This article is the last one of our series of articles about how to handle the jobhunting process. In this article, we provide you with all strategies you can use to find work and how to prioritize these strategies in order for you to maximize the efficiency of your job search process.
STEP PLAN 4: Find work
There is only one secret in finding job vacancies: the more you look/inquire/ask, the more job vacancies you will find; the more you find, the better your chances are of finding the right job for you. Roll up your sleeves and clap your detective’s hat on! Where to look for a job? Richard Bolles in his book What Color Is Your Parachute? has described 14 ways of finding a job. The percentages are the results of an American survey showing the effectiveness rate of each method:
• Using the Internet to look for job-postings or to post one’s own resume. (1%)
• Mailing out resumes to employers at random. (7%)
• Answering ads in professional or trade journals appropriate to your field. (7%)
• Answering local newspaper ads. (5-24% depending on salary demands)
• Going to private employment agencies or search firms. (5-24% depending on salary demands)
• Going to places where employers come to pick out workers, such as union hiring halls. (8%)
• Taking a Civil Service exam. (12%)
• Asking a former teacher or professor for job-leads. (12%)
• Going to the state/Federal employment service office. (14%)
• Asking family members, friends, or professionals you know for job-leads. (33%)
• Knocking on the door of any employer, factory, or office that interests you, whether they are known to have a vacancy or not. (47%)
• By yourself, using the phone book’s Yellow Pages to identify fields that interest you, then calling employers in those fields to see if they’re hiring for the kind of work you can do. (69%)
• In a group with other job-hunters, using the phone book’s Yellow Pages as above. (84%)
• Doing what is called “the creative approach to job-hunting or career-change”: doing homework on yourself, to figure out what your favorite and best skills are; then doing face-to-face interviewing for information only, at organizations in your field; followed up by using your personal contacts to get in to see, at each organization that has interested you, the person-who-actually-has-the-power-to-hire-you (not necessarily the human resources department). (86%)
Researchers discovered that one third of all job-hunters never find a job because they give up too soon. And the ones who give up most easily are the ones who are using only one job-hunting method (such as sending out resumes). 51% of those who use only one method of job-hunting abandon their job-hunt by the second month. On the other hand, of those who are using two or more methods, only 31% abandon their search by the second month. Does this mean that you should try all 14 methods? Not at all. Researchers discovered that job-hunting success increases with each additional method you use, but only up to four methods. If you use five or more of the fourteen methods listed above, job-hunting success starts to decrease. A big thank you to the American researchers and to Richard Bolles for having shared this knowledge with us!
So, which method applies to you? Each of these methods will take time. So, electing 4 of them to begin with is the right approach. Remember my advice in step 1, if you really have no clue about how to get started and you are looking for a job within your close geographic surroundings, ask colleagues, friends, acquaintances how they have found a job. Also, bear in mind that these methods are focused on the US. If you take the example of Switzerland where I have a deep professional experience, the best way to find a job is via your network. So before deciding on any method, enquire about the job market of your country/region/city. Do some research, in your chosen geographical area, on the kind of organizations which interest you, to find out what they do, and what kinds of problems/challenges they or their industry are wrestling with.
Before you do your research, make sure you:
• Know your best skills
• Know your transferable skills, especially if you are a career changer
• Tell people you know and meet that you are looking for a job each time it applies
Practice as much as you can:
• Interview techniques – every interview is a chance to improve and to understand what the goal of a recruiter is behind each question being asked
• Though interview questions
• Though interview styles
If you want to stand out during and after an interview:
• Show how you can solve a problem for the company
• Give the company a taste of the work you would do if you were hired
• Show what you can do for the company in the long term
• Write a thank you note after each interview. Writing a thank you note allows you to help the recruiter remember you, show the recruiter you have great people skills, give an opportunity to adjust or correct any wrong or vague impressions left behind, increase your chances of being offered the job
Remember never to take rejection personally. There are two kinds of employers out there: those who will be deterred by your background, and those who won’t be and will hire you – so long as you can do the job. If you get rejected by the first kind of employer, keep persevering until you find the second!
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Need help to get started, decide on a new career, practice interviews, know your skills, explore hidden potential, write your CV, build your professional brand? Contact us for private Career Counseling online sessions.