As a jobseeker you’ll have heard and seen every new and unusual piece of advice on applying for jobs and making a statement to would-be employers. Some are good, some are bad, some are far worse than ugly. Here are five tactics to employ during your job search.
1) Is your CV up to scratch? And when was the last time you asked someone to give it an honest appraisal?
A resume that is handicapped with spelling errors and poor grammar should be thrown out by any employer worth their salt.
If you know a HR boss or a CEO of a company get them to analyse it in a friendly capacity and offer pointers. It might even be time to create more than one CV, tailoring it to the specific company.
2) If you are genuinely unsure of your career choice, a popular tactic is the informational interview – a meeting with a relevant person from your desired career field.
This is informal, over coffee, which you should buy. At this interview, which is essentially a friendly conversation, you’ll learn about the industry, day-to-day experience, the required qualifications, and how to get the job you want.
The internet can only give you so much information - and who knows, your new friend may even know of some opportunities, as suggested in the Daily Telegraph’s piece on the benefits of Informational Interviews.
3) Networking events and job fairs can be fairly depressing – or they can be a platform to great things.
You don’t have to attend official events but don’t ignore them, as you could gain crucial advice and potential avenues for work.
Be careful not to spread yourself too thin – if someone sees you taking information on every single job on offer then they might question your desire for the sector. Instead, take your CVs and business cards with you, and/or examples of work, and cherry pick three to four stalls to approach.
4) Networking also means communicating with friends and family through social media.
We assume that usage of Twitter and LinkedIn is a given, but mass messages to multiple employers won’t create a great impression.
If you can afford the time, try to build a little rapport with influencers by sending them links, and commenting on their pieces and company; even if you get a job in the meantime it won’t hurt to cultivate contacts.
Telling people close to you that you are unemployed or searching might feel awkward on Facebook, but it also might open doors if they later see something that might suit you.
Some jobseekers also list keywords as their interests and are more likely to be discovered when bosses are searching for potentials.
The relative merits of social media choices are considered in this article at recruitmentbuzz.
5) Up to four-fifths of jobs are never advertised – a role is created with someone in mind, a potential star is head-hunted, or an eager wannabe sends a CV at exactly the correct time to strike gold. If your job-seeking is genuinely stalling, then this tactic can’t harm, although consider creating more than one CV, tailoring it to the specific company.
Candidates have been known to send accompanying ‘gifts’ with speculative enquiries or in response to advertisements. These include shoes to ‘get a foot in the door’ and lavish food, and range from inspired, through tacky, to downright bribery.
Much better (and cheaper) is the gift of deep research into a company, or creativity with the company in mind; a brave candidate could turn a cover letter into an infographic, or a flow chart, which would be memorable and cheaper than a pointless present.