When you’re looking for a job and not having much luck, it’s time to try some new search techniques. The job market is so competitive that you have to use your smarts to be one step ahead of the crowd and stand out. It’s not just a case of looking harder, browsing more sites or sending out more resumes. Try these things:
1. Utilize Aggregated Listings
One of the best unconventional methods of job searching is to, rather than scour every single employment website for the hundreds of new job listings that are posted every single day, be a bit more tech savvy and use a website that compiles all of the listings across the web for you and displays them in an easy to read, uncomplicated way. Using sites like SimplyHired or Indeed will save you from having 65 tabs open at the same time, and you can even filter them by salary, job requirements, travel distance etc.
2. Always Network
Even if you attend interviews that don’t pan out the way you would have hoped, you should always be on the ball in terms of trying to build a network of contacts that might be able to help you further down the line. Asking people out for coffee doesn’t have to be a strict ‘only if I get the job’ type deal; the more friends you have in the industry, the better. Have a profile on LinkedIn – even though you think you may not be a ‘professional’. You still have skills and something to offer, and a lot of companies advertise on the site so you’ve nothing to lose.
3. Resume Upgrade
Your resume is essentially the first extension of your personality that your potential employers will see, so make sure that it is as professional and up to date as possible. There are plenty of websites online that can help you to produce a really professional looking resume that can stand out from the rest of the applicants. And yes, it is time consuming but always write a separate cover letter for each application you make. If your resume is somewhat ‘eclectic’ you might consider having a number of versions of your resume focusing on something different in each one.
4. Personal Notes
With so many applicants for each job these days, it can be very heard to stand out from the crowd. In order to ensure that you stick in the minds of the interviewers, pre write a little thank you note and post it in their letterbox on your way out of the building. They will most likely receive it that same day and they will be impressed with your commitment and thought.
5. Do Volunteer Work
If you are not having much luck with securing a paid job, then be proactive and get involved with volunteer work. Gaps in resumes that are filled with volunteer work will give a much better impression than those that are filled with holes that cannot be accounted for. It displays a strong work ethic. It’s also a networking opportunity.
6. Proactive Interview
Try to be as proactive as you can during your interviews. Rather than sitting in silence and only responding to the assorted questions that they ask you, instead try to create organic conversation that could lead in to a more casual, unguided discussion about the company in general. This will show the interviewers that you have prepared in greater depth than the traditional ‘where do you see yourself in 10 years’ type questions.
7. Avoid Personal Brand Stress
Having a ‘personal brand’ is something that has become a rather hot topic in the modern job-hunting age. A personal brand is the term for the employee persona that you build for yourself, almost a personality that lets your potential employers see how competent you are and how you can help their company. Rather than becoming preoccupied with creating a brand for yourself, focus instead on your honesty and integrity and a natural, non-manufactured kind of personal brand will shine through.
8. Don't Limit Yourself to Online Only
Sometimes the best job for you might not be listed online. Fill out a paper application or attend job fairs. And if you've tired the applications from every angle; start putting yourself in the company. Call for a follow-up to make sure your application was received, get on the radar of important people within the company to set yourself apart from the rest.
9. Thank You Matters
If you're competing with one or two other people for a position, it might be worth your time after the interview, to go out of your way and express thanks to those who interviewed you. It's not guaranteed to get you the job, however, it does tend to seal the deal because it shows you're appreciative and you care!
10. Show off Your PeRsonality
Sometimes in interviews we become so nervous or we try too hard to be professional that we come across as boring. Instead, throw all that out the window and just be you! If you show who you are vs the others that are being too rigid, you just might land the job for being honest and up front. Granted, there's some things you don't need to share, but show you're approachable and outgoing and you'll have no struggle fitting in to their work environment.
Good luck with the job hunting.