If you have found yourself back in the job market; you may find this article extremely insightful. After countless applications and missed job opportunities – you may find the job application process extremely disheartening. At times you may feel like you are a perfect fit for the job yet still fall short in the way you market your skills or approach the job market. If you are here to find some really solid job search techniques to put you at the forefront of your competitors – look no further!
Know why you are searching for greener pastures
Sometimes we tend to jump into new jobs without first evaluating why we want to leave our current employer in the first place. This kind of internal introspection is exactly what you need before heading into a new career that puts you in the exact same drained state that made you want to jump jobs in the first place. It is extremely important to clarify your intrinsic and extrinsic expectations and dive deeper into why your current employer doesn’t satisfy these requirements. Ask yourself these fundamental questions and make sure that your new employer doesn’t carry the same shortfalls:
- Am I leaving because I am unhappy with management?
- Is the reason I want to job hop a lack of interest/challenge in my current work?
- What salary expectations are not being fulfilled by my current employer?
- Is not fitting in with my current company work culture the reason for me wanting to leave my current employer?
If you are unable to properly clarify the underlying reasons for you wanting to leave your current occupation; you may find yourself in a new job that may pay well but doesn’t satisfy your other intrinsic motivations. This type of root cause analysis may uncover that you may not need to change jobs in the first place but instead just need to alter your perception; or ask your boss to make some arrangement to satisfy your needs.
Update you resume the right way
Now this may seem obvious – but you may be surprised at how many people tend to get this wrong. Resumes are essentially your first contact with recruiters or companies and in saying this they therefore need to be reflective of the type of person you are. Your charisma, passion, potential and career triumphs need to be succinctly displayed to market you as the ideal candidate. Here are some great points to consider when updating your resume:
- Keep it short yet descriptive – recruiters don’t like to get buried with unnecessary data that fills up space
- Adapt your resume to the job you are applying for. Ideally you should have a master CV with all your work achievements; you can then hand pick relevant tasks, projects and experiences to add to your resume for each individual job you apply for.
- Know the technical jargon for the job you are applying for and use descriptive words in your resume which illustrates you know your way around your field of interest.
- Don’t be humble – this is the time to flex your skills. Don’t lie but be open about what you have to offer and why you are so special like your mother always says.
Know your salary expectations
Before running head first into interviews; understand that as much as an employer may show interest; they are also in the market of savings costs in terms of the salary package the offer you. However, don’t sell yourself short. It is about doing your research and providing a case of why you deserve to be earning what you ask for. Look at market related salaries, your experiences and qualifications and then weigh up what a decent salary would be to make you want to jump ship. Also take the following into consideration when considering your salary package:
- What are the effects of tax on your new salary. Often moving to a new salary range means more tax which will negatively impact your take home pay.
- Also consider the perks/ benefits of your current salary package vs the new one. If possible ask for a dummy payslip to help work on the subtle difference.
- Consider the effect of geographical location on your expenses. Does a new job require relocation? Is their added fuel costs for traveling to a more distant location?
- Understand that companies are not going to be willing to right the wrongs of previous employees. If you are in a company that is paying you below market – understand that it is going to take you a longer time to recuperate from that effects.
Pay attention to your career growth plan
If you are serious about your career and the direction it is taking off in; then I am sure you have already started your career growth plan. With regards to useful job search techniques; a career growth plan is probably the most useful; as it gives a birds eye view of where you career is going.
What makes a career growth plan so useful is it’s ability to map out the trajectory of your career. Where are you heading and what possible paths are you interested in pursuing? often the way we plan our future is not set in stone -sometimes an unconventional career path can open up new opportunities that make us want to rethink our entire career ambitions; this is when you need to go back to your career growth plan and adjust accordingly. Career growth plans are also great tools to identify gaps in your knowledge base that are stopping you from progressing in your career.
But why is a career growth plan so important during job jumping? Well it simply ensures that you are not moving into a new role for the wrong reasons. Ideally a new job role should satisfy both your intrinsic and extrinsic requirements. Moving to a new job just for a good pay doesn’t guarantee job satisfaction. Your career growth plan will help you weed out jobs that you have no passion or interest in. For e.g. if a position in operations shows up; but your career growth plan shows that your interest lies in strategic projects – it makes no sense to take on this role.
Know thy company
Yes, choosing the right company to work for is liking choosing a life partner. Each company has a unique set of values, principles and purpose that needs to align with your career trajectory. If this is unaligned; it will lead to a lack of ambition and dissatisfaction for the work you are doing. When applying for a job; do your research on the company you wish to join by looking them up online and on social media. Here are some important things to consider:
- Is the company stable financially? you don’t want to join an industry that is fading away or becoming redundant in the years to come. If you are afforded an opportunity during an interview to ask questions; don’t be afraid to ask questions around where the company is headed in terms of it’s strategic outlook.
- What are the values and culture of the organization? Most companies have core attributes which are engrained in the way they run and treat employees. Make sure that the company you choose is a good fit with regards to this; because it can tell you a lot about the type of people you are going to engage with on a daily basis. Also check out: Have Fulfilling Careers – Does Your company Satisfy These 4 Requirements?
- Try to learn as much as you can about what the company does before the interview. This will show the recruiter that you are taking the initiative to understand the company. Also read: 1) How To Prepare For Job Interview Questions Correctly, 2) How To Prepare For Case Interviews The Right Way
Update your software
The worst thing you can possibly do is enter the job with outdated skillsets. Do your homework and understand how the terrain of the working world is changing around you – especially as it pertains to your field of work. If you are lacking specific essential courses and certification; get these before approaching new industries. This will not only make you more relevant but also allow you to negotiate better pay increases. There are a plethora or learning resources that you can access through a variety of learning platforms. Gone are the days where traditional avenues of education like colleges are the only way to access valuable knowledge. With the advent of online learning and distant learning – it is now much more easier to gain relevant and up to date knowledge than ever before.
Add “not losing hope” to your job search techniques
When approaching the job market; one of the most vital job search techniques is to maintain a level head It is easy for doubt and complacency to kick in and cause you to stop trying for that new career move. It is during this time that you need to assess the importance of why you started your journey in the first place. Your intuition is often the guiding system that let’s you know when it is time to move on – ignore this and you will find yourself as a miserable employee stuck in the same job for the next 20 years. The job market can be tough; but persistence always wins at the end of the day.
Network the right way
Networking is probably one of the most vital job search techniques you can harness in the working world. The old age truth of knowing the right people still remains true. If people like you, they want to hire you. This great article by The Harvard business review: reinventing your career in the time of coronavirus reveals the simple truth that to change your career trajectory means stretch out of your comfort zone by engaging with people or projects that are unfamiliar. This is extremely vital when it comes to transitioning between career fields. You may be stuck but want a change – the key is to now network with the right people and participate in new projects and courses that is going to help give your the leverage you need to move into new careers. Associating with the same people and same work experiences isn’t going to stretch your limits.
To learn how to fully achieve success in all facets of your life; read: Applying A Growth Mindset To Achieve Success