The major difference between successful and unsuccessful job hunters is not some factor out there such as a tight job market, but the way they go about it.” R. Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute.
If you’re serious about securing a job, you’ll certainly treat it like a job and stack everything in your favour. This can mean:
- Asking your family to be your personal cheering squad – seriously; you’ll need it! There’s nothing better than someone who’ll pat you on the back when you’re down and suffered a few rejections. They’re the ones who should be giving you pep talks and carrying you through the hard times.
- Creating a schedule; a plan of attack. If you’re unemployed, this should mean you put in at least 7 hours a day in finding a job – treat it like your full time job. If you’re employed, spare at least 20 hours a week – that is, treat it like a part time job.
- Developing a strong relationship with your local job network provider or recruitment firm. Bug them (within reason!).
- Networking with your friends and acquaintances. Get in their face and tell the world you’re available!
- Forming a mentoring / coaching relationship.
- Conducting extensive research about various companies, your industry, and your occupation. Keep your knowledge current and up-to-date.
Getting back to point two above. I can well imagine the gasp of horror when you read it. Spend 7 hours a day on job hunting?! But how?
If you’re currently spending half an hour each day in looking at job ads on the Internet and buzzing off the same old application each time, please stop! Challenge yourself, your thinking, and you could halve the time it takes to find a job!
Halve, hey? It is possible. It all comes down to your approach. Think about it – there are thousands of businesses out there… do they all advertise? No. Jobs are secured by other methods.
I have previously raved on about the ‘marketing’ aspect of your resume; and your job hunt is no different. Just as you should always look at the aspect of ‘why’ a hiring manager should employ you (eg: looking at it from the employer’s perspective), you should take an employer’s approach in seeking a job.
So how do businesses try and gain your custom? Predominantly, advertising. You can do the same thing. Listed here are some fantastic methods to help you – something which could halve your job hunt!
- Telemarketing: do you know which employer impresses you? Who would you like to work for? Undertake some telemarketing! Personally phone the businesses you would like to work for and advise of your availability and what you have to offer.
- Direct Mail: plan an effective public relations campaign. Again, targeting the employers you personally admire and would like to work for, put together a killer cover letter and / or resume and post to the business. Ensure you phone the organisation to gain the hiring manager’s name – personalise your mail! An alternative to a cover letter and resume is your very own marketing / promotional flier. Be creative. Dare to be different.
- Personal Marketing: again, targeting the employers you would like to work for, personally call into these organisations and offer your services to the hiring manager. Don’t be frightened to take this approach. Sure, half the time you may not get past the receptionist – but take the ‘glass half full’ (not empty) approach. It’s the other half which counts. Make sure you have a cover letter ready which thanks them for their time; summarising your strengths and abilities as discussed with that person. This is similar to a letter you would send out after an interview. If you can’t get past the receptionist leave your own personalised ‘calling card’ – similar to a business card.
- Personal Advertising: we’ve expanded on ‘being an individual’ in our Résumé Guide and the different methods you can employ to get noticed. This includes placing an A5 flier on community noticeboards (including the pizza joint – hiring managers do go out and read things like that; they too kill time whilst waiting!), or inserting a short advertisement in your local newspaper.
- Opportunity Development: join some clubs to network. Ensure you have your ‘calling card’ ready – on the front you should have a headline which screams your area of expertise, along with your contact details; on the back concisely list your key attributes, skills and achievements.
Then of course you have the more traditional methods, namely applying for advertised vacancies and / or posting your particulars somewhere on the Internet.
Attitude counts for a lot these days – the five marketing points above will certainly demonstrate your initiative and attitude to a hiring manager.
If you were a hiring manager who was just that day thinking about putting someone on in the next couple of weeks, and you were suddenly presented with a super-duper résumé which demonstrated all the qualities, skills and qualifications you were looking for – don’t you think you would give that person a call? You bet.
Good luck 🙂