Have you been sending out hundreds of CVs and haven’t heard back from even one employer? Stop now, take stock of what you are doing and commit to some changes in your job search strategy.
The world is changing around us, and we need to step ahead with it. HR and hiring practices have evolved a lot over the years, and just sending the traditional CV with a boring covering letter will do you no good.
Being proactive, smart and suave will help you land a job and looking for newer ways can only minimise your frustration levels that come with an unfruitful job hunt.
Try some networking strategies you haven’t thought of before, and these just might get you going. Head-hunters with leading executive search firms give additional tips to get out of a job search rut and back to work.
#1 Make A Plan. And Plan B
You cannot throw darts aimlessly and you cannot send CVs vaguely to one and all.
You have to make a plan, stresses Graham Whitworth, Senior Banking Consultant at Charterhouse Partnership. “Decide exactly where you want to work and what you want to do, be realistic about your experience and capabilities. Target businesses your experience could add value to,” he says.
#2 Contacts, Contact, Contacts
When looking to invest in property, a wise man once said, the three most important things (in that order) are: Location, location, location. When looking for a job, replace ‘location’ with ‘contacts’. Before beginning your job-hunt, make sure you use all your contacts to optimal level.
Head-hunters believe that, in today’s age, your contacts can play a very important role in getting you a job. It is many minds versus one in the bigger scheme of things.
“It really is a matter of who you know rather than what you know. Family members, friends and previous colleagues can all help you find that perfect role,” says the Charterhouse expert.
#3 Alumni Networking
Your old classmates can also help you in your job hunt. You can dip into their resources to find a good job.
“With so many excellent universities in the Middle East, there is a larger alumni network in the region, so networking with alumni can help you get to the next stage of your career,” stresses Ash Athawale, Recruitment Manager at REED Consultancy.
It makes logical sense too. If you’ve studied together (higher education, not primary or secondary), you’ll probably be in the same line of work/business. So, who better to alert you on a fresh job-opening than someone who is in the same industry?
#4 LinkedIn / Social Networking
LinkedIn is growing great guns – and not without reason. You can find the world here, and your one contact can connect to hundreds of others, and the list can multiply into millions before you know. Never before was such a huge pool of professionals available on a single platform. The professional networking website has over 225 million members across the world.
“Not only will this help you build your network, but you can connect with recruiters and decision-makers at your target employers,” advises Whitworth.
Athawale of REED Consultancy too is a believer in social media tools. “These are one of new ways to create awareness of a job. However, the danger is that even candidates who aren’t suitable for the job tend to apply ‘with a single click’,” he says.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can all act as vital weapons in your job-hunt war if used judiciously, and our experts endorse the tagline of the website ‘Relationships Matter’.
# 5 Word-of-mobile
Where once was word-of-mouth, now is word-of-mobile. An extension of the social media tools is the use of Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Whatsapp status updates on your smartphones. The idea is to let others know of what you are looking for, and your friends and contacts may just respond with what they are aware of. It’s a modern twist to word-of-mouth.
“Most people use these for communication. They are a great way to advertise your jobs on your contact lists,” says Athawale.
#6 Look Within
Internal transfers within your own company might not be a bad place to start looking, experts suggest. Whether you are relocating or looking at a new career line, an internal transfer could in fact be a viable option.
An internal transfer can have many advantages, including the retention of your current pay level, healthcare coverage, vacation benefits and friendships with co-workers.
“Most employers advertise internal vacancies and maybe a fresh start in a new location is exactly what you are looking for,” says Whitworth.
#7 Internal Employee Referrals
Many firms are now setting ambitious internal goals to increase the proportion of hirings that come from internal referrals. Your CV may have been looked at but a referral in the company may put it in the express lane.
“Companies don’t use this method of referrals as much as they should. I have advised my clients to add a monetary or even ‘days off’ to the reward programme,” mentions Reed analyst.
#8 Get a good recruiter
Going to a good recruiter can work well. They are in the business and know when the next vacancy becomes available.
“A good recruiter will know your industry and will be able to work with you to source roles that are not advertised and introduce you to contacts you wouldn’t find,” says Whitworth.
“While this may not appear to be a new way, companies need to look at the value of using a head-hunter and not just the cost. The benefit of using a professional head-hunter far outweighs the ‘fee’ that companies worry about,” adds Athawale.