to look at it and provide you with feedback. You might gain some insight in how to present yourself better on paper than you have already. Make sure you save your resume electronically in a common format that most businesses use. Many companies no longer accept paper resumes reducing their environmental footprint of doing business. You may be required to email or upload your resume to the company you want to work for. If you are not certain about how to build your resume you may want to consider a service that could help you or provide some insight on this matter.
Search the career sections or classifieds – Most companies will advertise in career sections of local periodicals and/or their own company website. Once you find a job you want to apply for be sure to follow the application instructions correctly or they may dismiss your application.
Place your resume on some well known internet job boards – By placing your resume on some well known job boards you become visible to the employers. You also gain the ability to search through many of the websites you register with for jobs that the employers are advertising there. Some of the more popular websites include:
- Service Canada Job Board
Contact job placement agencies and recruitment agencies – Many businesses find they require some assistance in recruiting capable staff for a variety of reasons. It’s a good idea to speak to as many of the job placement and recruitment companies as you can. Ask them if they recruit for employers who do what you have decided to pursue. Don’t settle for speaking to only one company either. It could be that you may not fit what one agency is looking for, but the next agency you speak with could think you are exactly what they are looking for! Remember to establish a good relationship with the agents that want to help you. They are the eyes and ears of the employers that contract their services. They are also your advocate should they choose to present you to an employer. If they don’t have something at that time then check in with your contact often to see if anything new has come along.
Market yourself – As I mentioned earlier most people will end their search efforts with presenting their resume to as many people as possible. There is more you can do however that can aid you in marketing yourself to the world as someone they may want to hire. Consider the way you present yourself publicly. If you don’t currently have a profile on any of the following it may be something you should consider:
Facebook– is a social network used by over 700 million people across the globe. It’s probable that someone who is hiring may know someone who knows you. Make sure you present yourself in a manner that speaks well to you. By doing this people may feel proud to show you to someone they know is hiring for the job you are looking for.
YouTube– is a video sharing platform for those who want to display their talents. This can often be a great way to show an employer your talents and help them get to know you. Presenting yourself well on YouTube has helped many people showcase their talents and have landed them incredible opportunities!
Web Site– If you don’t have a web site it may be something else to consider. This can often be used as a staging ground for people to get a glimpse of who you are and what you want to achieve along with any other information you decide to provide. There are many different ways and varying levels of complexity to how this can be done.
People are less skeptical of what they are already familiar with. Presenting yourself publicly is a great way for recruiters to find you. If they see you as someone they are interested in before you even have contact with them then you certainly have an added advantage.
If you are not certain or are unfamiliar about the use of any of the many ways you can market yourself you may want to consult with an expert in that field for assistance.
Evaluate – Make note of what feedback you receive and evaluate the success you are having with your tactics. Make adjustments if needed and keep looking. Remember nothing is perfect and you won’t be able to please everyone all the time. Listening to the feedback people give you at least allows you to consider what they say. Make sure you thank anyone who provides you feedback as well. It is something they are doing because they want to help you even if it is hard to hear.