While we all have different trials, tribulations, and experiences in our lives, there is a common struggle all of us have dealt with in one capacity or another: finding a new job and, often, not having much success in doing so.
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If it has been a few years since the last time you went out job hunting, you need to know that things have changed. Sure, some of the old advice from 2000 definitely still applies today – such as , networking or cold calling. But like it or not,there is no way around it, you’ll need to brush up on the latest job search strategies if you want to land a role in 2018 – 2019 Read more
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Can I help you with 5 genuine & effective ways
to ask your network connections & friends for job search help?
You’re all set to go. Your resume and your LinkedIn profile are all professionally optimised and aligned to your target positions. It’s time to reach out to your friends network. But, what’s the right strategy and how do you actually achieve results?
I know from experience that most people are open to being contacted, and those who want to know you are also often ready to provide help. However, it’s important to know how to ask for help and how to make their job easier, so they can actually help you get better results without it becoming a major project. Remember, everyone likes easy and no stress. This is the step that most people miss: asking the right people for the right things, in the right way.
So, to ensure that you get the most out of “networking” I’ve put together a five-step plan — sample email text included — so you can enlist the help of your friends and LinkedIn network as you’re looking for a job.
Step 1: Sketch up your pitch points
Your resume should be ready and on standby if required, but most people will find it much easier and quicker to look at a short, bulleted list of where you’ve been and where you want to go. You will be amazed how little both your friends and connections actually know about what you really do for a living, so avoid assuming that they do. This should take no more than 5-10 minutes to pull together, but it will deliver serious help.
Here is what you need to include:
- A list of your last three position titles, companies you’ve worked for, and responsibilities. Think about it like your mini resume, but condensed into three bullets. This demonstrates clarity and preparation and works a bit like an ice breaker.
- Your ideal job title and function, as well as other job titles and functions you’d consider. Remember to use only what you are truly skilled and suited for.
- A list of 4-5 companies you’d love to work for, plus their locations. This will help your network and friends to visualise how their own network and options could assist you.
- Maintenance Manager, UBS Facilities Melbourne: Served as main point of contact for tenants and suppliers including utility services
- Building Manager, Meriton, Sydney: Responsible for 3 High Rise, mix commercial/residential buildings in Sydney CBD with 450 tenants
- Maintenance Coordinator, Downer EDI: 2 year contractor on various civil construction and mining projects in Western Australia and New South Wales
- Maintenance Manager, Civil Construction or FIFO
- Building Supervisor / Superintendent
- Maintenance Supervisor, FIFO or contractor to large civil construction projects
- Thiess, John Holland or Leighton
- Mirvac or Stockland
- Inpex, EC&M or Connect Source
- Open to relocation / any shift
Step 2: Map your network contacts and send your bulk email
Your next step is to map and select your network contacts. Generally, avoid mentors, former managers or co-workers who you’re close to, and anyone who works for your dream companies. (more on that later)
Draft an email in which you share that you’re looking for a new position, and that you would really appreciate their help. Ensure to be simple and more importantly specific about what you’re asking for. Is it job leads or something else? Vague messages get vague or no responses.
Also include all the details about you: your current position and company, the length of time you’ve been there, and what you’re looking for and where. Even if your friends know this information, this email may be passed around to people who don’t know you well. Finally, include your bullet- ed talking points at the end of the email, and attach your (hopefully professional and updated) resume.
I hope all is well!
You may know that I have been at my current position as Maintenance Manager for UBS for almost 3 years. I have decided to search for a new position in the civil construction maintenance field and I am seeking some help with potential job leads or introductions to key industry contacts.
I am looking for a mid-level position in Melbourne or Sydney, preferably in the civil construction, maintenance or building management field. I am particularly keen to change careers away from big project remote field work. Whilst my ideal target companies are the big players, I would also consider working for a local company or a new venture business.
