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Finding a job can be a job in itself, so set yourself a task list, take a proactive approach and make sure to tackle all available avenues
1. Digital resume
Ensure you have an online profile that is up to date and encompasses all your skills. List your experience and give a clear indication of what you’re looking for and what you have to offer that sets you apart. LinkedIn hosts a broad sweep of professional profiles, advertises jobs and facilitates connection and communication. Consider your personal online image and make sure it doesn’t clash with your professional goals. Upload your CV to Simply Hired and look for recruitment agencies that specialise in your field and offer a similar service.
2. Word of mouth
Don’t be shy to ask for feedback or referrals. When someone gives you positive feedback, consider using it as a testimonial to add to your website or flyer – but of course be sure to check with them before making any of their details public. Also look at using a referral site like ServiceSeeking where you can build your reputation and client base, based on feedback. And for those with a Linkedin profile, actively ask people from your networks to endorse your skills.
3. Do your homework
It goes without saying that doing the homework leaves you better prepared. Research what your competition offers and where and how your ideal employers recruit staff. Find out what it is that they look for and how people who are succeeding in your field have found work. If you’re starting with a blank slate, or looking to change careers, then consider skills shortages and look at the larger picture of the state of the nation for longevity.
4. Sell yourself
There are a number of ways to advertise your skills and services. Consider creating a website, making flyers, doing a post-box drop or making use of notice boards in local cafés and libraries. Advertise in the local newspaper or add your services to online sites.
5. Build up your qualifications
Go back to school or do a short course – there are so many options available and any single course could be the edge you need to set you apart from the competition. It may not necessarily be related to the field you work in, but further study will show initiative to a recruiter or employer. Most universities offer short courses, as do adult training organisations.
6. Build your brand
You know you’re great, your previous employers know you’re great, as do your family and friends. The problem is that when it comes down to it, a name on an application simply doesn’t carry that same weight. You need to address what’s behind that name and what it stands for so it can be easily communicated to a new audience. To build your brand you must consider your unique selling points, and this is where your friends and colleagues can be useful in providing insight to your character.
7. Search through career sites
With their powerful databases, functionality and widespread advertising pull, the large online job sites are a perfect one-stop shop to start your search. Don’t forget though that beyond the biggest and best known, like Simply Hired, there are smaller sites that are subject-matter oriented, so do a search on your industry and find any bespoke sites servicing your particular field.
8. Ask your friends
It’s not called social networking for nothing. Friends are great for a Friday night out, but it’s also worth putting the networking aspect into gear and having it help you in the job department. Word of mouth and a personal recommendation are two of the most powerful assets when looking for a job. It can be daunting to put the word out there, but you’ll often find a friend who is willing to help. At the very least, you’ll discover you’re not alone in looking, which can help boost self-esteem.
9. Contact your local recruitment agency
The shopping strip around Lygon Street is one example where traders have banded together to find and hire people from their local community. Don’t overlook local recruitment agencies either, or the local paper and local council – they often have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your area.
10. Establish a relationship with a recruitment consultant
It may sound terribly old fashioned, but picking up the phone and establishing rapport can be one of the best ways to build a relationship. There’s nothing quite like hearing someone’s voice to give you an indication of their personality. It puts you at the front of a recruiter’s mind and you know that your CV is being assessed by a ‘real’ person and not languishing in some database.
Just because we’re in the digital age doesn’t mean we have to take a digital-only approach to job hunting. There are some many ways you can seek out a job – the trick is getting motivated and not giving up until you’ve found that ideal position.