Job hunting is exhausting, and usually tests the seeker’s resolve. It can be likened to a rubber band stretched beyond its full elasticity, it’s most likely going to break apart. No doubt, job hunting can be daunting.
As a recruiter, I interface with a lot of jobseekers dealing with varying emotions, frustration, weariness, desperation, exhaustion, even hopelessness in some cases… I’ll probably do a sequel to add more to the list when I find the right words to describe the many feelings I see on those faces each day. In the meantime, let’s move on…
I like to say that, “job hunting isn’t the end of the world!” and that’s fact.
Perhaps the following points could help you figure out stuffs while in the job hunting process. Let’s hit the countdown button already!
Here are 10 things every job seeker should do to maximize chances of success:
10. Take more trainings. It’s a good thing to have a diploma or university degree in arts or sciences, however, it is very important to keep learning and developing oneself via trainings. Always seize the opportunity to hone new skills and increase your chances of having what it takes to grab more opportunities rather than stay fixed on the past education you acquired decades ago. Discover yourself more at this phase of your life and find passionate areas you can explore while you are job hunting. After all, you have more time at your disposal at this phase… you might as well put it into the best use.
9. Let your network know you’re looking. If your pet got missing and you didn’t inform your neighbours about it, they’ll probably see it somewhere out there and assume you allowed it out to play or you are somewhere in the area as well, and they’ll just walk away. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if your networks don’t know you’re searching then they will come across opportunities and not say anything to you, and you can’t blame them because you never told them you’re looking for a job. Talk to people you know, it’s not the time to be silent or shy. Anyone can seek to get a new job for different reasons – career growth, better income, career switch, job loss etc. It doesn’t really matter whatever your reason(s) may be, simply let your network know you’re looking.
8. Get off your computer/phones (sometimes). It’s cool to be social media/tech savvy or whatever terms works best for you, but sometimes you need a break from all the buzz on the internet. The daily selfies and groupies uploaded by your “friends” on various platforms can drive you nots sometimes when you don’t have any to post. Especially when it’s those taken at work, with work mates, fancy dressings and chill demeanor… you can either make your case go from bad to worse by dwelling on all that visuals all day, or you could spend more time investing in yourself to boost your confidence when that job opportunity comes knocking at your door. You always have a choice, but I strongly recommend less screen time sometimes, for your sanity.
Checking your email isn’t on the contraband list though, that’s important if you’ve been applying.
7. Take an online course to hone your skills. Well, this isn’t far from the “take more trainings” point. Except this is dwelling on online courses and the good news is, there are many free yet surprisingly enriching options out there on the internet. While many on sight trainings may cost money and I understand that being out of job has its pecks in the finance department, I strongly recommend taking advantage of free or very affordable online courses to keep you updated on relevant industry skills and boost your chances of bagging a good job when it shows up. Remember, when readiness meets opportunity success is the possible outcome.
6. Build your portfolio by taking on unpaid work. I know it’s not so simple to take up a work that consumes time and energy without pay, yet this is very important especially if you’ve been out of job for a long time. Avoid leaving so much employment gap on your resume, instead seek for volunteer opportunities and other unpaid work to keep you busy while you keep fresh and updated with relevant skills. Besides, you never know where your next employment opportunity will spring out from. Someone you’ve volunteered with might just love your work ethics or your personality, and feel obliged to recommend you somewhere or invite your for an internal opening. Keep busy. Keep working, whether paid or not. Remember what they say about an idle mind…
5. Treat the job hunt as a full-time job. Never sleep on it. Keep your focus unwavering till you hit the bull’s eye. Explore as many credible platforms as you can, network, send out applications daily, check your emails often, stay updated on current industry practices and interview tips, acquire relevant skills for your preferred industry. Job hunting isn’t a thing you treat with a loose grip, it’s a serious business. If you treat it like a full time job, chances are you will shorten the hunting period. After all, job hunting is a job in itself, treat it like one and you will be rewarded accordingly.
4. Perfect your resume. In my line of work, I’ve come across many unfit resumes, even when an applicant possesses the right requirements in person. The irony is that your resume goes first before you the actual person, therefore it’s worth investing in. If you find it difficult to develop one by yourself, there are many credible platforms where you can pay a token for your resume revamp. This can greatly shorten the job hunting phase because employers will perceive your skills and competencies better when your resume speaks clearly about you. It’s your foremost selling point.
3. If possible, do some investigating while you’re still employed. This may not sound like the best advice but it doesn’t hurt to try it. You can apply the saying, “look before you leap” in this context for better understanding of the point. Often, people leave their employment with little or no information or preparedness on how to get another. On this premise, it’s advisable to carry out some investigation into the labour market in your region and preferred industry before taking the big step of leaving your current job; possibly start the job hunting while you are still employed to make the transition smoother. This is not to say you should run off once another job comes up, breaking laws… No. If you must leave because of another opportunity, follow due process and leave on a good note, that’s what a professional would do.
2. Build your personal brand. Personal brand has been defined as your unique combination of skills and experiences that makes you who you are (google).
It shapes how the world perceives you and all you stand for. If you succeed to build a strong and positive personal brand, it will definitely help you stand out from competitors and compel employers to want you. The question is, “if you were a product manufacturer, how would you brand your products to differentiate it from competitors and make it appealing to consumers in the midst of many options?” You’re not a product, but likewise, you need appeal as a job seeker to get the right employers attention in the midst of many candidates. What you do to achieve a great personal brand is completely up to you (take the time to research on this).
1. Take breaks to unwind. I repeat… job hunting isn’t the end of the world! Don’t be so hard on yourself, there is so much you can enjoy doing while you are job hunting. Don’t be too fixed on worrying about when the job will eventually come that you forget to unwind and enjoy the seemingly little things in your everyday life, which can be missed when you get too busy again. Spend more time with loved ones and create priceless memories, take driving lessons or maybe dancing, learn a new language, go hiking with friends or take a road trip, learn a new recipe or perfect your cooking skills – it’ll be useful when you get busy working most times and you crave to eat homemade meals, but your momma lives so far away leaving you with one option… to make it yourself (assuming you’re single ofcourse).