If you know or hear of any job opportunities or leads in these areas, I would really appreciate the assistance. To make things easier for you, I have created a brief bullet summary of my current job search strategy and I have also attached my resume. Feel free to pass it along.
Many thanks for your consideration! I sincerely appreciate it and, of course, am more than happy to help you out if I can.
Step 3: Send individual / personalised emails
If possible on the same day as Step 2, show that you value certain key friendships or Level 1 connections and actually draft and deliver personalised emails to this select group, who you think might be able to help you out in a specific way.
Keep it smart, short, simple and don’t beg. Be brave and don’t be afraid to suggest introductions or job leads at a particular company. You can also suggest or request informational interviews, general advice on companies and positions, general feedback or even meeting over a coffee at their convenience.
I hope you are well. I saw your most recent Facebook post and wanted to congratulate you on xyz. I’m also messaging you to let you know that I am searching for a new position. As you know, I have been with UBS for almost three years and it’s time to change careers and move into another company and position.
I know that you used to do work for Stockland, which is on my list of preferred employers. Do you still have any contacts there, or can you maybe share some news, insights, tips or maybe even job leads with me? Any introductions you could make would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your help! Please keep me posted on how things are going and if there’s anything I can do to return the favour.
Step 4: Follow up, but do not pester or stalk your friends or networkers for feedback
Remember that good things will come to those who are patient and know how to wait. Real friends will consider your message, but not necessarily respond right away. Assume that they’re keeping their eyes out and that you’ll be on their radar if any opportunities come their way.
Give it at least a month, and if you haven’t received many responses send a follow-up email / inmail (LinkedIn) to those you reached out personally to.
Step 5: Praise – say thank you – be genuine
Do not, under any circumstances, forget to send a personal “Thank you” to every single person who responded to your email or offers to help you out, no matter how small or large the help offered is. People value feedback and they expect a thank you.
It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. These friends might need you one day, so be a real friend or genuine connection / networker and make you sure pay it forward.
Whatever you do, be real, show professional humility and most of all remember to hunt wisely!
Your most valuable asset as a Job Hunter is your time, so don’t waste it! Finding the right jobs to apply for can get frustrating. A big part of this is because most job ads are poorly written and can be a nightmare to decode. So, I’ve put together 11 useful tips to decode job ads, so you can secure your job interviews faster for jobs you deserve.
Here is some simple HELP so you can start to figure out what different terms mean in job listings, and you figure out which parts of a job listing are actually important, and which parts don’t really hold much weight.
Tip #1 – Review the job ad from the bottom – up
Most job hunters search for the title, location and the $$$ first and then create a shortlist. Once you have your shortlist, start to review each job ad from the bottom – up. Read the submission instructions and if they fail to clarify how they want you to submit and who to, move on. 75% of all job applications are discarded by ATS software. Your chances get even slimmer if you apply for jobs with companies who fail to provide decent instructions and human interaction. Enough said.
Tip #2 – Don’t sweat the buzzwords, they are just buzzwords
In most job ads, the buzzwords and catchphrases really don’t mean much. This is because the person actually writing the job ad often doesn’t know much about the job or because the job listing has been taken straight from a template. In that case, try to decipher them as best you can, and then apply.
Tip #3 – Junior vs. senior positions
A lot of job titles won’t include terms like “junior” or “senior”. In that case, they probably fall somewhere in between junior and senior, unless words like “management” or “head” are included in the description.
If a job is listed as a senior position, they likely want someone with at least 3-5 years of experience (and sometimes much more), and probably someone with some management experience. Senior positions are usually in charge of a team.
Junior positions, on the other hand, are entry-level or maybe have a couple years of experience, and often work closely with other team members.
Tip #4 – Watch out for “Fast-paced work environment”
A fast-paced environment isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if that’s how you like to work. Personally, I thrive under deadlines and get more done in less time when I have a lot on my plate. But not everyone is like that, and if you’re not, you should probably avoid applying for jobs with this kind of keyword in the title. It’s a clear indication of a fairly high stress situation.
