In a competitive job market, job seekers use a variety of job search strategies to stand out with their job application, with the aim to be invited for an interview. Successful job search strategies will assist you to have your LinkedIn profile and resume noticed, and for companies to connect with you. Here are ten tips to support your job search, and bring you closer to receive a job offer.
1. Devise a job search plan
It takes full-time work to job search and find work. There is no short cut to find employment! Apply for a set number of applications per week, say four or five. Measure the progress and success of each application by the outcome that you attain. It may require that you refine your job search to more suitable vacancies by targeting relevant jobs, or omitting or highlighting information.
2. Stand out with your job application
One of the most important job search strategies you can use to stand out in your job application is to tailor your job application to demonstrate your unique marketable features that focuses on your strengths. It may point to your specific skills, experience and work projects that meet an organisation’s specific recruitment requirements.
3. Search for the right jobs
Apply for jobs that match your work experience, skills, interests and the location of where you want to work. Use key words to help you narrow your search. Key words relate to your occupational offerings, expertise and qualifications. It will help focus your job search to give you more relevant job listings to review, and less non-relevant job listings to peruse.
4. Make direct applications to organisations
Identify companies where there is a good fit between your work background and values, and where you can add value to a role. Successful recruitment practices require complimentary synergy between an organisation’s culture and values that match an individual’s. From an organisation’s perspective, it leads to reduced staff turnover, and from an individual’s perspective to job satisfaction and long term employment.
Once you have devised your ‘ideal’ organisation, write a targeted letter pointing to your suitability for the position, and willingness to support your expression of interest with a request for an interview.
5. Customise your resume and cover letter
It is important to take the time to write a targeted resume and cover letter that specifically links your experience, skills and qualifications to the jobs that you are applying for. It will assist an employer to see how you are qualified for the job. You will have a much better chance of getting an interview than if you send a generic email and resume.
6. Create a stand-out LinkedIn profile that demonstrates your brand
Develop a LinkedIn profile that provides a clear description of your professional background and brand. Your LinkedIn profile includes the following headings:
- Current position. If you are seeking a new role, state this in your profile heading
- Two previous positions that you have held
- Education and qualifications
- Your skills (minimum of three)
- Your industry and location
- A professional profile photo
- And have at least 50 connections
Make your profile searchable when companies are looking for prospective staff, with the use of key words that relate to your career, industry and occupation. Your LinkedIn profile is an important way to build your professional identity and credibility.
Your LinkedIn profile can be creative with the use of company logos, pictures, video links, recommendations and endorsements that provide evidence of the quality of your work. It will provide recruiters and employers with a strong positive and professional impression of you.
7. Obtain feedback on your application
Many individuals find it difficult to ask for feedback, especially once they have been rejected with their job application. It is not easy, and it takes courage. Employers are not required to give you this information so if they provide it, it is the gift of feedback. The feedback will provide you with insight to enable you to see how your application was evaluated from an employer’s perspective, and how it measures against other applications. The information will enable you to improve your future job applications. It may mean closer targeting of your job applications to focus on work roles that match your experience, or taking additional steps such as training to build your skill level to enable you to meet the job criteria.
8. Network – and network
The key to a successful job search is networking. Networking is the way most popular method that people use to connect with people that you know such as: current and past colleagues, clients, and employers. They can assist you to obtain job leads that can help find employment. You will then be in a position to demonstrate your unique skills and experience to employers who are on the lookout to recruit an employee.
9. Research the company
Before an interview, research the company by reading about their products/services, and their news. Find out the names of the people you can address your expression of interest for a direct application, or whom may interview you. Prepare to mention the value you bring to the organisation.
10. Organise a job searching plan
A systematic approach to job searching will provide you with the best job searching results. Here are some tips to help you.
Organise a job-searching schedule – This is a daily timetable of your current job searching activities that you are undertaking, and a plan for future activities.
Record your job search activity – Record your job applications and correspondence with an employer. It will contain the following information:
- Name of employer, address, telephone and email address
- Name and title of contact person in the organisation
- Type of position (and salary if applicable)
- Qualifications and skills sought
- Source and date of vacancy
- Interview arrangements: date, location, time, name of interviewer
- Evaluation of the interview – what worked well and tips to improve future interviews
Devise a job folder to demonstrate your abilities. It will include:
· A reference from your employer or evidence of employment
· Examples of projects that you have been involved in
· Examples of your writing including blogs or assignments that you have completed
· Academic records
· Copy of certificates
Follow up – One area that many people neglect in their job search is their follow up. Most people just email the resume or submit the application in the hope that someone will reply. To be successful, be proactive and follow up by phone or email. If you leave a voice message, it could be an abbreviated elevator speech, or the follow up email could summarise the ways in which they are qualified.
Good luck in your search for new opportunities. A new day brings new hope. Share your tips and ideas below in ‘Comments.’
Leah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Crown Coaching and Training, and has extensive experience in career development, life coaching, education and training.
Leah is the author of two books in careers and business communication, a former freelance writer for The Age and Herald Sun, and publisher of two accredited online short courses, Mentoring and Development and Foundations in Career Development Practice.
Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA), a Certified Retirement Coach and is Board Certified as a Career Management Fellow with the Institute of Career Certification.