My next move – ensuring the most effective search

by 10 Nov 2007

Q. I have been looking for a job in HR for several months now and want to expand my search. I have only been looking in trade publications and the national press. Do you have any job hunting secrets that would help me build up my application potential beyond this?

A. Looking for a new job can be a daunting and sometimes frustrating experience. However, in the current competitive recruitment market, it is important not to limit your job search to just one method as it could result in you missing out on that ‘perfect role’. So, to give you the best chance of success, we recommend that you broaden your job search and consider the following proven job search strategies.

Networking is a powerful method of identifying potential job opportunities. HR networking events and industry seminars are a fantastic way to build relationships with fellow HR professionals and put you in front of potential employers. From here, you may well find opportunities present themselves before an organisation has even started the recruitment process. If you have a professional qualification or degree it’s also worth contacting your old peers to see if they know of any vacant positions. Online professional networking groups such as LinkedIn are another great way of finding old colleagues and promoting your skills and experience.

One word of caution though for those job seekers who are currently employed – be careful about the extent of your networking and keep your search highly confidential. The more people you talk with the more public your job search will be and the more likely your employer will hear of your intentions from the market.

Job search engines are a simple and efficient method for assisting you in your job quest. You should actively search on recruitment websites such as Seek, Seek Executive, MyCareer, CareerOne, and JobsJobsJobs as it is now standard for most employers and recruitment firms to advertise jobs online. New jobs are added daily or even hourly, keeping you up-to-date with the most recent job vacancies in your area of expertise. If you are actively seeking a job, it’s well worth filling out the job alert profiles so that jobs fitting your criteria are emailed to you daily.

One of the major benefits of this search method is that it’s relatively quick and easy to make multiple job applications. Another benefit is that online job search tools do more than just list jobs and also provide advice on career planning, tips on preparing résumés, profiles on specific companies and links to recruiters.

Registering and meeting with a recruitment specialist is an important step in any job search process, as they know the industry you work in or want to work in. There are a lot of recruitment firms out there so it’s important to take your time to research the market and identify the top two or three that specialise in your industry. Insist on meeting with them in person as no recruitment firm can truly represent you to potential employers without meeting you in person and determining how you will come across in interviews.

If you are looking for a senior position, you should consider meeting with executive search firms who specialise in the senior end of the employment market and work with organisations who are looking to recruit highly experienced candidates with specific skill sets.

Newspaper classifieds and job advertisements in trade magazines are a popular method of finding a job but should be part of a broader job search strategy incorporating the above methods to have maximum impact.

Today, only a small percentage of organisations actually print job advertisements due to time restrictions, confidentiality and expense. Browsing through the career pages on a Friday or Saturday morning over breakfast will give you a good idea of the current employment market, but unfortunately your dream job is unlikely to be right there under your coffee cup!

If you do respond to a newspaper advertisement, it is important that you tailor your application to the job advertisement and ensure your application letter and resume address the desired criteria. Due to the sheer number of applications companies receive through this method, the more tailored your application, the greater the chance it will receive a positive response.

In conclusion, seeking a new job can be time consuming but with a holistic approach to job searching and following a few simple steps, it should be a smooth and stress-free process.

By Jennifer Keeling, senior consultant – temporary and contracting, Michael Page International


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