In 2010 and beyond, a number of candidates will be out in the job market. No doubt the number of candidates in the job market increases during an economic crisis when reorganization, restructuring and redundancies have increased the size of the number of candidates seeking work.
Candidates need to get used to alternative methods of job search. The two methods recommended are:
1. Becoming a job Search Entrepreneur
2. Using alternative technology.
Becoming a Job Search Entrepreneur means running your job search campaign like your own business. This can be done through:
- Avoiding mass marketing by not sending your resume to a number of recruiters and not posting your resume on a number of websites. This is a slow and tedious method which often fails to bring any results.
- Conducting extensive research. Here are some areas of research:
i. Corporate literature of the organisation you want to work for. This will provide information about the organisation.
ii. Determine the decision makers within an organisation.
iii. Determine and research on the products and services the organisation offers.
iv. Research on tips for changing jobs.
v. Research whether the organisation wants to see a resume first.
vi. Research on techniques for behavioural interviews. Write down as many possible questions as you can and answer these ensuring that specific behavioural examples are provided.
vii. Research any other relevant information on the organisation.
- Bookmark the site of the organisation and store this in your favorites directory.
- From the information researched, determine your areas of interest.
- Examine the products and services the organisation provides and ensure that those that match your perception, interest and previous experience are identified.
- Make a list of organisations with similar products and services that are located in the geographical area of your interest.
- Identify the specific decision makers in each of these organisations.
- Proceed to develop your strategies to make an approach to the individual organisations.
Alternative Technology is what I mean by using other forms of job search techniques. These include:
- Using sites such as Linked- in to search for and find work.
- Creating a video presentation on yourself and placing this on sites such as U Tube or sending this to a number of decision makers.
- Writing self marketing articles.
- Creating blogs and websites.
These techniques have been successfully used by a number of candidates to find work. Used effectively, the techniques can be very useful in job search.
No one wants to go around the town with their rolling briefcases or school messenger bag on their shoulders while in search for the right job because they had been rejected by different companies already.
Job haunting can really be a tedious not to mention frustrating feat to accomplish. Printing the resume as well as the picture to go with it is expensive. Every tick of the clock means that your time is ticking away only to find out that you didn’t make it to the final cut. Some, because of the number of rejections they have accepted, don’t even want to apply anymore.
But there are different available techniques that can save your face from those embarrassing situations you have to face when the manager tells you that you are not qualified. All you have to actually do is to master the job search techniques so your employer will spot you from the cloud and no one will have the guts to throw you out of nowhere.
1. Resume and cover letter. This is a person’s first step in catching his future employer’s attention. A good resume followed with a good academic standing is a way on turning your score to your boss from zero to hero. It will serve as your first Ace in the game. A good and well constructed resume can earn a positive response. Pictures may not appear that important but accept the fact that it can change a lot of things. When including a photo of yourself in your resume, choose the one that looks dignified or formal.
2. Dress Up Accordingly. Although applications can be done online nowadays, some companies still prefer if the applicant will pass it personally because of some reasons. If you will pass your application letter on a company personally, make sure that you wear appropriate clothes. Maybe dressing up on business attire may not be necessary, at least casual clothes are appropriate. Do not bring along with you your rolling briefcases or school messenger bag for they might be a little inappropriate.
3. Apply only if you’re qualified. To increase your chances of being accepted for a position, pass your resume only if you know that you are qualified or you have met all of the required skills. Passing resumes to any position for pure luck is not a very good idea since the hiring body will still skip your application letter.
4. Nail down the interview. There are some companies that conduct interviews even without confirming that you are qualified for the job. First impressions make quite an impact especially to the employer. So you should be able to appear like the person they are actually looking for although the other applicants are highly qualified than you are. Answer the questions wittingly and never show doubt to your statements. Also, appear approachable but not too friendly to give the impression that you are a serious worker.
Job search techniques are not a lesson one should memorize. It is mastered through frequent circumstances when one looks for a job. The more one is exposed to job searches, the more he becomes an expert.
If you are looking for a job by looking at the online job boards and applying online, then you are in for a lot of work. It’s true that online job postings are easy to search and applying from the comfort of your own home office seems to be socially easy, and low risk. It’s also low reward and time intensive. Count on about forty applications for each interview. Then count on ten interviews for each job that you land. If you do the math, that means that you fill out 400 job applications or send out 400 resumes online for one job. Does that still sound like an ‘easy job search technique’?
There is a better job search technique, but it takes some work upfront.
Step 1: Identify your most promising position. Make sure people are truly hiring for this job, by looking for job listings filled. Also make sure that you have the skills for this position.
Step 2: Identify a few promising companies that you can work in this position for. Learn whatever you can about what challenges these companies face and what they value in employees.
Step 3: Find out who within that company is the decision maker about hiring for this position. You can use public records,or the knowledge of headhunters or the knowledge of colleagues working within the company.
Step 4: Use your network to introduce you to this contact. This can be your personal network of friends and colleagues, or your online community on LinkedIn, or can be through a common networking event. You may be able to meet this person, or may be able to talk to someone who can give you an introduction. If Jane is the decision maker and Joe has referred you to Jane, use this as a simple introduction, “Joe suggested that I talk to you about this position.”
