As our beautiful country turns 150 plus, we are reminded of the distinct values that represent Canada–freedom and inclusivity, prosperity, and abundant career opportunities along with the ability to choose our purpose and our very own career paths. We are filled with the privilege of choice. But with that choice comes great responsibility and an uncompromising work ethic.
If you are searching for a new role this summer or thinking of changing your career, many opportunities exist. The labour market offers some stiff competition--there are also twice as many candidates searching for a rewarding role. Employers' expectations are increasing.
Many people are currently working and are either unsatisfied with their job and/or work environment, their salary, or their career growth. Others may have been unemployed for some time and are becoming discouraged or simply feeling stuck. There are those who are returning to the workforce and are seeking a career transition, yet they are unsure of how to navigate a complex career transition.
Job search can be an overwhelming process at times–we’ve all been there.
It’s often filled with uncertainty and a mix of triumphs and setbacks.
Rejection…win..rejection…rejection… and the vicious cycle continues with jobseekers often failing to spot the root cause or notable patterns that could be changed in order to secure a solid job offer.
The reality? 80% of positions are not always posted, nor found online. If so, networking in conjunction with a solid resume portfolio are key components to positioning you further in the job search.
As we’re entering the peak of summer, the thought of delaying a rigorous job search for another few weeks, or even a few months in exchange for summer hangouts on patios and long walks on the beach may seem tempting. You can come up with endless excuses to postpone your job search–employers on vacation, your vacation, family responsibilities, the competitive labour market, and well, just because–it’s summer.
Yet, the choices that you make now will either lead you closer to your dream job or detract you from your career goal and delay your progress.
You can, however, control the job search with an empowered mindset and action plan by setting measurable goals and guidelines for yourself and letting prospective employers clearly know your unique value.
So how do you win the job search game?
Here are 7 helpful tips to help you stay motivated this summer with your job search:
1. Remain positive and laser-focused.
Have a clear career focus in mind. Visualize your success and think positively.
Focus on quality over quantity. You only need one company to hire you. Spend time identifying the right companies to work for rather than contacting hundreds of companies.
Eliminate time-wasters from your job search. Spend time on productive activities that are results-focused and involve measurable goal-setting.
2. Set goals, be organized, and treat the job search as a full-time job.
Take control of your job search – develop a schedule that works for you.
Write out task lists and follow them. Consistent action produces results.
Treat your job search as a project with clearly defined objectives, an action plan, and a timeline.
Approach your job search as a marketing campaign — the product you’re selling is brand “You”!
3. Understand your unique value.
Write down the reasons why a particular job is perfect for you.
Convince employers of your unique value. Creating a resume and LinkedIn profile is a great place to start with the support of a professional resume writer. Remember that prospective employers won’t necessarily know your strengths, weaknesses, or working styles.
Think results. Document specific achievements and accomplishments in your education, work experience, and/or volunteer work.
4. Keep your skills marketable.
If you’re having trouble finding a job, spend an hour or two a day taking a class to keep your skills fresh and updated.
Increase your success with a complete portfolio of career success products.
Network with other professionals searching for work.
Volunteer in your field. Spend your time doing something meaningful while keeping your skills sharp, making a valued contribution, and building your resume–it may even lead to your next job!
5. Always be consistent, track your progress, and follow-up.
Always try to find a human being to connect with at a target company. Avoid emailing generic departments.
Go the extra mile to follow up email applications with a mailed application.
Track your progress using a detailed log to spot patterns and recurring job search themes that may help you to identify strategic solutions and prospects.
Don’t overlook your own stories when trying to learn how to succeed in a job search. Look to your own history for clues on fostering a successful job search.
6. Network actively and strategically by tapping into the hidden job market.
Articulate a clear idea of what you want, cultivate a robust and active network, and execute a focused action plan that includes a stellar resume portfolio.
Focus on developing and tapping into a network of trusted connections. Determine where you want to work and contact the company directly.
Look at companies that are advertising openings to see what kinds of companies hire for the type of job you’re interested in.
Read and keep updated with labour market trends, industry, and career-related news. An innovative start-up means that employers will need ambitious talent who are well-versed in technology and social media. Forecast prospects ahead.
7. Take care and reward yourself for your progress.
Job searching can be stressful! Do something you enjoy each day.
Eat healthy, exercise, take up a new hobby, and get enough sleep during your job search. This will keep you fit and your mind focused–you’ll feel better too.
Listen to uplifting music while you’re working on your job search activities to lighten your mood and make you feel more relaxed. Feel free to sing along!
If you find that you are getting stuck, take a break. That might mean taking an afternoon off, taking a short road trip, or even securing a temporary job.
Celebrate your successes in your job search–even if you haven’t landed the job yet. Realize that if your resume is resulting in interviews, eventually you’ll secure an interview for the right job.
Be completely honest with yourself. If you find that you're experiencing more setbacks than successes, ask yourself: “Why am I having trouble finding a job?” Then aim to work on those areas. Sometimes the answers can be discovered upon recording your thoughts and feelings in a daily journal.
Avoid getting stuck in the past.
As a Certified Career Transition Coach, I see many jobseekers carrying their past setbacks with them, which hinders them from moving forward in a healthy direction.
If you were let go from a job, simply let it go. Trust that your job loss happened to help you grow and change your direction to a more fruitful one.
Didn’t get the interview for a job you really wanted? A door closed, but look for the window that is open, brimming with opportunities that could take you outside your comfort zone.
Your next job lies in front of you–-not behind you.
In the job search, there are often no truly “right” or “wrong” decisions, but rather choices we make and live with that can influence our career path.
The best choice that you can make is to seek support from a trusted career professional. Believe that your job is out there and you will find it! Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon.