Job Hunting Skills: Sound Advice
Job Hunting Skills: After the inevitable slow down in employment activities before Christmas, it is time to refocus and push even harder to secure employment in 2012. A highly competitive employment market means expectations have risen, more candidates competing for same roles and there are generally fewer vacancies on offer.
Time To Prepare & Plan Ahead
Despite this gloomy outlook, it is worthwhile remembering a few positive actions when commencing job hunting activities can achieve immense things and result in a successful 2012. It is worthwhile remembering that a few simple adjustments and adopting a more focused approach can often make a big difference.
Completely Review Everything!
It is critical to review job hunting strategies, target companies/headhunters and career objectives because these may have changed. Effectively starting again (or back-tracking a little) in terms of developing a robust career plan may yield different motivations, goals, challenges and ways of doing things. Remember to evaluate job hunting techniques, find out what worked and review successes. Alternatively, enlist a third party to review career strategies, targeting/positioning and CV documents to gain an objective view and help identify unique selling points, etc
Opportunities for Good Candidates
Clearly there are opportunities for good candidates who can market and present themselves effectively. Many people fall at the first hurdle and fail to get the basics right! An effective CV is an absolute must these days to stand out from the crowd. It is not about making a CV look good or just listing things, it must represent the candidate by conveying evidence of suitability, value added skills/areas of expertise and track record of achievement.
Make Adjustments to CV – Be Ready!
Ensure all CV documentation is updated to include most recent positions, changes in contact details and add to skills profile, etc. People forget to update CVs – inaccurate contact information means candidates cannot be contacted or candidates do not have a CV that is immediately ready to respond to vacancies as they arise. Alternatively, the CV may need a complete overhaul or transformation to make it stand out amongst similar competing candidates.
Hidden Job Market
Upto 70% of employment opportunities are never advertised, so it is vitally important to have a balanced strategy using a number of different job hunting techniques. Reaching the ‘hidden’ job market and effective networking are going to make the difference for many. There are many job search help resources to choose from, each with their own twist or advice to give different perspectives on how to find opportunities.
Most people are reactive and uncertain about what they want to do and why. Removing uncertainty and being nicely focused is not only self-motivating, but it also helps to develop a more targeted (focused) approach to job hunting. Also, leaving no stone unturned, getting into a routine of searching for vacancies and keeping an up-to-date database to track employment search activities always helps.
Job Hunting 2012: Be Different!
Be different from the rest. Doing something innovative, unique or different from the rest will help create opportunities. Many people wait for email alerts to be received into their inbox, but this is the least proactive yet most competitive route. Consider, how many people receive those same emails? Try something new like delving into the hidden job market (i.e. attending networking events, using old contacts, building relationships with headhunters, etc).
Flexible Approach Required
Be flexible. Employers these days will not take the risk or commit to long-term employment contracts due to uncertain business trading times. Offering flexibility (i.e. short-term projects or contracts) can be a valuable way into an organisation to show capabilities and long-term potential – this can often lead to bigger and better things (also reduces the hiring risk for both parties). Flexibility may also involve working outside a specific geographical area or taking on board additional responsibilities for example.
Review Contacts & Continue Networking
Review contacts, extend networks and establish further contact to verify possible opportunities. It is not necessarily your immediate contact that is in the best position to help, but they may know of someone who can help. This happens more than people think. Another way of extending networks with headhunters, companies and industry-specific groups is via LinkedIn (LinkedIn Profile Writing Services).
Forecast for 2012
It is obviously very difficult to forecast economic fortunes and employment trends in extremely challenging times, but companies cannot continually put off investments for major projects, there is always transitional employment (i.e. natural hiring and retiring of staff) and there are many companies that thrive in challenging times (survival of the fittest).
This means that opportunities are always likely to arise, but it also means that it is critically important to be prepared, focused and ready to react to situations. There are opportunities for good candidates, who present themselves well, offer a degree of flexibility and are focused (self-motivated) on overall goals.
Finally, a balanced job hunting strategy will always throw up opportunities, whether it is sending applications directly, applying speculatively, networking through contacts, using LinkedIn, attending networking events, job fairs, using professional associations, registering with recruitment consultants, building relationships with executive headhunters or just receiving email alerts – it all counts!
Above all, BE PREPARED!
Good luck for 2012. Happy New Year!