Those who know me know that I don’t think that it’s really helpful if we are silent about the raw side of job hunting in Australia & New Zealand – particularly for Mature Age and Millennial job seekers. I believe that more can be done to help talented job hunters through their negative job search experiences and teach them how to be better and smarter job seekers.
I started pro bono activities in 2013 and expanded them in 2014, contributing free seminar events, free online webinars and chat sessions to educate and help job hunters. 2014 was a great year, and our most successful pro bono activity has been with job search support groups in Sydney and Melbourne. Our pro bono group support has paid off: 30% of people who took part in these group events found full-time or long-term contract work.
Here is some more of the things that work in getting a job interview:
Mature Age Job Seekers
If you are battling bias because you are perceived as less tech savvy, then demonstrate your skills in social media. Use tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and prove that you are up to date in your field. I personally believe that there is no excuse for a job hunter to not understand social media.
Volunteer and take any opportunity to participate and contribute
If you have gaps in your resume, you are likely to get weeded out by software parsing systems. Fill the gaps with volunteer work. There is nothing dishonest about volunteer work. In fact, Australians and New Zealanders value community contributions more than most other nationalities. This might sound old fashioned, but it is one of the values I like the most about living in Australia. I found some of my best friends through my volunteer work and I know that volunteering often leads to job opportunities (directly or indirectly). You can choose to have a gap or contribute and give back to the community and whilst you do it, eliminate a common job gap bias.
Look for local support groups
I know, they are often not very organised, they don’t meet in cool locations and they have other flaws, but joining up with others in the same boat can help and you are likely to feel less alone in your job hunt. There are tonnes of support groups. Use Dr. Google to research or simply go to Eventbrite.
Yes, we all know and appreciate that you grew up with the internet and you use it all the time and, in fact, probably so much that most of your connections are largely ‘virtual’.
Use your online and social media skills and convert them into real and actual connections.
I am glad I don’t need to tell you how to use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and possibly LinkedIn (I’m sure many of you could show me a thing or two) – what you really need to do is use your skills to initiate real meetings. Just like the Mature Age Job Seekers, use support groups, networking events and volunteer work to connect via genuine contributions to create real opportunities.
5 Effective Job Hunting Steps to get an Interview
Step #1 Figure Out What you Want
It might sound silly but before you start searching for jobs, you need to sit down and have a good think about what it is that’s currently making you unhappy and what it is that you actually want. No one can help you if you don’t know what you really want.
Step #2 Update Your Resume and your Profile on Job Sites
Once you’ve figured out what it is you want, you need to update your resume so it reflects the type of role you’re looking to secure – and you need to ensure you’ve created accounts on any relevant job sites. Also note that there are more than just Seek, My Career and LinkedIn job sites. Use Niche Job boards and alternative job sites or sign up direct with employers you may want to work for.
Step #3 Sign Up For Job Alerts N O W
Trust me when I tell you that between December and March job opportunities increase everywhere and it can get a little crazy as old budgets get used up and new budgets come into play so jobs are going to be posted in a lot of places – which means it can be difficult to keep up with new opportunities. Use your skills and sign up for job alerts on job sites and social media and Google Alert so you can be alerted every time a vacancy comes up which matches your criteria … and if you sign up now you’ll be ahead of the game for when it all kicks off in early/mid January.
Step #4 Follow Companies and Job Opportunities on Social Media
You can do what everyone does and just focus all your search on Seek, My Career and maybe even LinkedIn or you can utilise your social media skills and sign up to alerts on services like Twitter. If you’re looking for a new job, you need to be on social media platforms. Why? Because they are amongst the most effective solutions for advertising and finding new jobs – and if you’re not on them, there’s a chance you could miss out.
Step #5 Clean up your Social Profiles
The first thing most employers do before they call you for an interview is check you out and the chances that they skim over your social media footprint is very likely. So, you need to look at yours and make sure your privacy settings are as tight as they need to be and your Twitter, Facebook and other profiles don’t showcase anything which could cost you the job e.g. dodgy pictures or abusive language/material. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you upload a professional image.
So, guys, get with it and jump onto these opportunities, so you are prepared for 2015. Don’t allow anyone to get you down, seek support, use all your social media and networking skills and always remember to hunt wisely!