Jane will probably tell you to apply through a process, but you will have an inside edge–your name will be familiar to her and Joe’s influence will lend you credibility.
Step 5: Repeat. The more decision-makers who are familiar with your name, the better your odds of landing the job.
Also notice that your research of the company and the decision-makers will give you an edge within an interview. You will know why you want to work for the company; why you want the job; what challenges the company faces and how the company ‘ticks’.
This technique requires thought, work and willingness to engage with your network. It’s not easy, but far easier than 400 resume submissions and 400 rejections.
Hundreds of thousands of positions were obtained by job seekers last month, so employers are definitely hiring. If you are frustrated in your job search, then perhaps you should rethink your job search plan. Here is a recap of job search techniques and how to get the most out of them.
The first thing a job seeker does is head for the job boards. After all, isn’t it exciting to find positions that fit you like a glove? The chief problem is that the job boards are the most competitive way to way to find a position and have the least probability of success – generally less than 5% of jobs are filled this way according to industry statistics. That is not to say that you shouldn’t use them – it just means that they should not be the heart of your job search.
Start by using Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com as these are job board aggregators, meaning they pull jobs from all the other job boards as well as company web sites to give you a single place to find openings. Also look at Craig’s List which is becoming a great place to find local job postings. And do NOT apply over the Internet. Yes that’s right, pull yourself out of the big pile of resumes in HR and use this simple technique.
First, find out who the hiring manager or key influencers are. You can usually do this by going to LinkedIn.com and doing a company search. Once you have their name and phone number give them a call and say something like: “A friend told me you might be interested in someone with my background. I have (insert your 2-sentence pitch), and I have just a few questions for you.”
Then ask them some questions that show you’ve done some homework on their company. Be very friendly, down to earth and personable and build some rapport, At some point they will ask you for your resume at which point you have now put yourself at the top of the decision maker’s pile and skipped the HR screeners. Using this trick can be the difference between being screened out and getting noticed.
Recruiters have about a 5-12% effectiveness rate in securing a new position for you so you should consider whether they should be a part of your plan. Here we are only talking about those who are paid a fee by the employer, and I would caution you to steer clear of those who want you to pay the fee for their services.
Start by considering whether the type of position is typically filled by recruiters. For example, recruiters will not generally work with entry level people or career changers as employers are paying them a hefty 20-30% of your first year’s compensation as a fee for their finding you. Entry level people are easy to find and a recruiter will generally not offer a career changer up as a candidate if they have no track record in the desired field.
If you decide to work with recruiters, then use a service (hint: like ours) that will present your resume to the largest number. These are inexpensive and very effective, especially in saving you time. Remember that recruiters in California can be searching for candidates on Texas, so do not limit your search locally.
Networking is the king of effectiveness in job searching as it has always had over a 50% effectiveness rate. Especially in this market, networking should be the heart of your search plan as employers are much more inclined to hire someone who is referred to them as compared to a stranger. Networking is not as much fun as applying through job boards and requires a good deal more discipline, but the difference is not only in its effectiveness rate, but also in the quality of the job you obtain.
Most people think networking is sharing your resume with friends and neighbors but this is the worst thing you can do as you just lost control of the process as you wait for the phone to ring. Networking as a subject is a long article unto itself, but here are the key techniques.
Develop an “elevator pitch”, the 3 to 5 sentences that describe who you are and why an employer should want to speak to you. Develop support materials that include a networking business card too. Also make sure you are posted into LinkedIn.com which is becoming the top networking site for professionals.
Now identify the 5-10 companies you are most interested in joining. You can use LinkedIn which sports a fairly robust company search tool to do this. Then research the company online using a variety of excellent tools like Zoominfo, Spoke, Highbeam and many others you can easily find. Try to learn as much about the company as possible so you can impress an insider.
The next step is to identify people inside the company which you can also do through LinkedIn. Now your job is to network yourself into a meeting where you can impress them with your knowledge of their challenges, and how you can help them. Start by thinking about people you know who knows someone who is inside the firm. It’s great if you can get to the decision maker and it’s equally good if you can get an insider to walk your resume into their office. This is your Step 1 in networking.
Step 2 is to expand your search to other firms. Remember that good networking is asking people for advice as people are much more likely to give you advice than help you get a job. Here you want to know about industries, companies or people you should talk to who can help you focus your efforts. An easy, painless way to get going with this is to go to the regularly held networking meetings that are advertised in your local paper.
Now, if you are unemployed, plan on calling 25 people and having 3-5 face-to-face meetings per week. This is where discipline comes in, but after you have done this a couple of times, it becomes easier. Ask each person who else you should talk to and add them to your database.
In short, your job search plan should include the 3 major ways to contact an employer: job boards, recruiters and networking. Recognizing the different effectiveness rates of each in securing a new position, make sure you put a heavy emphasis on your networking efforts. Remember that although there are far fewer jobs open then last year, you only need one. Follow these steps and you will slash your job search time considerably.