I received an SOS the other day from a super business colleague. Money was so tight, (as the new venture had not progressed as rapidly as anticipated) that he needed a job – quick and pronto – otherwise he might not be able to pay the mortgage.
This is a tough situation to be in and hopefully you don’t find yourself in that same boat. But if it does turn out that you need a professional job as quickly as possible, then read on, as I share my top 5 strategies that you can use, to accelerate the job search process.
KEEP THE JOB SEARCH FOCUS VERY NARROW
It seems so counter intuitive if you are desperate for a job, but the ‘apply for anything approach’ or applying for different types of jobs does NOT work. Why?
If you apply for anything that comes your way, you are going to be applying for jobs where you are not necessarily a good fit and you need to make sure your skills and experience, match the exact requirements of the employer. If they don’t – you are going to get a whole lot of rejection letters, or worse still, no acknowledgement that you even exist.
The second reason why you should not apply for anything that comes your way – is because if you are going to have any success using this approach, you will need to adapt your résumé for each and every job. (And I don’t know of any job seekers that can do this effectively). This is not only time consuming, but you are spreading yourself way too thin in terms of research and networking and you might even miss out on opportunities.
Finally if you don’t know ‘what you want’ – you are not going to sound convincing to employers. Employers want someone who not only has the skills and experience for a specific job – they want someone that is committed and passionate about what they do. Coming to interview with, ‘I need a job’, is not commitment and passion – it is desperation and employers don’t want to hire desperate people (hence more rejection).
For a job search to be successful, you need to have a very specific job target!
FORGET ABOUT CHANGING CAREERS & APPROACH A TON OF RECRUITERS
You might have hated your last job and envisage yourself in a new career, however if you need a job fast, you don’t have the time or resources to change careers. Stick to what you already know, as it can take a lot longer to land a new gig in a completely new career. Once you have a stable job and income, then make your strategic move to change career.
Plus the advantages of sticking with what you know and have experience in – is that you will be able to tap into and use recruiters.
Once you have all your personal marketing sorted, contact as many recruiters as possible in your specific field. Generally recruiters specialise in a specific sector, for example, construction, engineering, law, banking and finance etc. Generally speaking the location of recruiters is less important than the area of their specialism. So for example, they might be located in Sydney and you are in Brisbane, but their client potentially has offices in not just Sydney but also Brisbane.
You can also find recruiters using advanced Google search features and through LinkedIn.
Make sure you only approach ethical recruiters. A small number of recruiters don’t act in a professional and ethical way, which might potentially be detrimental to your job search.
When directly approaching a recruiter (rather than just responding to a job advertisement for a specific job posted by the recruiter), there are two approaches that you can take.
The first is to call them first and follow through with a resume, the second approach is to send the resume first and then follow this through with a call. Whatever approach you decide to take, CALL the recruiter, even if it is to just leave a message on their answer phone. When approaching the recruiter, all you need to do, is state that you hear that they specialise in your field that you are in the market for new opportunity in that field and wondering if there were any opportunities that would be a good fit. There is no need to expand beyond this. When calling, get the right energy, be upbeat and positive as you want to be the type of candidate a recruiter is interested in meeting. Most candidates don’t call, so this is a way to stand out from the crowd.
When sending your resume to recruiters you can use either snail mail, or email. Snail mail, while way more expensive, could be a way to stand out from the crowd, as generally most people don’t use this method. Maybe you could use traditional post for the top 10 to 15 recruiters you want to target. When sending via email, send your resume in a PDF format.
SET UP A GOOGLE ALERT
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to keep the job search very narrow and with jobs you already have experience in, the next step is to open yourself up to as many opportunities published online that are out there.
The best free tool out there is Google Alert
If you have not heard of the Google Alert service, then it is a service that retrieves information based on your chosen keywords from across the web, including ALL job search sites, news sites and career content sites. With Google Alert, you can set up alerts for key words relating to jobs, such as ‘business analyst jobs in Brisbane’ or a Google alert for a particular company you are interested in working for. Google will then automatically deliver this information to your inbox, and will send your alerts as soon as it finds a match to your keyword, once daily or once a week (depending on how you want to receive the information).
Simply go to: http://www.google.com.au/alerts and set up a search query.
You will find Google Alerts is all you need, but if you prefer Yahoo, then Yahoo has a similar service, which you will find at: http://alerts.yahoo.com
The key to the effectiveness of this tool is the keywords so make sure you are very specific about the type of job you are looking for. But once you have set up effective alerts, then VIOLA you will have jobs flow into your INBOX, without once visiting a job board!
When you need a job fast, it is all about keeping it simple, so you can leverage your time to quickly secure a new job.
TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK
Now is not the time to be shy and you need to use your network. Some experts state that more than 70% of jobs are found and filled through networks. The reason why networking typically works, is because employers prefer to hire someone that is known through a network, or someone that comes recommended.
Now when approaching your network, don’t come across as desperate and certainly don’t ask for a job. This will put pressure on your contact and you want to avoid this. The best way is to simply strike up a conversation and ask if they know anyone that would be a good contact in relation to potential opportunities, or just ask for some general advice. Most people love giving, if they don’t feel obligated.
MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN TO EMPLOYERS
You need to target companies that require your skills and make sure that you get your resume /CV in front of the right decision maker. While it will take some time to research the right organisations and contacts that you need to target, along with getting an individualised introduction letter out to as many organisations as possible (it is a numbers game), this tactic works. I outline in detail the exact strategy and steps you need to take to execute this job search strategy at: Find out why job boards like Seek and Monster are the WORST way to look for a job and the #1 Job Search Strategy that will triple your chances of success. http://mycareergroove.com/job-search-strategy
To secure a job fast you need to get your resume in front of as many decision-makers as possible. With the clock ticking, dedicate as much time as possible to the task and remember, it can be a number’s game. Good luck!