Where to look for work.
Job Search Part 2: Where to look for work.
Where to look for work – in the first post at this link we asked about the kind of
work you are looking for! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful. I asked you to decide
- Whether this was going to be a career or were you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself?
- What you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?
- What you are good at?
- How do you want to work?
- What kind of organization do you want to work for?
- How much do you need to earn?
Now you have the answers to those questions, you are ready to begin your job search. Now we are going to consider where you should start looking. I am going to list your options and tell you little about each one.
Where to look for work.
The Best Method – Word of mouth – Networking
Most jobs, particularly in the private sector are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through friends, acquaintances and relatives – in other words through networking. For example keeping in touch with a former colleague who has also moved on to a new employer might mean you find out about a new post in their organization that is a good fit for you. Networking events, conferences and exhibitions can be a rich source of new contacts. Networking is such an important subject that I’m going to devote a post to that alone. it will be the next post in this series.
These days most people sign up with one or more recruitment agencies. It is a good idea to make contact with several – you can find lots of them on-line. They are a good way to keep up to-date with what is going on in the job market. Many agencies will have a mix of permanent and interim/contract roles. Some agencies specialise in particular sectors so check whether there is one in your field. Register with the agencies you feel comfortable with – beware of scam agencies (such as, any that asks for a fee to join). A good agency will keep you up to date with their vacancies. Most recruitment agencies do a good job for employers and job seekers. Note that high levels of job searchers in the recent past has meant people without real ability have set themselves up as recruiters. Ask plenty of questions and ask friends and relatives for recommendations
On-Line Job Sites
On line job sites give you immediate access to all kinds of jobs and you can search them in your own time at home. More and more employers are using sites like http://www.monster.co.uk and http://www.reed.co.uk to find new staff. You will usually find these sites give lots of other resources to help you in your job search. Take time to browse and get a real feel for what is available. Before you search, think carefully about the key words related to your interests that you will use to find possible jobs. Use their user guides to make the most of the sites.
Contacting employers directly
As I say above most vacancies, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised. They are filled by people already known to the employer. So, of course, it is worthwhile making yourself known. There is no reason you should not ask about jobs available. If an employer can fill a job without advertising, it saves them time and expense. Even though they don’t have vacancies when you inquire, if you make the right impression, they may contact you in the future. Find out as much as you can before you approach them, then tailor your CV appropriately. Most people try to find out the name of person responsible for hiring new staff and write to them. Others have success by approaching a senior executive in the department where they want to work directly. If you have done your home work and show a real interest in the company, you can find this direct contact can be a good way in.
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Social networking is an incredibly powerful tool for the job seeker. LinkedIn in particular is a powerful business networking tool used directly by employers to find staff and by head-hunters and recruitment agencies. Keep your own profile clean, up to date and professional. Use social media as well as LinkedIn to help you research organizations in your job search.
Follow the organizations you are interested in, for possible recruitment activity as well as other news. Make sure that your social activity doesn’t weaken your opportunities. Remember everything you post is out there for a prospective employer to see – make it work for you.
Local newspapers and bulletin boards
Local companies still advertise with local newspapers and use their online bulletin boards. So don’t ignore them. Find out which day your local paper is published and, more importantly, which day they advertise jobs. Contact them and let them know the type of work you want, your skills and your experience. They may know of a suitable position or let you know if anything comes into the office.
Graduate and Intern schemes
If you are a recent university graduate (or about to become one) you should consider graduate schemes in your field of interest. They can be a fast track to the top but sometimes they have a high rate of attrition. Find out as much as you can about them and the history of the intern scheme before you commit. There will be information about how to apply on the organization’s website. They are usually very heavily subscribed so don’t take it personally, if you are not one of the very lucky few. But it is always worth giving it your best shot.
Internships are often very poorly paid. But they can provide valuable experience and a way into particular fields – for example, in the media, If you are young, don’t have work experience, and you can afford it, they are a good option. Again, you can research them on-line and you will find them on sites like Reed and Monster.
Organize Your Job Search
Where to look for work – be methodical in your approach. Make sure you keep track of who you have contacted and the stage you’ve reached with each one. This means you will be able to follow them up effectively and not duplicate your efforts. Keep a mini-file for each job application and record feedback if you are unsuccessful. Keep background files on the organizations you would like to work for . When you tailor your CV, keep a copy in your portfolio file for future use.
In Part 3 at this link, we’ll see what networking can do for your job search. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like some further help. Working with a coach does improve your chance of success. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at email@example.com
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link