“Looking for a job itself is a full-time job.” – We often hear people say it when they are in a job search. Everyone has their own job search strategy. However, there are specific steps you shouldn’t neglect throughout your process. How can you navigate this process to land your dream job faster? Here are some tips to consider:
Position Yourself and Do Your Research
The most inefficient way to conduct a job search is to apply for jobs blindly and hope to get a hit. Self-evaluation and market research are necessary before submitting your applications. Below are some questions you may want to consider while preparing:
If you are an experienced professional:
- What have you been working on in the past years? Is this also something you are good at?
- Which direction do you want to head into: follow the same path or try something new?
- Look at other people who had worked at your current position 5-10 years ago – where are they now?
- What are people making in the roles you want to have? Does your salary expectation align with the market average?
If you are a recent graduate:
- Are there any courses/topics you were interested in at school? Can you see yourself working in those fields?
- Look at other people who graduated with the same degree as you. What do they do now?
- What salary range should you ask for? Is this a number you feel satisfied with and is also competitive?
Create, Publish and Fine Tune Your Profiles
It depends on how aggressive your job search strategy is. If you are actively looking, then create accounts on all major job boards. LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Neuvoo, etc. Many of these websites have their own versions of profile templates. Take some time to fill them out—especially LinkedIn, which is the best place to build your professional social media presence.
If you prefer some privacy, you should still complete your LinkedIn profile. It can significantly boost the possibility of employers/recruiters identifying you.
While you have your online professional profiles in place, attaching a Word version resume, whether you are applying through job boards or company career sites, is also suggested.
Apply for Jobs and Keep Track of Them
Consider your job search as a project. Create a spreadsheet, and log all the jobs you have applied to. Be sure to include the position title, job code, company name, application date, latest status, and date received. This can help track your application status and avoid duplicates. It also helps to analyze your response and interview ratios, etc. Contact me if you need a template 🙂
According to Jobvite’s 2019 Job Seeker Nation Survey, although online job boards and employer career sites remain the top two places for candidates to submit their applications, nearly 50% of respondents hear about jobs through word of mouth. Another 37% say they learn through professional networks.
Reaching out to your network can significantly widen your exposure to opportunities. Don’t know where to go? Here are some options:
- Professional association –Project management institutes, marketing associations, law societies… each occupation has a location where professionals share their knowledge. They are a perfect place to connect with your peers, learn what they do, and obtain insights on job opportunities.
- Former coworkers and alumni –They are trustworthy resources who’d be more than willing to help.
- Job fair –No other place is more straightforward than here. Mixing and mingling are unnecessary.
- Recruitment agencies – A professional recruiter can be a huge help in landing your dream job. While there are countless agencies out there, not all with the big names know their business well. Identifying a reliable recruiter can sometimes be as hard as finding a great candidate.
Prepare for Interviews and Learn from Your Mistakes
This is obvious yet often overlooked. We learn from our failures, though, and the key is to analyze and improve upon them.
Why didn’t the conversation go well? Was it because of subjective or objective factors?
If it was a subjective factor, how can I adjust myself to cater to it?
If it was an objective factor, how can I fix it and prevent it from happening again next time?
Check out my 6 Tips for Interview Preparation to better prepare for your future interviews.