When you’re job hunting it’s easy to get stuck in a behind-the-scenes rut, hiding behind a computer and applying for job after job after job. Not only is this slightly unhealthy and you probably need to get some sunshine and stay in touch with the world, you are probably not doing yourself any favours.
With every online ad application you are completing, there can be hundreds of others competing for the same position. High odds indeed.
Below are some ‘out-of-the-box’ tips for finding work!
- Networking: A mix of perfect timing and interacting
It is estimated that approximately 60% of all jobs are not advertised. The reason for this is that before business managers decide to spend money on online advertising jobs boards (and some of them can be very expensive), they often spend a bit of time spreading the word in their internal and external networks.
Some of the best networking can be done by attending business chamber networking events. Here you’ve got a whole room of business people whose top question is ‘and which company are you from?’. Launch into how you are currently looking for opportunities and you wanted to meet the local business owners in your region. Politely ask everyone you speak to for their card and whether you can send them your resume, they may just know someone who knows someone who is looking for someone just like you.
The other way to network is what is commonly called ‘the grapevine’, where you contact everyone you know and tell them you are looking for work and to spread the word. Of course there is social media sites too and feel free to let everyone know you are looking for work. Keep it upbeat and positive and never say anything negative about past employers, your future employer could be seeing your posts.
The point is, spread your intentions far and wide – others will respect your proactivity and help you to spread the news.
- Direct Approach
Write down a list of companies in your area that you would like to work for – choose your top 20 and the following week, do the same. When choosing your companies, think about the roles they would require and match them with your current skills, even your transferrable skills. For example, if you’ve worked in hospitality and were great at chatting to customers, you could probably work in retail, community services, or in a sales position. If you are looking for an apprenticeship or a traineeship to gain skills for that industry, mention that in your cover letter too.
Once you have your list, dress appropriately, bring your resume and a short cover letter and visit them all in person. Ask if you can speak to the manager. If they are not available, leave your resume with the receptionist and ask for the manager’s phone number and email or, if possible, a better time to call in.
This takes effort but think of it as your own ‘self-created’ interviews. You’re getting in front of the company without having to wait for a call back to an interview. You are bound to get knockbacks but the more you visit the more chances you will have of appearing before an organisation at exactly the right time – ie just before they were about to advertise. Wallah – you were sent from the heavens!
- Think about Changing Industries
Some industries are set to have more employment growth than others, now and into the future and some are experiencing major skills shortages that Federal and State government is incentivising persons to train in and employers to hire as apprentices or trainees. These can be found on the National Skills Needs List.
It’s a great idea to do your research and consider industries where your transferrable skills could suit. You never know where your next career path may lead you!
- Of course you continue to apply online!
We’re not telling you to stop applying for online advertised positions, in fact, we’re telling you to increase this. The odds increase the more job applications you submit. For instance, for every 10, 20 or even 30 or more applications (depending on the roles you are applying for), you may get one interview. We can also show you how to nail your written application every time to further increase the chances of getting an interview, as well as how to succeed in that interview and land the job.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
Yes, finding work is a full time job in itself and it can be extremely tough when you are also dealing with uncertainty, rejection and potential money troubles. This is where we tell you to stay positive, as cliché as that sounds. Without a positive outlook, you lessen your odds greatly and if ever there is a time to ‘be positive’ it is now. This time period could be instrumental into leading you to something really great, so make the most of it.
Be realistic and objective. Realise that there is a lot of competition, others may have been slightly more suited than you for that role, and eventually you will be the best in a bunch of applicants. It’s just the way it is.
You got this – now go forth and conquer!