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  • Lori A. Jazvac, MRW

Do a Smart & Thorough Job Search to Gauge Job Search Setbacks

The way jobs are found has drastically changed over the years. Yet, the mindset and approach of many jobseekers still goes by the old paradigm: use one common job search method –– apply online –– and simply wait until you get called. Or apply to every agency out there and wait to get called.

* Challenge yourself to eliminate ineffective job search strategies from your agenda.

A combination of factors has made job search more comprehensive. You are now likely competing against numerous jobseekers –– not only locally –– but across the globe, with equally strong or stronger qualifications and credentials. Employers’ expectations have been steadily increasing over the years along with turnover. This calls for a compelling résumé portfolio that sets you apart along with a reliable job search strategy.

As a jobseeker, you may find yourself encountering different situations –– some pleasant and others that test every fibre of your patience and determination. Many of these scenarios call for more than just having a strong set of marketable skills, but a firm foundation of networking expertise and good judgment.

Have you ever come across any of the following scenarios?

--> “There is a better job out there for you! Post your resume now to the largest network of recruiters on the planet.” So you post, apply, then wait..yet real results are yet to be seen.

--> Have you ever been offered a freelance role that requires little or little experience, pays little, and demands a high-volume workload within strict deadlines –– requiring you to invest all your time and energy?

--> Have you ever have been invited by a recruiter to pay a certain fee or membership in exchange for them to find you a suitable position along with free career resources. Time passes, and suddenly you wonder if that “dream job” will ever appear.

--> Were you ever advised by your family friend or neighbour to apply to a new role or contract opening up at their company? He or she tells that you that your résumé will get passed to the hiring manager immediately. When you follow up, your friend seems to bail out last minute. You take matters into your hands and contact the hiring manager and ironically, he is not even aware of the referral.

In fact, the last scenario has the potential to hinder your relationship with your friend or neighbour. It may leave you confused as to the reason for the suddenly missed opportunity and likely cause you to doubt the value of networking.

Solution: Scrutinize the quality of your connections beforehand and don’t believe everything you hear –– use your fine instincts along with a healthy dose of logic.

These scenarios are all reflections of common job search setbacks. The answer:

* Have a robust strategy in place: Apply discretion throughout your job search

In the typical online job search world, you may be applying to several posted jobs, when, in some cases, the employer may have already pre-selected someone qualified –– either internally or externally –– with solid connections or referrals.

* Remember that job search lies in your hands.

Articulate your unique value and forecast and prospect opportunities. Invest in relationship building with informational interviews.

If a new company is opening up, or you hear of labour market developments in your field or industry, this may a great opportunity to “strike while the iron is hot.” Check if any career opportunities are posted on the company website as well.

* Opportune timing and relationship building means everything in job search.

* Job searching goes beyond applying via online job boards.

The “hidden job market” represents a goldmine of opportunities that many jobseekers are simply unaware of or think that it does not exist.

* The reality: the hidden job market won’t come to you –– you must uncover it.

Because 80% of opportunities are not posted online, a more strategic networking approach is required. In fact, the more time you spend connecting with others while leveraging solid brand marketing collateral, you can maximize your results.

* What works effectively is doing strategic job actions consistently.

Many jobseekers apply online to every opportunity, then blame not getting called for interviews due to those unforgiving ATS systems or the actual résumé itself. But often they don’t bother to uncover relevant information about the company or role, or aren’t fully qualified to meet the criteria outlined in the job postings.

Have your résumé recustomized, while partnering with your existing and new networks to land the job that you want and the one where you will truly shine.

My advice?

  • Do solid research. Use your intuition. Don’t attempt extravagant job search methods to gain attention and don’t fall for job search scams that may request you to provide personal or confidential information or invest money upfront –– remember to conduct your due diligence and maintain ethics.

  • Leave behind outdated job search methods. Align yourself with a proactive and strategic job search that involves a clear career focus and prospects. Know and present your unique value.

  • Spend about 25%–30% applying online and diversify your job search methods.

  • The best way to secure job opportunities is with solid brand marketing collateral in conjunction with trusted networking –– building and sustaining relationships with trusted, like-minded professionals.

  • Have reliable and updated references –– keep them informed about your experience and skills as well as your next career move. This is a key piece to maintaining your credibility and solidifying your job offer.

  • Follow-up. Remain focused, positive, and consistent with your job search efforts.

Contact Creative Horizons Communications to help position your career on the right track with a compelling Master-level résumé package and a smart job search strategy.

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