Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Finding a job can be difficult and stressful. Whether you just got out of college or you’re only three years into your career, unhappy and seeking a new opportunity, here are 7 habits to be effective in your job search:
They Network… a lot!
Networking can occur in your daily life with friends, neighbours, supervisors, coworkers and even when meeting a friend-of-a-friend. Most of the time, employers prefer hiring people they know within their personal and professional networks and that’s why networking will help you gain access to these unadvertised positions which represent 80% of the jobs openings. That’s what we call “the secret market“.
Participating in networking events will definitely help you open doors to new job opportunities. Look for events specific to your industry or interests and show up even if you don’t know anyone attending.
Unadvertised positions represent 80% of the jobs openings
Their LinkedIn profile is updated
LinkedIn is mainly used for networking and you should use it to your advantage. Job recruiters, head hunters, and HR personnel are increasingly using LinkedIn as a source for finding potential candidates. Your LinkedIn profile should be up to date, and it should be very professional.
First things first, you should have a great photo, since it’s the primary thing the employer will look for in your profile. To make a good impression, choose a professional picture showing mostly your beautiful face. As a matter of fact, did you know that by adding a picture, employers or other LinkedIn users will look at your profile 7 times more often?
Secondly, another really important aspect of your profile is your professional profile. Under your name, we should be able to find your professional title. You must add key words to help employers in your field of expertise find you easily.
Their Resume is modern and tailored
Even if you have all the experience in the world, if your resume doesn't stand out or worse, it stands out for the wrong reasons, employers won’t take the time to look at it closely enough to see all the great experiences you have.
Keep in mind that the employer will look at your resume for only 10 seconds before deciding to read further or drop your Resume in the “no-no pile“, so make sure they’ll be able to easily find your relevant experiences and other requirements you should have. That’s why I strongly suggest using a "Profile Section" instead of a “Career objective section”.
Use a Profile Section instead of a Career objective section
That being said, your resume needs to be tailored to the specific job. It means that every time you apply for a job, you should modify your document. Use the key words or desired traits/abilities found in the advertisements and place them in the resume appropriately. Oh and please, no typos!
They keep in touch with their Mentor
Receiving guidance to reach your goals in not a sign of weakness; it is quite the contrary. A Mentor is a great person to have in your career to help you grow, challenge you, and offer their expertise. A mentor can be someone you admire, someone in your field of interest or just an old friend that has an amazing career path. If you’re not sure where to find a great mentor, participate in one of your School Alumni events. Chances are you will find someone who shares a similar background and interests.
Keep in mind that a mentor will give you another great access to the secret market.
They practice their interview skills often
Interviews can be tough if you are not well prepared. As you have probably noticed, a lot of employers out there will ask the same type of questions (Tell us more about yourself, your weakness, your strength, etc.). Inevitably, they’ll ask you questions about the company and that will be your time to shine. Do your homework and research the company’s mission, its culture, what they do and you must understand what you will do (a.k.a. what will be your responsibilities). Understanding the position will also help you think about different situational questions they could ask and once you know that, practise your answers in front of a mirror or with a friend.
You really have to show up at the interview feeling like you’re the best candidate for the job and you must know what you’re bringing to the table.
Indirectly, the more prepared you are, the more confidence you will have and the calmer you’ll be.
In the meantime, they enhance their skills
Whatever skills you have, while looking for a new job opportunity, you should continue building them. There’s always a place for improvement.
Good employees are continuously learning to become experts in their own field. I strongly suggest reading books and articles to know everything about your domain of interest. If reading is not always an option, you could use Udemy to get access to a collection of 1800+ relevant courses taught by industry experts. That will keep you sharp, updated and feeling like a winner.
And most importantly… they have a career plan
Don’t sacrifice future success for an immediate opportunity. I often say to my clients that life is too short to settle for a job you dislike and while I understand that you may have financial priorities, by settling for the paycheck and working 40 hours a week, when will you have the time to do the job searching?
I strongly suggest taking the time to reflect on what you’re looking for in a job. What type of tasks would you like to do? What skill do you to mostly use? Once you know what you’re looking for, choose your long-term goals and define a step-by-step plan to continuously progress toward them.
Of course, even if you’re doing all of the above, you may feel like your job search is not effective, but have faith in yourself and it will work out. Going through a professional transition happens to the best of us and is just a sign of wanting to move forward and building a better life for yourself. Be confident, something great will come along.