The regular way of getting a new job is to search through newspapers or through jobs websites, then finding ones that could potentially fit you and send your CV off to some faceless company, and subsequently waiting. If you are looking for a job, there can be a lot of waiting around for feedback. Companies generally have multiple other things on their plate than just hiring you. There are alternative ways (and possibly smarter ways) to get that job, and while you are waiting to hear back why not try out one or two of them.
Employers are looking for top class candidates to interview, and with the unemployment rate in Ireland at 13.8% there are potentially hundreds of people applying for the same job as you. And because of this it’s that little bit harder to stand out, the chance that your CV will be rise to the top is that little bit lower. Our tips will help you to be that little bit more outstanding that you already are. How do we know you are better than the average candidate ? Well for a start you are reading this !
Before we talk about our ideas on alternative ways to get a new job, you should remember that there still is no excuse for being ill prepared. Make sure you have an organised CV which is tailored to the type of job you are applying for. Remember that you should research each and every company you are applying to, know more than just their name !
Employers hate it when their candidates turn up and waste their time, as we mentioned before they are already busy enough. If you do a phone screen for example, take detailed notes about the questions you think you didn’t do so well. For subsequent interview rounds you can be sure that they will re-ask you about those areas that you missed, so do your research !
When you’ve worked so hard to get an interview, to get your feet in the door, you should then spend the time preparing for each and every interview. One regular feedback we get from disappointed applicants on how they did in interviews, is that they didn’t prepare as much as they would have liked to.
Simply ask people, get the word out that you are looking for a job. The more eyes and ears you have looking for a job for you the better. Use friends, relations and anyone else you know, and casually let them know that you are looking for a new challenge. Having these people looking for you will increase your chances of finding a job.
Also remember that many jobs are gotten via contacts, it’s not always what you know, rather it’s about who you know. Many employers who advertise jobs, have already picked a person for the job. Because of legal requirements they are required to advertise their jobs, and they are required to interview. Now this fact is not to make you disheartened about applying for a job, rather it’s more to show you that you need to network and edge your way in somehow.
If you don’t know any CEOs or managers, that’s okay. Start with neighbours or friends of your children, and get talking to someone new. Most of these things take a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it you will be expanding your network before you know it.
2) Get creative and draw attention to yourself
Feross Aboukhadijeh from Stanford University created little web app that grabbed the attention of the creator of YouTube, and subsequently he was offered a job at Google. Feross wasn’t actively looking for a job, but he used his spare time constructively and drew attention to his greatness. This is something you can do too, again the challenge here is to be creative, but it can be done.
If for example you don’t have all the qualifications you need for a job, then this is what you should be doing while you are waiting for that job to turn up. Studying at night or during your holidays might be the necessary
Recently we advised a customer, who had just graduated with an MBA, and he wanted to work more on business strategies and plans. His current role was more a coordination type job for a multinational organisation, and left him little opportunity to develop these types of plans. But because your current company doesn’t offer what you are looking for, that’s not the time to stop your search in your area of interest. We advised him to talk to startups, specially internet startups, and to offer his time with them. Here he gets away with working around 4 hours a week with them. Because it’s not a paying position, he is flexible to work when he can, and this internet startup gains the knowledge of this MBA graduate. In the end both parties win.
3) Apply pro-actively
Research companies that you are interested in. Just because they don’t have a job listed on their website or with a recruitment company, it doesn’t mean that all the jobs in that company are spoken for. To keep the finger on the pulse you can use tools like Google Alerts to get notifications on news on your target companies. What we recommend is to stalk a few companies for a few months, and follow what they are up to in industry. If there is something that they do which you particularly like, put pen to paper and contact them directly.
Mention that you have been paying attention to what their company does, and mention why you would be the right person to help them along their journey to achieve their goal. For a hiring manager this gives many positive signals about you and your pro-activeness, and maybe, just maybe it will be enough for them to invite you for an interview.
While you can go the route of leaving your CV with recruitment agencies, or head hunters, it’s been our experience that they don’t always have your best interests in mind. They rarely will design a CV for you or give you career advice, their interest is to place you in a job to collect their commission. While you can use them as part of your search for a new job, we would only use them as one of the prongs in your search. Take control of your own job applications, talk to companies directly and in the end you will be successful !
Best of luck in your search !