In this series we look at all the aspects you should consider in depth before searching for a new job. My aim is to help you better understand your career options and how you can give yourself the best chance of achieving them, whilst avoiding the pitfalls some people fall into every day.
To be successful in finding a new position you must first give your job hunting strategy some serious thought. So how do you go about finding the right job? There’s no one perfect answer to this question, I would always suggest using a number of channels when you are looking – let’s review the main ones.
Online CV Database / Job Boards
Uploading CVs online has become a mainstay for jobseekers since the internet took over our lives. It is an excellent way of making yourself immediately accessible to potential employers. Unfortunately, the downside of such wide exposure is that it can sometimes lead to you receiving a lot of calls and emails concerning jobs that may not always be targeted at your individual skill set. Here’s a list of some of the sites that are available to you.
Social platforms are an excellent way to market your skills because they allow you to network with other professionals within the industry. A strong LinkedIn profile and appropriate Twitter page that gets followed by your peers will make employers take notice of you. Make an effort to participate in discussions in relevant industry groups, you never know where conversations will lead.
As a skilled professional, you will have built up a network of past colleagues, university contacts and industry connections throughout the years. You should use these. If you are looking for a new position, get in contact with these people and let them know you are in the market for something new. They may not be able to help directly, but they may be aware of something on their grapevine, or have a contact that could help you find a new position.
It is also important that you attend a wide range of industry seminars and meetups. Talking to like-minded people and connecting with new contacts within the industry could lead to any number of opportunities in the future.
If you want to work in a particular industry sector or for a specific company, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or email them directly to enquire about potential job opportunities. If you target your approach, sometimes a company may even create a position for you so that they can get the most out of your skills and abilities.
A lot of jobseekers don’t understand that most agencies, especially in the area of IT, are tasked by their paying clients to source top talent to fill very specific positions. Often the focus is on the client and not necessarily the jobseeker. When you are applying for jobs through an agency, make sure your skill set matches the job requirements. In many cases an employer is looking for a specific set of skills rather than a set of ‘transferrable skills’.
That said, not all agencies are perfect and relevant information can get missed. If you really believe that you are the ideal match for an advertised position and end up receiving a rejection email, don’t be afraid to call the agency and challenge the rejection.
If you choose to speak to agencies directly about work rather than just applying for jobs online, make sure you do some research on which agencies will be the best matches for you in terms of technical skills, industry skills and geographical location. There is an incredibly wide range of agencies in the market nowadays, from global giants that cover everything to niche providers who can offer an excellent personal service. It is important that you find an agency that meets your needs.
If you are willing to put thought, strategy and hard work into looking for your new position, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your dream job.
The next article in this Career Advice Series is called The Interview. When your initial hard work starts to pay off with invitations to interviews, preparation is key to landing that perfect job.
By Roger Mills, Co-founder of Think IT Recruitment.
As always, if there’s anything in this article you would like to discuss, please start a conversation or get in touch with me.