There are so many articles written on writing resumes and interviewing but none of this will occur without a good job search strategy. Almost 100% of people who have a well thought out job strategy land a job within 6 months of looking. You will not get far on anything without the right goals, strategies and tactics of achieving your vision. If you are serious about – How to find a job – then read on and at the end spend some specialized time to develop your job search strategy.
The article will focus broadly on the job search strategies you can adapt to increase your chances of landing a job. The strategies are the ways you will broadly get your skills noticed by employers whiles your tactics will be the specific actions you will take daily.
Job search strategy
1. Set your job goal/milestones
The first strategy in your job search strategy is to clarify your job goals without which no other part can hold. Without a job goal you will be rudderless and unfocused therefore before you start set goals of what you want, who you want to work for and in which industry.
The best way to look at it is if you had no limitations, what job will you like, what renumeration do you expect and what level of responsibility. Your job search should state the industry you will preferably like to work. Write out your job goal on the top of your job search plan.
An example of a career goal is – To get job as a Finance Analyst with a money or capital market organization in the next 6 months.
Besides the job goal also determine what milestones will guide your job search and write your milestones on the job search plan. Your milestones will indicate what you hope to achieve in the first 30, 60, 90 or 180 days of your job search. Your milestones should include how many applications to send out, how many interviews, and number of offers. It is important, do not skip this, think through it and be realistic and write it out.
2. Research and introspection
Another important aspect of your job strategy is the fact that you will need data and information to make strategic moves. You will need to research deeply in order to develop a good job strategy. It starts with an inventory of your skills and developing great lines for interviewing as to how your skills have help other employers and why potential employers will gain from you.
The research phase is linked to the first point and the entire process of job searching should be based on information. You will have to find out how can you get your message out, what can you do to get noticed. Where would you place your profile and how will you source jobs. Research should also include on potential employers, what their values, processes and key concepts they use.
3. Social Media
Social media has become a place for so many things and recruiters have also taken to social media for talent. It is also an avenue where information on jobs are displayed to the general public. Note that employers may look up your social media profiles to determine your suitability. Employers may go to your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts particularly LinkedIn.
Your job search strategy should include optimizing your social media profiles by making it neat, tidy, positive and re-enforcing of your personality. It may be best to get a professional to help you optimize your social media profiles. Be sure to add your social media handles to your resume and cover letters.
The newspapers are a good source of information on job openings and you should take advantage of them. In your strategy you can add a daily scan of major newspapers to discover job openings for applications.
Another strategy in your job search is to use internships and apprenticeships where the openings arise or by targeting a few companies to request for internships and you can add to work for free to build your experience and exposure. When it comes to requesting internships be persistent and determined to get a place and never give up. Don’t take no for an answer.
Make a list of all the internships or apprenticeships you will desire and send our letters to them, following it up with follow up calls and visit their offices and speak to the HR. If you keep at it, you will land one then you can use it, if for nothing at all to build your experience. Most likely you may be absorbed into the job if you proof yourself and there is an opening. Add it to your how to find a job arsenal.
6. Preparing for key interview questions
Another strategy is to prepare for job interviews so that when you land an interview you can easily navigate it and come out on top. Interviews have a structure and there are common questions that you can prepare on. You can prepare generally and prep these interview questions often to build your interview skill. Then when you have an interview you can look at the keywords and job description and prepare more specifically and by now most of what you prepped generally will come into play.
7. Employment agencies
Another strategy will be to work with employment agencies who are specialized in a particular sector or will help you prepare to take on the crowded job space. You can register with employment agencies to send you job alerts or to do your job search. However, you need to choose with care those that have a good reputation.
8. Create profiles on job boards
Create job profiles that land you a job in several avenues particularly on job boards. Some employers browse through profiles and contact job seekers through that avenue. It will not hurt to create several profiles on many job boards and jobs website.
9. Offering to work for free
Yes, offer to work for free telling your potential employer you will want to gain experience and support the company grow. If you ask many employers, you will certainly have a chance to work for one employer. It may well turn out that you will grow into the job and eventually be employed with the company.
Job search tactics
On how to find a job, it is key to have daily and weekly tactics you employ to reach the most employers and be noticed. There are tools you can employ and together with a great routine you can be on the highway to your next job. Below are a few tactics you can employ.
1. Applications schedule
You should maintain an applications schedule and you should set aside two or three days in the week that you dedicate to drafting applications and sending them out. It could be a daily routine, or you choose what is suitable to you. An applications schedule will help send out hundreds of applications that will bring your interviews.
2. Job search log
Keep a job search log to record all the job search activities you carry out. In your job search log, you will record and document all the applications you send, title of jobs applied, where they went, the login and passwords of online application platforms. A job search log will help you stay organized to track your applications and your job search activities.
3. Job search calendar
Another important tactic is to employ the use of a job search calendar. In the calendar plan out all the activities you will be carrying out with their time and expected results. Your calendar should have entries of your application activities, interview prepping, interview dates and any other relevant activities you should be keeping track.
4. Weekly Interview prep
Have a day in the week for interview prepping even if you have no interviews. The more you practice the more you will be conversant with handling interview questions. Your prep could be with a professional and it’s preferred, or you can do it with any of your support network of friends or family.
5. Cold calling
It is not the optimal option, but you can send out unsolicited applications to organizations with subsequent follow ups. The key is to research your organizations well and send out applications that they will be interested in or take notice. So, you will have to research what the gaps are in the organization, skills required and much more then tailor your applications to address issues. With that you will be noticed and may land some interviews.
- Developing your pitch
Develop your elevator pitch which basically is on why you are the best suited for a job. In your elevator pitch make sure to inject what your skills are, how they have help other employers and how you will put it to use in your new company. Your pitch should elaborate your work experience, successes and how you would make a difference.
Your elevator pitch should be well rehearsed and internalized. Practice your pitch severally before several audience and seek feedback to sharpen it.
7. Tailored Cover letters and resume
Don’t use generic cover letters, CVs or resumes in your applications. For each application make sure to read the job description making a list of the keywords and tailor your applications to the current job opening.
8. Networking on LinkedIn
Social media is grossly underutilized, and many people are not optimally using the networking opportunities on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn join specific groups and make yourself useful contributing to discussions and volunteering for many things. Search through profiles of employers, recruiters and headhunters and approach them by sending out messages.
You can also use LinkedIn to find people that can help you prepare for an interview or meet recruiters that can be helpful in your job search. You may also use it to contact insiders that can help you with some information on a job interview or upcoming job openings. The possibilities are huge!
9. In person visit to employers
In your job search tactics, add to your strategy a knocking on doors strategy with certain days of the week dedicated to reaching out to HR departments and talking with company employees. Go in and ask to see the HR department, tell them who you are and what you can offer and ask for any openings. Be sure to have a copy of your CV or resume to drop off with the employers you visit. You can visit an employer more than once if there is an opportunity for a follow up or you have a new idea to engage them on.
10. Job intel
A crucial part of your job search is intelligence gathering of upcoming jobs. As a tactic send out word to wherever possible, set up job alerts, search the web, visit company careers pages and gather as much information on the jobs you’re interested in as possible.