If you are looking for a job, this post will explain the single most important thing you need to know about your job-seeking strategy. It also delivers 16 tips to get you on your way to employment…
First of all, a few assumptions
- Assumption number 1: There are enough jobs for everyone
- Assumption number 2: Most available jobs are not advertised
- Assumption number 3: Most job seekers only reply to advertised jobs, in the normal way
Let’s use the following example to see what this means for you. I have applied the Pareto Principle and am convinced that even if the numbers are not exact, the point is true:
- If there are 100 available jobs and 100 job seekers, there is enough work for everyone.
- Of those 100 available jobs, up to 80 of them may not be advertised at all. And certainly not everywhere.
- Of the 100 job seekers, 80 of them will only be looking in the usual channels for advertised jobs and will respond in the usual way by sending a CV and motivation letter and then waiting.
- The other 20 job seekers will expand their searching horizons and use different methods to make their applications.
- This means that 80 people are looking at 20 jobs (with a 1 in 4 chance of success) while the other 20 people can choose between 4 available jobs.
So: You need to be in the 20 group!
And you need to apply these 16 tips to look for a job:
- Recognise that everyone you know is a potential lead. And considering “The Obama Effect”, the potential leads are far more numerous.
- Email all your friends and family to tell them what kind of work you are looking for and ask them to send you any leads.
- Think about your added-value and created a polished tweetable message about yourself.
- Ensure any presence on social networks or the www reinforces your personal brand.
- If possible, announce your intentions via social media platforms and request input and feedback from peers. Update your LinkedIn profile and get some relevant recommendations.
- Research people with similar jobs in their targeted company and talk to them to get contact details, job leads and other relevant information.
- If you see any news about your targeted company winning new contracts or creating a new product, service or office strike while the iron is hot.
- Go to conferences in your field of interest and talk to people.
- Email the person you actually want to work with. Tell them you want support and ask for a phone conversation. If you don’t get a reply, try cold-calling them anyway.
- Adapt each CV and its content to the company you want to work with.
- Be FAB and answer the 3 most important questions.
- Use creative techniques to make sure your CV stands out.
- If you make a formal application, make sure it gets in the hands of the right people, bypassing reception and generalist recruiters at all costs.
- Follow up on your applications quickly.
- Spy on your prospective company building at arrival and leaving times to see how people are dressed. Now you know how to dress for the interview.
- Practice interview skills with a friend or coach.
To conclude, it is only fair to note whilst assumptions 2 and 3 are based on my experience with job seekers and recruiting companies, the first assumption could just be a wildly optimistic statement. All the more reason to apply the strategies noted above…
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