Job hunting is no fun. That’s expected. The usual job search experiences range from seemingly unending rejections to permanent communication black holes from job sites or recruiting firms. The whole job searching experience is often difficult and time-consuming.
If you’re losing focus on your job search and finding the days disappearing into an online haze, this is how you might be wasting your time:
1. Looking for a job – any job!
An applicant who is applying for everything can appear scattered – the proverbial ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. But it can be hard to know what you want. Often, it’s much easier to know what you don’t want – such as poor management, limited prospects, stifled creativity, top-heavy hierarchy, disengaged colleagues. Unfortunately, most of these negatives only become apparent once you are already employed by a firm, and it can be nigh on impossible to get a genuine feel for a prospective employer’s culture through research alone.
Therefore, it makes sense to concentrate instead on what you do want from a new job. Is it simply a higher salary? Is it a role with more responsibility? Is it a chance to work with new technology? Is it to be part of a particularly prestigious project? Do you want to move to a certain part of the country?
If it’s a combination of several of these or other factors, work out which is a deal-breaker, which is a nice-to-have, and so on, and a much clearer picture of what you’re looking for will emerge. It will also save you from applying and interviewing for jobs that might not be an improvement on your current situation.
2. Relying solely on big-name job boards.
The traditional method of job hunting was to post your CV one at a time onto dozens of online job websites and then hope you selected the best ones. This approach is time-consuming and makes it difficult to keep track of your where your details are posted. Admittedly, I still receive occasional calls from recruiters asking me if I’m interested in completely unsuitable jobs based on a neglected CV that was probably posted sometime in the mid-2000s.
Engineers and IT professionals are in extremely high demand in nearly all locations. The best places to find jobs in these industries aren’t always on popular job boards like Indeed. In fact, there is a myriad of industry, discipline, region and even gender-specific job boards available which provide job listings, CV upload capabilities and career advice for job seekers. Industry-specific job sites can prove quite helpful during your job search, especially if you are targeting a particular industry or career field.
3. Getting caught out by job scams from bogus companies and recruiters.
Not all job postings you find are legit. Recruitment scams are increasingly being carried out online through bogus job advertisements and job websites, or through unsolicited emails pretending to be from a legitimate company.
Emails often contain application forms which ask for personal details (including bank details) and in some cases, the individuals have then been offered a job. The scammer may then ask to send money e.g. to cover visas or other immigration documents.
These types of scams can not only leave you out of pocket but will seriously distract you from finding a genuine career opportunity.
4. Spending all your time online clicking on the “Apply” button.
Posting your CV to relevant online job sites and activating your ‘signal’ to recruiters on LinkedIn are great first steps to promote your interest in pursuing a new role. However, studies reveal that somewhere between 70-80% of jobs are unpublished – this is where an opening is filled without being advertised. And yet most people are spending the majority of their time surfing the net versus getting out there and making connections with those in the know.
Network with friends, family, associations, co-workers, and strangers. In essence, everyone you know or meet can become a potential networking contact for you to tap into the hidden job market.
Another great source for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry is to talk to people working in the field via forums, local meetups, and networking groups – online or in person.
This process is called informational or research interviewing. An informational interview is an interview that you initiate – you ask the questions. The purpose is to obtain information, not to get a job. This approach requires an investment of time that will pay dividends by increasing your networking contacts, industry knowledge as well as opening up new opportunities.
5. Submitting the same CV – every time.
Whenever you’re applying for a position, it’s best to stay on point with that industry’s requirements and minimise all the other content that’s not relevant. For example, if you’re going after a lab technician job, why would the hiring manager care if you’re great in the construction trade? CVs need to be tailored and targeted for each field – preferably for each job opening.
Ultimately, your CV needs to show that you are the single best candidate for the position in a field overloaded with other equally, qualified applicants. It needs to show your commitment to the position, the field, the employer and the industry. Only a targeted and well-tailored CV will be able to do that.
Even if you’ve invested in a professionally authored CV, you’ll most likely need to make changes to a document that been produced just for you. If you’re planning on staying in the same industry and discipline, making minor changes to the CV for each application will greatly improve your chances of being short-listed. These changes may include directing the focus onto certain skills or experiences, highlighting whether you have worked for the company previously, removing irrelevant training or even reordering the sections to match the job descriptions.
Unfortunately, most people find the process of job searching daunting and time-consuming. If for whatever reason, you’re not securing the roles you want, it might be worth thinking about investing a professionally written CV or optimising your LinkedIn profile.
ABCV Solutions create high quality, well-written self-marketing tools, each perfectly balanced to provide a professional, modern and positive impression of you. We take pride in our ability to explore your unique skills and career achievements to prepare meticulously correct, succinct, and engaging CVs and online profiles.
Plus, we’re 100% dedicated to the engineering sector.
Get in touch today or to find out more, click here.