Tip #5 – A position with “Growth opportunity”
“Growth opportunity” might indicate a few things, but it often means your responsibilities and tasks will expand over time. It can also mean that there’s some opportunity for advancement. A common thing “growth opportunity” tends to hide is a lower starting salary. That’s not always the case, but it can definitely be an indicator, especially at a start-up business.
Tip #6 – Watch out for terms like “flexible” and “remote”
Flexible jobs are sometimes remote, and remote jobs are often flexible, but the two terms are not entirely interchangeable.
Flexible usually means that you have a high level of control over your hours, and that you may be able to work from home at least some of the time.
Remote means that you can work from home (or elsewhere outside of a central office) most or all of the time.
TIP #7 – The job description terms
A lot of most of the innocuous job description terms can actually be potential red flags. “Detail-oriented” might translate to expecting perfection, or flag a control freak of a boss. “Team player” could mean that you’ll be at the bottom of the totem pole for tasks that no one else wants to do. “Self-starter” usually means that they have no idea what they need you to do and/or that your induction and supervision will be minimal, and you have to figure it out based on vague descriptions of what they think they need.
TIP #8 – Don’t obsess about job titles
Job titles can be one of the most confusing parts of a job listing. Job titles may be created to appeal to the widest number of potential applicants possible. “Web designer” might sound too generic to some applicants, but UI or UX designer makes it sound like a more advanced or exciting job, and so those writing the job listings may opt to use those terms.
The other thing you’ll likely see with job listings, especially in the tech & start-up world, is funky titles like “rockstar”, “hero”, “ninja” and the like. Job titles like “Front-end Rockstar” don’t really tell you what you need to know about the job requirements. You’ll need to read the job requirements with a lot of attention to the detail to figure it out.
Tip #9 Focus on the “key” responsibilities
This is usually the most important section of the job ad listing. Hopefully, this has been written by someone who’s actually familiar with the specific job at the specific company, and not just taken from a template site.
Either way, consider each item on the responsibilities list and honestly consider whether you can meet those responsibilities immediately or in the near future. Really ask yourself if you want to spend your valuable time submitting an application if you can’t answer these key responsibilities with at least a 70%:30% yes to no ratio. If you’re below that, move on to your next job ad.
Tip #10 – Don’t obsess over their “requirements”
First things first: job “requirements” aren’t really requirements. Thousands of job ads out there have taken the “requirements” from a template, rather than from the hiring manager’s actual needs. Add to this that all too often the job descriptions are written by people who don’t actually know everything they need to about the job.
So, don’t obsess over the job requirements and stress out about all the ways you don’t match up. Instead look at the responsibilities of the job, and see if your skills and past experience are in line with them. Then, when you actually apply, highlight your skills and experience, and downplay wherever you don’t meet the “requirements”.
Finally Tip # 11 – What kind of company is right for you?
Companies of virtually every size and type need employees with skills. But, there’s a big difference between working for an established company outside of the industry you know, an established company in your industry, a start-up, or an agency, to name just a few.
Established companies often have more stringent and rigorous hiring standards and procedures than start-ups do. They might also attract more applicants, simply because of name recognition. That means competition will be tough, and they may be looking for any reason not to hire you, rather than reasons to hire you.
Here’s an example to demonstrate some of what I’ve outlined above.
Contrary to many job seekers’ fears, job ads are more likely to be wish lists than demands. In addition, it’s often hard to tell what these companies are actually wishing for.
Whilst I always recommend networking and referrals as the best way to find your next job, if you still decide to search and apply the traditional way, fine tune your radar with our decoder and always remember to hunt wisely!
Our team of career service coaches, resume writers,visa and migration experts and recruiters depend on their phones.The phone is both their most valuable tool , and the most frustrating instrument of our daily communication with our clients. Read more