Simple 5-Step Guide to Finding the Right Job for You (and Getting It)
Feeling dissatisfied with your current job? Not sure if your current employer or career path allows you to operate at your full potential? Or maybe you just need something fresh and engaging?
After careful consideration, you decide that you will start looking for the next step in your professional path! Monster.ca? Indeed.ca? LinkedIn? ProforceJobs.com?
It quickly becomes clear to you that there are tens of thousands of job opportunities posted on each site for each major city! Where do you start? What do you apply for?
The Bad News
At first, you are filled with an overwhelming confidence! If there are 42,000 opportunities in Montreal right now, surely one of them will see what an amazing individual I am and hire me! The “Easily Apply” and “Apply Now” buttons become your new best friend and before you know it you have applied to 278 jobs over the course of a week!
And no one calls you back…
The harsh reality is that applying for dozens or hundreds of jobs with the hopes that one hiring manager takes a chance on you is the workplace equivalent of standing along Rue St Catherine (or, for our Toronto readers, Yonge St) during rush hour and asking every individual who walks by to marry you!!!
Sure, someone might give it a chance, but would you expect to wake up every day happy, knowing you made the right choice?
The Good News
What’s the good news? There’s an alternative that will better focus your time, reduce your stress, and hopefully end your disappointment!
The key to landing meaningful interviews at companies you actually want to work at is not blanketing the internet with your CV and generic cover letters addressed “To whom it may concern” [insider shocker: if it doesn’t actually concern us, we don’t read it].
While I can’t provide you with a sure-fire way to get hired, what I can do is point you in the right direction by shedding some light on what successful job-seekers are doing.
Find your niche
The first step, and certainly the most difficult for a lot of people, is discovering yourself. How can you add value to a company that in turn satisfies your wants and needs? What this entails is setting aside some time for reflection, having earnest discussions with the people closest to you, and researching the market using the internet and any personal contacts at your disposal. It is taking the time to reflect on what your unique skills and expertise are, what you are passionate about accomplishing, and what your personal needs and wants are. Once you have this figured out, begin compiling a list of companies and job descriptions that fall into your professional sweet spot.
Fast forward as long as you need to figure out where you want to work and what you want to do. There are now a number of approaches to finding that dream job! And, since any one of them can work, you should try as many of them as possible.
Make Good Use of the Web
Begin combing the internet for job opportunities that are specifically in line with what you are looking for. On each job listing website, use key words and Boolean operators to narrow your search to 10-15 pertinent results. After taking the time to read each listing carefully, and research the company, apply with a cover letter tailored to that organization’s values.
Not seeing any openings that interest you? Indeed, Monster and Jobboom all allow you to set up an automated alert based on your search criteria and will automatically notify you of any new opportunities with a daily notification email.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Now that your job search is well under way, talk to the people you know! I once landed an awesome summer job because my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend overheard a conversation I was having and told me that the company his roommate works for was hiring. Two phone calls later and I had an interview the following week. Passion is contagious and, if you know what you want, the people around you might help you find it.
Take the Lead
Next, and this is where it gets fun, begin to single out companies that you want to work for but who are not actively hiring. Virtually every reputable company has an online presence and finding an email that accepts CVs or the phone number for an HR team is not difficult. Even if the company is not currently posting job ads, planting a seed with a well-written cover letter and sending them your CV for consideration may prove fruitful later on! If you’re willing to go the extra mile, pick up the phone and call the company. Introduce yourself to their HR department or their management team and maybe, the next time they are looking to hire, you will come to mind.
Speak to a recruiter
Not all recruiting agencies are the same. Some provide the service of career advice, while others do not, but if you have completed all of the above activities, a smart headhunter will listen to what you have to say!
Call us up and tell us your story. Share with us your unique talents and skills, tell us what you are passionate about, what you love to do, and tell us what you are looking for! Making a great impression on one of us can make a huge impact on your chances of finding the right fit, because that’s what we do for a living! Companies entrust us to find them the best possible candidates and, if that is you, we will want to meet!
Quality Over Quantity
The truth is, far too often us recruiters hear “I just want something in the A$ to B$ range, it doesn’t matter what it is” OR “I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking for, but I want to work in sales”. Don’t kid yourself; money can’t buy happiness, and a job title is meaningless unless you are doing meaningful work. If you are not convinced the job you applied for is right for you, you will not convince us or a potential hiring manager that you are right for the job!
For some, finding the right job requires days. For others, it might take weeks. Personally, it was closer to a three-month process that landed me where I am today. The important thing is that you know what you are looking for before you start your search. Your passion and expertise will shine through and illuminate the conversations you have with recruiters or hiring managers.
Quality will trump quantity when applying for jobs online and taking half an hour to write a pertinent cover letter tailored specifically to one company is far more beneficial than spending that same half hour applying to 17 jobs that are not right for you. Take your time. Do it once, do it right!
Seems simple right?! Virtually no one does it. Those that do are getting the jobs.