You can spend a lot of time browsing through job sites and submitting generic resumes without really attracting any employer’s interest. If you don’t apply a strategic approach to your job search, this might be the case.
According to a survey, employers receive up to 137 applications per job from both job boards and social media networks. It is therefore a competitive landscape and your application must stand out if it is to be selected.
The same study also revealed that organisations are 250% more likely to rate their talent acquisition strategy as very effective if they prioritise employer brand. So, while you list you preferred job roles, single out renowned brands you will like to work for when you apply.
Effective job search and attracting the interest of employers requires careful planning, research and strategy. To make the most of your job search and start off on your chosen career path, use these steps as a guide.
Understand the criteria for your job search
What are your 5 major considerations in a job? Is it the company culture, remuneration or the role itself? Some people rate proximity to their home as a key factor because commuting long distances can be stressful.
Whatever it is, let it inform the specific job you apply for. It’s no use going through all the trouble only to reject an offer because you didn’t do a thorough research on the company. If you understand what drives you as an employee, it will be easier to direct your search according to positions that suit your competencies and ambitions.
Flexibility is also important- being too rigid about what you want can deprive you of great opportunities at your dream company. Sometimes, you may be interviewing for the “wrong” role at a company you love. Instead of accepting it and underperforming or turning it down altogether, be honest with the interviewer about your situation. Chances are there might be vacancy for a more suitable role for you.
Draw up a jobs list that matches your standards
Once you identify what you want in a job, this method can be useful in guiding your applications. Make a list of jobs to track information. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Sheryl Sandberg used an Excel spreadsheet for this purpose. However, you can use any format you prefer.
A list will always keep you organised. Check each job application as you work your way down. Chances are you will come across something you love before you exhaust it. However, always keep your options open.
Study the job description carefully
It is easy to get carried away by the name of the company. Unfortunately, people have accepted a job offer only to find out that the role was nothing they expected, simply because they failed to read the description.
During your job search, studying the job description may be time consuming but it prevents a lot of problems later. It is also a time saver; applying for a job you are unfit for may not only be disappointing, but prevent you from targeting more suitable roles.
Companies usually have limited leeway on their compulsory requirements, whether it is job experience or a specific university qualification. However, it shouldn’t stop you from applying for a position you feel confident about. Be ready to defend your stance, how your skill and experience will help you deliver excellently in that position.
Customise your CV and cover letter
Write you CV and cover letter to speak directly to the company, role, keywords and job requirements. Many people use one resume for over 10 applications. Recruiters can see through this and they will pass up on your application.
Take time to learn about the company; who is the HR manager? What does the job entail? Are you a proper fit for the company’s culture? Include all these in your application and it will have a genuine tone.
Turn on your referral network
They often say the best jobs are not advertised, which is why it pays to attend business conferences and seminars relevant to your industry. Things like career-related talks, lectures and alumni events can work to your advantage. Meet with people who might be looking for your skills, exchange business cards and follow up after the event.
Also, let your friends know when you are available for new opportunities. They can be excellent job referrers since they already know you, and can sell you to prospective recruiters.
A strategic job search process will increase your chances of landing the job you deserve. More so, it ensures you are the right fit, and chances of success will be high.