The global economic recovery is on track, with many developing economy hotspots firing around the world, but unfortunately the job market is still bleak for many countries. Although your local recovery may not be strong enough to have made a significant dent in the unemployment rate as of yet, there are several things job seekers can do to increase their chances of landing a new gig.
Here are some creative ways of competing on the job front in today’s tough market.
#1 – Social networking
It’s not unusual for a modern internet junkie to have thousands of friends on FaceBook, hundreds of followers on Twitter, and a heap of additional connections on MySpace, Flicker, and many of the other social networking sites. But it’s much more unusual to find a person who is building social networking connections for the purposes of job referrals and business contacts. Interestingly though, developing professional social networks can provide a massive boost to your job hunting endeavors.
One of the most well known networks in this space is LinkedIn, which has a declared membership base of 90 million people. LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful job hunting tool, as you can use the site to develop connections with people in your choice of company or industry.
However, there are also plenty of niche-industry networking sites that can also prove very beneficial. What is it that they say about being a big fish in a small pond? These niche sites provide you with the ability to make a name for yourself amongst the community, which may lead to unsolicited job offers. Furthermore, you may also become privy to job opportunities during internal discussions, and can reach out to members of the community directly.
#2 – Cold calling
It almost sounds like a dirty word, perhaps because it makes people shudder at the idea of being rejected, or worse yet, perceived to be an annoying little pest. But the reality is that the current job market is flooded with more candidates than there are positions available. So if you want to get in front, then you need to get out there and make it happen.
There’s a good chance that your employer of choice already has mountains of unopened resumes filed away, so they don’t have much incentive to advertise any job openings. Therefore, your chance of getting a job may depend on how high your resume sits on the stack of applications, and to get your resume in this prime position you need to make yourself known. In fact, there are plenty of industries where jobs are rarely advertised, and presenting yourself as a candidate is the only way to find work.
When we’re talking about ‘cold calling’ here we’re referring to all forms of personal approach where no previous relationship existed. This may include visiting the office of your desired employer and giving them your resume; make sure that you are dressed for the role of course. Personalized and well informed phone calls and emails can also be utilized. Sometimes even just embarking on a fact finding mission, where you inquire about the qualifications needed and the roles that are best suited to your skills and qualifications, will unlock opportunities.
In essence, what’s important here is to avoid the scatter-gun approach of bombarding numerous employers with a generic resume, and instead to develop personal relationships with relevant contacts.
#3 – Deep searches
Never assume that companies or organizations are not hiring simply because there are no vacancies advertised in the general classifieds. Organizations will tend to advertise open vacancies on their websites first, and will only approach job advertising sites if there is an urgent need for staffing. You may also find that applying for a job through this avenue will lend you greater credibility, as it will be assumed that you’re capable of conducting research and more likely to be interested in the specific company.
#4 – Let your skills shine
Employers are in search of skills and talents that will complement the existing resources of the company. A job description only provides a very limited insight into the qualities that the company will be looking for in an employee. So rather than trying to mold yourself to fit the job description, make sure that you highlight your best attributes.
#5 – Check the stock market
Stock market reports and analysis in daily newspapers, journals, and in online sources are not only valuable for investors; a smart jobseeker can gain insider information from keeping an eye on these reports. For example, a company looking to expand its operations will certainly be in need of more employees. Mergers and takeovers may translate to redundancies and cutbacks. Lackluster stock performances and low profitability may indicate few or no available vacancies.
Overall, finding a job has become a full time job in and of itself because of the current state of the economy. With the unemployment rate at its highest level in years, it may take a bit of creativity to find your next job. But the good news is, if you start to apply some of the tips mentioned above, then you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of the other candidates.