It was one of those supremely character-forming days. In my hand was a card for my first Job Centre appointment, and what made it so embarrassing was that I had been a careers adviser at this same Job Centre just a few short weeks before losing my job! Phrases such as ‘Physician heal thyself” and ‘Surely it can’t be that difficult to find a job?” churned around inside my skull like National Lottery balls, and I wondered how long it would take for my lucky numbers to be chosen so I could find a new job!
When your back is against the wall – when your credit card bills and your self-esteem need paying off – you simply want a job search technique that works, and fast! Here are some secrets that real people have used to find work in a very tough job market.
1. Contact organisations you like
Abdul, a charity worker in Kent wrote a letter, enclosing his CV, to a charity he wanted to work for. He underlined how much he admired their organisation and their achievements. He received an offer of work a few weeks later.
It wasn’t just that he was being complimentary; he was also demonstrating his proactive and positive mindset. This targeted approach won’t work every time, but is a great way of accessing the 70% of unadvertised jobs in the UK.
2. Quality over quantity
Graduate Simi decided to reconsider her job hunting method since was having no joy from her email blasts. She decided to change tack and focus on submitting exactly what the employer was requesting in an ad: a cover letter and CV that mirrored the essential and desirable list in the job description. It took more time and effort, but within three short weeks she received a number of job offers.
Remember that an effective job search strategy isn’t like throwing a handful of confetti into the air hoping that at least one piece will hit its target. Don’t give employers a reason to throw your CV in the bin because you haven’t taken the time to give them what they want.
3. Get blogging
Jess received an offer from a PR agency after she told them about her blog. This approach works well, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate the abundance of skills at your fingertips.
4. Stay clean online
As part of your job search strategy, take time to google yourself and make sure your online personality fits with the way you want the world to view you. Once images and comments are posted online, they are out there for good. As a chef once said, you can add, but you can’t take away. So be careful that you don’t put compromising photos of yourself on Facebook or Instagram. Employers may find them and blow your cover!
5. Pound the pavement
After losing his job in financial services, Gil printed out a stack of CVs and targeted a number of organisations. He found that it was a great way to allow managers to assess him face-to-face, but also for him to assess them. Once you’ve shaken the manager’s hand, you can weigh up whether you really want to work for someone with a wet-fish handshake!