The fulltime job of finding a job

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As finding a new job is itself a full-time occupation, one of the silver linings if you find yourself unemployed is that you have the time to work on your job search



17 April 2009

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Modern job hunting is a full time occupation. It’s a combination of online ‘brand building’, connecting with the right people, old-fashioned footwork, and networking.

It doesn’t take long to post a CV online or applying to a few agencies but taking this as the extent of your job hunt would be a big mistake.

MAKE IT YOUR MISSION: A full-time job seeker needs to make job hunting their mission; their 40 hour week full time job.

Job seeking takes planning, initiative, persistence and skills. It is not a couple of hours a day internet activity.

You need to manage your job search, keep track of the companies and agencies to which you have applied, and the response to your application. Six things you need to remember are:

1. Strategy

You know your goal, now what is your strategy? Having a plan in place is essential for modern job hunting. You can start by building a spreadsheet of applications; tracking where you have sent them and the response you get from them. This will help you keep track of your effort and show you the result of your work. Identify the companies that didn’t come back to acknowledge your application and put in a call.

2. Connections matter

We can’t emphasis this enough. Networking is very important. Sometimes, it is not what you know but who you know. Network as best you can through your professional associates and ex colleagues/employers. Be proactive.

3. Interview experience counts

Don’t waste an opportunity to sit down with someone. Prepare thoroughly for each interview you participate in and remember, even if you don’t get the job, interview experience is invaluable. The more experience you have in interview, the more comfortable you will be when attending them.

4. Give your Curriculum Vitae to the right people

Sending a CV to every company in your sector will probably do more harm than good. If the company has a position they may interview you, if not your CV will probably be filled and perhaps forgotten. If you do this, you cannot be represented by agencies with these companies. You’re inhibiting the ability of an agency to send you forward for a role when one becomes available, because you have already applied. This means you will miss the preparation information from the agency and interview assistance.

5. Technology’s role

Online media have many benefits and disadvantages. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to connect with old friends, potential employers, past clients and other people who might offer career opportunities. However, combine the sheer volume of social networking sites and their ever-increasing demands on your time, and the volume and variety of jobs boards, and you might find yourself unable to walk away from the computer for too long. Technology is a tool that needs to be managed.

6. Time is money

The ability to stay connected can help your job hunt but it can also add a sense of guilt to your daily life. Every free minute you spend relaxing can feel like a career opportunity slipping away. It is important that, as with any job, you take your time off. Keeping a positive mental attitude is vitally important and a break from the search will help keep you on track. n



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