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How to conduct an effective job search

Whether you are conducting a search for your first job or as a more seasoned candidate, it is a process requiring patience, perseverance and proactive strategies.

Whether you are conducting a search for your first job or as a more seasoned candidate, it is a process requiring patience, perseverance and proactive strategies.

Career advisor and branch manager, Merriam Koqo-Hlengane of Boston City Campus & Business College shares her strategic insights for conducting an effective job search

Customise your CV & Covering letter for each job application

Tailor your CV by matching your skills, previous work experience and responsibilities with the job criteria, using keywords and phrases described in the job description.

“Differentiate yourself further by using a highlighted version of these keywords in your covering letter,” says Merriam. “Additionally, getting an internship while job searching can assist in providing valuable experience to new jobseekers who can then add these acquired skills and experience to their CV.”

Your personal brand

Your online status matters. A lot! Recruiters research your online presence to find out more about you beyond your CV. Googling your name allows you to see what information there is about you on the web.

“When updating your status on Facebook and other social media platforms, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. Your online activity leaves footprints and creates your personal brand. Use it to create a path which reflects well on you and supports your future career success,” says Merriam.

Be strategic such as using LinkedIn for networking, searching job advertisements and as a platform for your virtual CV listing your strengths, experience and even endorsements of your core competencies and skills. Including articles, press releases or your portfolio helps to establish credibility and demonstrates your expertise to prospective employers.

Make a job search schedule

Create a strategy detailing the companies to research and contact each day. Make a specific time to call and set up potential interviews.

“Get to work on your plan early in the day and make it a habit to finish scheduled calls and actions,” says Merriam. “Keeping actively engaged helps you push through the inevitable challenging moments. Action creates action.”

Where to look

Google the search term “recruitment agencies.” Also include search terms describing your industry, skills, specializations and your location to find the relevant recruitment sites and companies. Visit websites of specific companies in your field to see if they have any career openings.

BizCommunity is a good resource for industry-specific employment and recruitment agencies.

Network

Make a list of all the people you know both personally and professionally who you can ask to introduce you to their key contacts who match your particular job search.

Rehearse

Rehearse answers to different interview questions. While these questions may never be asked and you certainly don’t want your responses to be on automatic, having a ready response boosts confidence and helps your fluency in pressurized situations.

Evaluate feedback

Keep tabs of your success rate when searching or applying for a job. If you don’t get the interview or job, very politely try to find out why and use this information to improve so that you’re in a stronger position for the next job opportunity.

Learning is ongoing

During and after your job search, it is always a good idea to develop new skillsets or expand your current areas of expertise through courses or workshops, helping to differentiate yourself in the market by remaining relevant and at the cutting edge in your field.

Going the distance

“The secret is to keep on taking action,” says Merriam. “Yes, this process is challenging and will take time. But be determined, keep focus and persevere - it is possible to find a job which can lead you on a journey of success and fulfillment,” concludes the Boston Branch Manager.

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