When you’re job hunting it’s easy to get stuck in a behind-the-scenes rut, hiding behind a computer and applying for job after job after job. Not only is this potentially unhealthy, it’s likely you are not doing yourself any favours either. With every online advertisement you are applying for, there are likely to be hundreds of others competing for the same position. High odds indeed.
Below are our best job hunting tips for finding work!
1. Networking: A mix of perfect timing and interacting
It is estimated that approximately 60% of all jobs are not advertised. The reason for this is that before business managers decide to spend money on online advertising job boards (and some of them can be very expensive), they often spend a bit of time spreading the word in their internal and external networks.
Some of the best networking can be done by attending business chamber networking events. Here you’ve got a whole room of business people whose top question is ‘and which company are you from?’. Launch into how you are currently looking for opportunities and you wanted to meet the local business owners in your region. Politely ask everyone you speak to for their card and whether you can send them your resume, they may just know someone who knows someone who is looking for someone just like you.
The other way to network is what is commonly called ‘the grapevine’, where you contact everyone you know and tell them you are looking for work and to spread the word. Of course, there are social media sites too and feel free to let everyone know you are looking for work. Keep it upbeat and positive and never say anything negative about past employers, your future employer could be seeing your posts.
The point is, spread your intentions far and wide – others will respect your proactivity and help you to spread the news.
2. Direct approach
Write down a list of companies in your area that you would like to work for – choose your top 20 and the following week, do the same. When choosing your companies, think about the roles they would require and match them with your current skills, even your transferable skills. For example, if you’ve worked in hospitality and were great at chatting to customers, you could probably work in retail, community services, or in a sales position. If you are looking for an apprenticeship or a traineeship to gain skills for that industry, mention that in your cover letter too.
Once you have your list, dress appropriately, bring your resume and a short cover letter and visit them all in person. Ask if you can speak to the manager. If they are not available, leave your resume with the receptionist and ask for the manager’s phone number and email or, if possible, a better time to call in.
This takes effort but you can view this as securing your own ‘self-created’ interviews. You’re getting in front of the company without having to wait for a call back to an interview. You are bound to get knock-backs but the more you visit the more chances you will have of appearing before an organisation at exactly the right time – ie just before they were about to advertise. Voila – you were sent from the heavens!
3. Think about changing industries
Some industries are set to have more employment growth than others, while certain industries are experiencing major skills shortages. The federal and state governments are offering incentives in these skills shortage areas to attract employers, apprentices and trainees. These can be found on the National Skills Needs List.
It’s a great idea to do your research and consider industries where your transferable skills could suit, as well as industries that are likely to thrive in the future and need workers. You never know where your next career path may lead you!
4. Of course, you continue to apply online!
We’re not telling you to stop applying for online advertised positions, in fact, we’re telling you the opposite. The odds increase the more job applications you submit. For instance, for every 10, 20 or even 30 or more applications (depending on the roles you are applying for), you may get one interview. We can also show you how to nail your written application every time to further increase the chances of getting an interview, as well as how to succeed in that interview and land the job.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Yes, finding work is a full-time job in itself and it can be extremely tough on your psyche. This is where we tell you to stay positive, as cliché as that sounds. Without a positive outlook, you lessen your odds greatly and if ever there is a time to ‘be positive’ it is now. This time period could be instrumental into leading you to something really great, so make the most of it. If you are feeling stressed or negative, take a breather, go for a walk, swim or meditate to get some perspective.
Be realistic and objective. Don’t see rejection as a personal one and realise that there is a lot of competition. Others may have been slightly more suited than you for that role. Keep networking and applying and eventually, you will be that person too.
You got this – now go forth and conquer!