Making Your Search for a Job Successful
Do you get frustrated when you apply for a job but the position has already been filled?
Do you always use the same methods to apply?
Where do you normally look?
Let’s take a look at many ways in which you can search for a job effectively and apply for roles so that you increase your chances of gaining an interview invitation whilst not burning yourself out in the process.
The job section in newspapers remains a popular choice when looking for work and there are certainly many options to choose from both locally and nationally.
The disadvantage of these publications is that it is very costly to advertise a vacancy so descriptions are quite often limited. This makes it all the more important to research the company and its competitors to give you a greater understanding of the role.
Many local newspapers now have an online version where they have a job section so that may be worth checking out.
Trade publications and magazines can be a good option to find work in a niche market however like newspapers, these are costly to advertise.
Quite often, vacancies are filled before the publication hits the news-stands due to many only being published monthly.
Use this method positively to search for a job at potential companies that may be hiring and contact them directly.
Online Job Boards
Online job sites are becoming increasingly popular for Recruiters to add vacancies and one of the major benefits is that when a vacancy becomes available, it can be uploaded online the same day hence speeding up the process.
There are also many websites that advertise jobs specifically for certain trades and industries but finding them can be a bit of a nightmare. Often the simplest way to find specialist sites for your sector is to type into a search engine the job title you would like to apply for and this should throw up various sites which of course some will be general ones but others may be specialist.
Recruitment agencies can be a good way to find work while managing your time effectively however it is important that you find an agency and consultant that can fulfill your requirements.
Agencies can help you find both full time and temporary work and can offer valuable advice on the industry in which you work, tips on interviews and they know exactly what their clients are looking for so this could give you the edge over your competitors.
Most Recruitment Consultants earn a commission when they successfully place candidates into work so it in their best interests to work with you to help you search for a job and apply to the most appropriate for your skills and experience.
It is important to build a mutually beneficial relationship so the more specific you can be about where and when you want to work, in which sectors and your ambitions for the future, the better. Saying that you will do anything (even if you will!) is not going to push you to the forefront of the mind when a consultant is trying to go through a database of suitable candidates.
Another thing to note is that the agency may be dealing with hundreds of candidates so follow up is important. Keep calling to find out if there are any suitable vacancies, keep the agency up to date of any changes to your availability or experience and always above all else remain positive and upbeat.
Temporary work can be a great way to get your foot in the door of a company or test the water as to whether you enjoy working in perhaps a different sector.
The general way in which this works is that a Recruitment Agency will be asked by a client (the company) to fill temporary positions and they will have a pool of workers on their books with varying availability and skills. They will then call suitable staff to fulfill the work load. In most circumstances, the workers will be employed by the agency.
The benefit of finding work in this way is that as you would be employed by the agency, you don’t have to send your CV or resume multiple times or attend many interviews. You will have established a good working relationship already with the agency so you will be placed into work based on your previous contracts and reliability.
If a company is looking for temporary or seasonal workers they may have either other opportunities within the organisation or future contracts. In effect, you could go and work for them doing for example, a three month contract as a Receptionist and then get hired on a full time basis as Office Manager. Similar examples have happened many times in my experience.
Another plus is that while working there you are broadening your networking contacts and could gain additional skills.
Definitely worth thinking about?
The most important thing to remember when working with a Recruitment Agency is that you are reliable. It is absolutely acceptable to decline a job however if you accept any bookings then you must turn up.
Job Centre & Work Programme Providers
Your local Job Centre can help you in your search for a job and may be able to refer you to local Work Programme Providers or Welfare To Work organisations. Normally each area will have one or two so ask your local Job Centre who they refer to.
Many companies contact these organisations directly with vacancies so it is definitely worth considering.
Work Programme Providers can also offer you career advice, help you with reworking your CV or resume and some run free courses for the unemployed.
Most of the branches allow their customers to use their computers and internet to apply for jobs online too.
If you don’t have one of these organisations in your area then it may still be worth talking either to your nearest one or your local job centre as they may have subcontractors working locally who can still provide a service albeit on a smaller scale.
Contacting companies directly even if they don’t have vacancies advertised can prove successful and has several advantages:
- You can find out about vacancies in the pipeline before they are advertised
- Ask advice on what you need to do to be considered for future roles
- It gives you a chance to start building relationships
Think about the industry in which you want to work then look for local companies to contact.
Do they have a website that has a careers zone?
You can also register your CV or resume online with many Employers on a speculative basis so they may contact you when a suitable vacancy comes up. It is always worth keeping in touch to let them know you are still available.
