So You Have a Resume: Now What?
This blog post is the second in a new series authored by The Job Search Coach marketing intern Jasha Andrews. Jasha has been invited as a Guest blogger to TJSC to help uni students hunt smarter for a position. If you are a regular reader, this could be the refresher that you need on basic job hunting.
Congratulations, you’re ready to jump into the world of job hunting. If you’ve followed my previous post carefully, you should have a concise resume and cover letter ready to go.
Job searching can be a daunting experience. It can also seem like an unsolvable Rubiks Cube – what works for one person may not work for another. As a new job seeker you will probably look to well-known job boards for positions. These could be seek.com.au; monster.com.au or any others out there. 1000’s of ads are posted daily on these job boards which makes the search process a potential nightmare. So let’s try and narrow things down a bit.
If you have an idea about what you enjoy doing or what career you want, then you should definitely be using this as your basis to narrow down the job search.
Strategy 1: Look for a job in the same industry or company that you’re interested in.
This one is pretty obvious. You may not get a job doing what you want, but it will be a foot in the door. Employers also like to see a good work ethic, so don’t be a precious little princess by waiting for a job that is just right.
‘But what if I don’t know what I want to do?’
Gone are the days of sticking with one employer or career for life. The average Gen Y person is predicted to have up to 5 careers in their lifetime. Much of this change is due to is our need for a deeper meaning in our work. Whatever you value, make it the basis of…
Strategy 2: Search based on non-job values.
Ask yourself some tough questions and think about what you value in life. Do you want connection with other people? Do you value variety in your day? Other ideas could be flexibility, personal or professional development and even company culture. Come up with a short list of 3-5 things that are important to you.
Once you have done this, you’re going to have to research some companies that fit the bill. If you’re studying, then it’s a good idea to look at businesses local to home or uni. Don’t be too picky with which business you apply to – you might need them more than they need you.
But how do I find places that are hiring?
You have a few options: online, face to face and word of mouth.
Online Job Search
You have most likely heard of the big job boards. They’re super convenient, but even more competitive. Most of these jobs boards will have a way to narrow down your search – use them – it will save you a heap of time and effort. A job ad on these boards will attract several hundred applicants in the first four hours of a job being posted. For an employer, its lunacy to think that it’s possible to read all of these applications. So to get through all the crap, employers use an Applicant Tracking System. This ATS can read and shortlist candidate applications for the employer. This means it’s more likely that you will get ignored before your resume is read by a real person. You will need to make your application really good – something we will get into next week.
Face to Face
This is much more like hard work compared to searching online, but the benefits can be much greater. When you visit a shop for example, you have the opportunity to really impress with your first impressions. However, this does need some good prep work.
Knowledge is power
do a quiet walk around and check out the potential employer if possible. This is especially easy if it is a retail or restaurant venue. If they are not accessible to the public then you should research their website (obviously), research what other people have to say about them (news outlets or review sites) and you can even call and ‘mystery shop’ them if appropriate (be careful though).
Use the information you have gained to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Look for something unique or different about the business and work that into your application. Now is your chance to show off your creativity and thoughtfulness. Employers are much more likely to hire someone with no experience if they display the ability to think and use the information they learn.
When visiting face to face, even just to drop off a resume, make sure your dress and appearance are up to scratch. Hair should be neat and tidy, and clothes should be ‘business casual’ at a minimum. Remember: first impressions count.
Word of mouth
this is where you need to use your social network to find opportunities. My first suggestion would be to ask your older family members if they know of anything. Think parents, aunts or uncles who work in larger organisations. My first job interview for a full time job was lined up by one of my aunts. I was unsuccessful, but the interview experience was invaluable when I was just starting out.
After a while you might start to lose motivation and just give up. It’s important to keep your job search mojo high when you’re on this mission. While you are job searching, remember to avoid these mistakes – or at least fix things up before you get going.
So there you have it – use this to get started with your job search.
Have you had any luck doing something else? tell us in the comments below. And remember, always Keep It Simple Sunshine
Guest Blogger at The Job Search Coach