When it comes to the flexible market and hourly work, the job hunt can be a bruiser.
If youʼre lucky, the perfect position to fit your likes and your life will drop into your lap courtesy of a friend who already has a great job and their inside tip. But if youʼre like the rest of the world, youʼre constantly searching job boards, career sites, harassing your family and friends and pounding the pavement with an eye for “Staff Wanted” signs in windows. And thatʼs just hurdle #1. Then thereʼs getting past first base, then interview and then the final decision.
So, how can you go into a job hunt and have the best chance of coming out the other side victorious and unscathed?
Here are our Top 5 Tips:
1. Be on High “Opportunity” Alert & Act
Some of the best work opportunities are underground and it takes motivation and dedication to smoke them out. Having your eyes and ears tuned in to any chance to get your foot into the working world whether it be a one-off volunteer experience that puts you on a potential employerʼs shortlist next time they need to hire, an internship that proves your willingness to prove yourself or maybe a conversation at a family BBQ about needing extra help around the office. Think outside the box. It may not be your end game but the more experience you have, the more employable you become. And when you do come across an opportunity, donʼt hesitate — go for it!
2. Embrace Your Flawsomeness & Just Be You
Everyone has flaws, but itʼs how you embrace them (or donʼt embrace them!) that makes all the difference. When an employer is searching for their next employee, cultural fit is a biggie when theyʼre evaluating potential candidates to make sure this newbie will blend well into their existing team. Similarly, you should target potential employers based on whether or not they would be a good fit for you. If you go out into the job hunt pretending to be something youʼre not, no one wins. Be the best version of yourself and youʼll attract the right employer for you. You may kiss a couple of toads before you find the right one, but it will be well worth it when you do.
3. Look Out for Your Personal Brand
You may not even think you have a personal brand but with the advent of social networks, you do. And, itʼs becoming harder and harder to control how your public profile is evolving across all of the different platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on. As much as weʼd like to believe some platforms are for personal lives and others professional, the truth is an employer is a Google search away from finding those drunken nightclub pictures or nasty Tweets you wrote about your last employer. So, keep a look out for your personal brand by ensuring the only content people can find online about you is what you want them to (or at least not mind if they do).
4. Focus on Quality, not Quantity
Before you start to go helter skelter sending applications near and far, take some time to think about what youʼre best at and what you enjoy most — Is it working in a team? On your own? Do you get satisfaction from helping people? Or more from creating or making something? Once youʼve done this, then create a list of the kinds of employers and opportunities that would be a great match for your strengths and interests. Have specific companies and job titles in mind, when possible because this will guide your job hunt. Employers can often tell when a candidate is just applying for anything and everything which almost always leads to a rejection so save yourself the time by going after the jobs you really want.
5. Skill Up & Keep Improving
Employers are often inundated with eager applicants who want to work for them, but what gets applicants into the “Yes” List are often those who have taken the initiative to improve themselves with new skills, experiences and qualifications. Especially, if youʼve been hunting for a while and not having much luck, look at what you could do to make your resume more attractive whether itʼs a day of Barista training, a short online course in retail management or maybe something as simple as a resume revamp to highlight other aspects that you may have initially left off like your volunteer/ community work, travel experiences, best achievements that could help an employer see what makes you unique.