In this day and age, having the right qualifications and experience does not guarantee a successful job search. Being able to convince a potential employer that you are the right product to buy is more art than science.
Good thing is, finding meaningful work is an art anyone can learn. But first you need to understand that to successfully transition from job hunter to gainfully employed, there’s a mindset you need to have, a way you need to think…
Be courageous: Searching for the right place is not for the faint hearted. It’s propelled by a mixture of fear and hope; fear of being unemployed. Hope of what lies ahead once a job is secured.
Be positive, focus on the opportunities: Instead of getting depressed over the unfavourable statistics of the labour market, see it as an opportunity to move out of your comfort zone and excel.
Know exactly the kind of job you would love: If you don’t know where you’re going, how would you know when you get there? If you know exactly what job you want, it becomes easier to find it.
Be bold enough to market yourself: Before contacting any prospective employer, understand his or her business. What do they do, what can they do better, what opportunities can they leverage that they currently aren’t? How can the skills you currently possess add value to what they are trying to achieve? Capture all this in the materials you send to them with one main purpose-To get them to contact you.
Arouse their curiosity: By showing that you know something about them and the challenges they face and that hiring you will help them to deal with those challenges. The focus must be on what they need, not what you want.
Be creative: Employers get very tired of the ubiquitous “Dear Sir/Ma, please find attached…” application. Be creative and upbeat. Put yourself in their shoes. What are you offering that will get their attention?
Put your network to use: Leverage your circle of influence to help you find a job. You know people who know people who know other people, within this circle a lot of information is circulated, most times job listings rarely make it to the papers. Let those you know be aware that you are job hunting. You never know from where opportunity will come knocking.
Find out what events are upcoming that will attract the people in the sectors you want to work in and to attend those events.
Don’t be deceived, they’re not advertising doesn’t mean they’re not hiring: Many of you believe this and limit your search to jobs being advertised in the newspaper, the Internet, or other such options. What you don’t realize is that at least 80% of employment opportunities are never advertised.
Regardless of the upcoming challenges in the economy, there will always be work available. The people who will find that work are the ones who understand today’s workplace, who aren’t afraid to move out of their comfort zone, and whose approach is diligent, creative and focused on the needs of the employer.
Whatever you do, never lie about your achievements, skills, credentials or what you can or cannot do. You’ll be found out eventually and your reputation will be in tatters.
Finally, as a job hunter, you need to understand that you’re selling yourself. Your attractiveness as a product will be determined by the way you package yourself and how you articulate the value you have to offer. Remember that.