Let’s look at the background before moving onto the job search process.
In countries with a competitive business nature, the supply and demand balance is disturbed. Every year hundreds of thousands that graduate from university increase the job search demand. Supply is directly related with the growth and development of the private sector. When the economy is going well and the market conditions are positive; new companies are opened and need qualified work forces, and existing companies create new opportunities by continuing growing.
After the hit-bottom of the 2008 crisis, we have seen some progress and growth yet from 2014 on, this positive course seems to have slowed down again. After 2016, there has been a narrowing in jobs searcing highly qualified work force and in relation to this narrowing; a competition in finding a high quality job.
Another trend is the shift happening from globally big corporation structures to small enterprises like start-ups, which makes it more difficult to find jobs in big companies with high brand prestige and strong employer branding.
This is the background.
For this reason, job seekers need to use to the fullest what they have under their control. What is under control of the candidate in a job search?
Invest in education.
- This is the issue that the employers pat the most attention to. Although job experience is highly important, the schools you have graduated from never lose their importance no matter which position you reach in your career. Being a Harvard graduate is always being a Harvard graduate. Yes, this is a bit formalist, yet unfortunately this is the case in many companies.
- If you are still a student, invest in yourself to get into the best schools you can. This will be an investment that will pay you back for the rest of your life.
- If you are already graduated and don’t have a strong educational background, consider enrolling into a master’s programme or high-grade distance learning and certificate programs. But think well if the two or more years to be spent on the master’s programmes are really worth it. In many cases under today’s circumstances, it might be wiser to spend that energy on creating other works.
Enrich your past.
- Go after internships, voluntary work, websites that start as hobbies, skills (now starting costs for gaining skills like photography, web-design, or SEO are really low and these skills are valued) and actual work experiences.
- Try to capture apprenticeship-mastership relations. For this, look into mentoring programs.
Polish your online profile
- If you are posting contents that might be seen unprofessional and negative on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; make them unavailable to the outside. Be attentive in your future posts. Remember that the employer that is going to hire you will consider whether or not you will be able to represent the company correctly and will have a hard time hiring a person that will not be able to do so even though he has good qualifications. Don’t reduce your own chance.
- Polish your professional profiles, especially LinkedIn. Express yourself in a way that will be clear at first sight, states you correctly, and is honest and realistic yet still impressive. Get professional help if you need support with this.
- Make yourself visible, don’t neglect activities that will expand your online network and increase your followers.
Design your CV and personal history in a right way.
- There are tens of ways to prepare a CV. For example; very long, very short, lost in a lot of details, never going into detail, including punctuation errors, designed in a complex way etc.
- Think of your CV as a movie trailer that expresses you in the truest way. It doesn’t have to give every single detail about you but it should roughly tell your basic skills, what field you want to work in, what areas you are good at.
- Put in your education and work experience in full, don’t make mistakes with the dates.
- A correctly-prepared CV is one of the most efficient weapons in job seeking, and how it is prepared is fully under your control; use this opportunity wisely. Thus, get professional help if you feel unsure about what you are going to do or that you cannot highlight your skills in the most correct way.
Keep your network wide.
- The best job opportunities will come from secondary acquaintances. (see also in this topic: Strength of Weak Ties)
- Instead of sending random invitations to people you don’t know, start dialogues based on common interests.
- Join online dialogues matching your skills and interests; be active in relevant groups; and even better, start similar groups in platforms like LinkedIn and Google+.
- Look out for opportunities in your sector where you can meet people face to face and develop relationships, and join these no matter what.
Do not neglect job-search websites.
- Do not neglect websites like indeed.com, monster.com or derivatives. Most companies still use these as the source for main candidates.
- Do more than uploading your standard CV in these websites. Do research on the most searched and most important keywords in your field of work and adorn your candidate profile in these websites with these keywords. Remember that your profile first needs to go through keyword searches to reach somebody. So your first competition is computers; design profiles that speak their language (short sentences, keywords, items etc.).
Use the power of the search engines.
- Many employers such as companies like Google now include features like “Notify me when a job opportunity appears in these areas” in their platforms. For example if you are searching for a Logistics Expert role, find ways to be the first to be informed about the job opportunities in this field (see also: Google Alerts).
- Research what Boolean Search is and how it can help you get a job.
Be humble and sincere in face-to-face meetings.
- I have attended many job interviews and heard many comments like “he has some shortcomings but he is in his right mind” or “she is a very decent person, she could be useful in this department if she improves that skill.”
- In none of the interviews have I heard the comment “he is such a repellent person but he knows this topic so let’s hire him.”
- People want to be with others whom they can first of all work comfortably with. Don’t be repellent when trying to be confident.
- Trust in your own skills and value. No matter how humble you are, the effort you have put into developing your skills and your confidence will reflect on the opposite party.
Know what you want, don’t give up.
- Don’t claim that you can do every job.
- Don’t be afraid to say what jobs you cannot do well. This will create a greater trust on the other side when you state what you can do well.
- Don’t determine randomly in which area you want to start or continue working; you must have discovered your own skills. If not, this would be the best investment you can do on yourself.
- Starting the job-search is an effort on its own. Be methodical and spread your energy over time.
- Don’t give up.