Job Search Strategies

Job Search Strategies

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Job searching. A big groan to be had by everyone, as searching for a job or career can be very daunting. However, the whole process gets easier the better you’re prepared.  The bottom line…. it is an ongoing process, but the more that you do it, the more natural and comfortable it will be for you. So, without further ado, here are some practical strategies to help you with your job search process.

Research – Like almost everything else, when you want to find out more about a topic, you need to research and study the issue to obtain more knowledge. With your job search, the more you research and understand the current labour market, details on the careers you are focusing on, and potential employers that you are interested in, the more successful you will be. For example, what educational background or training will you have to undertake in order to be qualified for the job? What skills/competencies and personal attributes are employers generally seeking? What is the competition like, and how will you set yourself apart from the others?

The Visible…and Invisible Job Market –

Did you know that there are two kinds of job markets out there? There is the visible job market, where the job opportunities are posted through various formats:  job posting websites (Symplicity, Monster, Workopolis, Indeed, Craigslist, etc.), company websites, print posters, career fairs, signage in windows, social media, etc. This is visible to everyone which attracts a lot of applicants, thus more competition!

On the other hand, there is the hidden job market, where these positions are not posted nor advertised. Research indicates that 80 – 85% of job opportunities are a part of the hidden job market with only 15 – 20% being publicly posted.  Many experts say ‘you get a job by talking to people’ or networking with others, so tell everybody who will listen that you are in job search mode.  Use a combined approach of face-to-face chatting, phone, email and social media interactions like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter!

The Informational Interview –

This is a huge job search tool to get in contact with people in your industry and potential employers. Essentially, you are approaching an individual from your desired field to ask them questions regarding their career, experiences and the organization they work for. This is an opportunity to find out about their career journey, educational background, how they got into the position they are currently in, what associations they belong to, what paid and volunteer experiences were helpful to them, as well as seeking any advice for those interested in the industry. Who knows, not only will you receive fabulous career and employer information, practical advice, contact leads and referrals but sometimes lucky enough to get some industry-specific resume tips!

Get Involved –

You can never have too much experience, and the more that you have the better! Consider getting involved now by joining your SFU faculty-specific student union, society or club; and/or your professional industry organizations or associations that you are interested in (i.e. International Association for Business Communicators(IABC); Human Resources Management Association (HRMA); Applied Science Technologists &Technicians of BC (ASTT), etc. ), which will allow you to network with other professionals. In addition, volunteering is an excellent way to gain relevant experience, transferrable skills as well as develop contacts for any future employment.  So, take career action today and get involved!

Posted on October 31, 2012