Job hunting advice
If you are like most people already part way through your working life, you will have spent much more time doing a job than looking for a career. Initially the prospect of reviewing your career, developing career options and then searching for opportunities and attending interviews can be daunting.
The purpose of this article is to put forward some practical hints to job hunting, to explain what action is involved, and to make sure you are aware of other sources of information and help, public and private, which could be useful to you.
To be successful in your job hunt you should tackle it the same way as you would any other task. That means you should start by defining your problem based on research and analysis.
Then you can identify possible courses of action and decide which to take. Once you have embarked on a particular course you will need to assess and review regularly how effective it has been and change direction if things are not turning out as planned.
Consider investing in a professional career coach/consultant to assist you throughout this vital and complex process!
Motivation and attitudes
You must understand the difficulty of the task you are embarking on and realise that it will require a great deal of hard work, dedication and tenacity.
You must accept the fact that finding a new position or career is a full-time job in itself. Jobs are to be found and success will be yours if you set about this in a business-like way, and if you work at it methodically and diligently as you worked in your past job. When you accept that your job hunt is going to be very demanding you will start off on the right foot.
It may be demanding, but you can have a lot of fun along the way. You will meet new people and see new places of work.
Checkpoint list on termination of employment
1. Relationship with your present Company
If it is humanly possible never leave your existing firm on bad terms. It is worth the effort to smooth over difficulties with Senior Executives even if this is the main reason for leaving.
"Never shut one door till another door is open" Do not resign unless you have an alternative position to go to. Begin to market yourself as soon as you are sure that you wish to leave your present employment.
If you are being made redundant make sure that you receive at least the minimum legal requirements with regard to: termination allowance, holiday pay, superannuation and any other funds. Register for unemployment benefits as these take some weeks to come through, and the regular payments may be a help to you during the period of your job hunt. Insist that your firm to pay the full cost of Professional Outplacement Services.
Obtain references and Letter of Service stating your job specifications and areas of responsibility and experience.
Telephone referees are the most likely outcome as many firms now forbid their staff from giving written references (don't be personally offended by this).
Hidden job market
Most people can come up with 25-50 names at first, and then they will gradually remember dozens more as time goes on. These are your primary contacts, the ones you know directly. They do not have to be people who have job openings, but rather, they become part of your communication system, your publicity agents and your information sources.
More important, some of them will give you names of their business contacts, which could provide you entree to your target companies. These secondary contacts form a bridge for you to get to see the decision makers in your target companies.
This is a much more potent way of soliciting interviews than writing letters or even meeting recruiters. The decision makers will often be aware of their human resources needs long before an official job vacancy is declared...you are now tapping into the "hidden job market".
Linked networks ARE USUALLY THE MOST EFFECTIVE SOURCE OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES.
Studies consistenly show that the biggest contributor to career success is having an OPEN NETWORK. In other words, people who connect with others will enjoy much better career prospects.
Using LinkedIn now forms the core to your job hunting, and as with your resume it needs to be developed to the highest professional standards.
Personal contacts and their importance
It is absolutely vital that you use your personal contacts to the fullest advantage to help you in your job search. These may include:
Senior executives in other companies
People who have been your clients or customers
Former suppliers or people who you have been a customer of
Personal contacts at seminars or functions
It is impossible to over-state the importance of using the contacts you will have from your business and personal life. A successful job campaign is more than just finding a job - it is about finding a job that suits you.
Many people are reluctant to use their existing contacts, but this is not the time for modesty or embarrassment in letting others become involved in your job hunt.
You should compile a list of personal contacts and then send an email with your CV attached. Most personal contacts only know you in a certain way and do not know the total you. Telephone follow-up is most important. These contacts should be as meaningful as possible by involving the people concerned in your job hunting plans. For instance, give them all the facts and information about yourself, ask them for names, contacts, suggestions or any information that could be of help to you.
You could be very pleasantly surprised at how successful this will be. Many of our clients have been offered a job through this method of using personal contacts.
The primary resource during the job hunt is people
One of your most precious resources during a job hunt is people. You may have some strong feelings about "using people" and you may be reluctant to ask for help. After you complete your job hunt however, you will realise that the majority of the information which led you to your final destination came from people.
Technology is great for research and connecting, however never forget that at the end of any recruitment process there is a real live person or persons making the final hiring decision.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein