Sunday, 6 November 2011

Get Your House in Order Before Looking For a Job

This time my blog is catered to those looking for a new job opportunity.  I will try to alternate between those seeking talent and others who are selecting their company of choice.  I really appreciate any feedback or areas I have missed to help job seekers and recruiters alike.  I am hoping this will be a forum to share best practices on both sides of recruitment.

We all know that looking for a job is a full-time job.  Some job seekers dive-in head first without seeing how deep the waters are--they are deep and choppy waters.  There are many forums to find jobs and navigating these waters are tricky without a little help.  I will throw a lifesaver with some tips below to help get you started in an organized job search.  (the below is targeted for the Toronto/Ontario/Canada job market)

Helping Hand

  • Get the support from your family and friends by asking for their encouragement and to keep their ears to ground if they hear of any suitable jobs.
  • If you belong to an employee assistance plan ask for a coach that specializes in job search.  They may also provide feedback on your resume.
Roll up your sleeves
  • Make a list of on-line job posting boards such as:  monster, workopolis, craigslist, kijiji, yahoo, etc.
  • Get your resume and cover letter up to date and upload on applicable websites such as:  linked-in, monster, workopolis, yahoo groups, etc.
    • Prior to posting, have a second set of eyes to review your resume for grammar, spelling, formatting, etc.
    • You will need to customize your cover letter and resume for each job application.
  • Research recruiters that specialize in your area of expertise.  You can search google, check out your library.
  • Research companies that you want to work for and see on linked-in if there are any connections. 
    • Sometimes jobs are not posted but are in the works--pipeline jobs.
  • If the job advertisement does not state "do not call" then I would advise you contact the person listed.
    • Ask the person for five minutes of their time to discuss the role as you have the value-added skills and experience for the job.
    • I would have handy the top 10 skills/experiences that benefits the company.

There is only 24 hours in a day

  • Time management skills are key as you can get lost in the web of information.
  • Block time periods on your calendar (outlook for instance) that you will research jobs, apply for jobs, and networking events.
  • Reconnect with old employers and let them know you are seeking another opportunity.
  • This is a good time to also ask those you reported to and worked with for permission to use them as a reference.
Keeping track
  • Last but not least you will need to create a tracking mechanism of jobs that you applied for so that you look organized and professional.
    • You may use an excel spreadsheet, access database, etc.
    • The data should contain at a minimum:  company, website, contact name, phone, email, position name, date applied, associates (that work there from your linked-in research), interview date, interviewers name.
Also, please stay tuned for using social media on your job search.
I hope you found this helpful and any feedback/input is greatly appreciated.


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