Getting Your Foot In The Door
Oh, to all have our dream job and career aspirations fulfilled! What a wonderful world it would be!
One thing to consider is how to get your foot in the door. Are you looking for a career change or would like to work for a particular company but unfortunately you aren’t having any success?
Looking for ways in which you can get your foot in the door could help. Are there any vacancies that you don’t actually want to do long term but the company offers career progression? Could a lesser role offer you valuable experience?
Often jobs are advertised internally first so if you are already working for a company then you may find yourself in line for a promotion and on a career path to a vocation you have always dreamed of.
How many times have you heard of a company CEO who started off making tea? What about the millionaire entrepreneur who began a career on a factory production line but used that experience as the foundation for success?
Keep up to date with local news stories. Are any new companies coming to your area? (Many companies have relocated out of London for example in recent times) Are there any new building projects happening? What looks like a building site right now could be the venue containing your dream job in the near future. Are there any events coming up that may require temporary staff?
The more information you have, the higher your chances.
It’s Good To Talk
There’s an old saying that goes…
There are three ways to spread the word:
- Tell A Woman!
Well I did say old! It does ring true though; spread the word that you are looking for work. Word of mouth.
Who in your circle of friends, family and acquaintances can assist you? They may not be able to directly help you but they might know of someone within their extended circle who can or have heard of an opportunity through the grapevine.
Who do you know that can offer you advice? Ask, ask, ask.
As they say “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
Why not advertise yourself locally so prospective Employers know you are available? I don’t mean walk up and down the main shopping street with a sandwich board strapped to you!
Some local newspapers will allow you to take out a “Work Wanted” advert free of charge. Use this to detail your expertise or even your newly created Personal Statement.
Local newsagents and shops often have notice boards where you could advertise on a window card for a small fee per week.
Don’t forget to include details of how to contact you.
Most areas have job or recruitment fairs where you can go along (often free to attend) and meet prospective Employers, local companies and Recruitment Agencies.
These events can allow you to ask advice and apply directly for positions. This can be especially helpful if you are a graduate, have been out of work for a prolonged period of time or are looking for a career change.
Check out your local council website or newspaper what’s on page where these events are often advertised.
Social Media sites give you the opportunity to tell the world how fabulous you are and that you are looking for work.
Check out Linkedin where you can upload your career history and state that you are looking for work. Employers often search this site for candidates and you can also link in with contacts that can help you. There’s also a whole host of groups and articles on there. Definitely worth it.
Facebook is another way to network and there is now a dedicated professional sister site called Branched Out where you can set up a professional profile where you can eliminate people from seeing your friends page.
Twitter can also help you find contacts. It’s free to set up and is one of the fastest ways of spreading the word that you are available for work.
Many towns have regular networking meetings whereby local companies meet to build their contacts and increase business.
Why not look into this? If you have a skill or great experience that can benefit local businesses then you may get an offer of some freelance work or employment.
Some meetings are free to attend and some charge either a membership or attendance fee but most allow you to attend your first meeting free of charge.
Most job advertisements have a closing date and while it may seem obvious to send your application in before the deadline, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost if you spot the advert after this has passed.
What if the Recruiter hasn’t found anyone suitable?
Maybe the deadline was last week but interviews haven’t taken place yet.
It is worth applying after the deadline in case these situations are real. Why not call the Recruiter first and sell yourself into the role over the phone? Make sure you have a copy of your CV or resume in front of you to refer to and still do your homework on the company and job description first.
You’ve nothing to lose and if the deadline really has passed, you could use the time to talk to the Recruiter about any other vacancies in the pipeline.
Remember those over used phrases and words? By calling the Recruiter will instantly recognise that you are assertive, ambitious, tenacious and more.
Upgrading Your Skills
If you are still falling short of securing interviews then you may like to consider upgrading your skills in line with your desired sector or role.
If you are unemployed you may be eligible for fully funded training. Ask either your local council or job centre for details on these. Many local councils also have voluntary organisations within in partnership with them to provide free training, experience or skills.
Another thing you may like to consider is voluntary work to gain expertise in an area you may be lacking. Say for example you would like to be in a supervisory role but haven’t had the experience then leading a team in a voluntary role could give you the skills or training you need. Similarly if you lack a technical skill such as using an EPOS (Electronic Point Of Sale) or credit card machine then you could gain the experience in this way.
Your local job centre may also be able to help you to have trial days at companies in your area whereby you go along, work for a day (or more) to get a feel for that type of work.
Go for it!
There are many ways in which to apply for a job so choose the ones that are the most relative to you or those that you feel will increase your chances of success.
Whatever you do attack it with gusto.
Whatever you do, do it massively!