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Stock up that job-hunting bag.

By Simon on

The digital & marketing jobs market has never been so vibrant – some sectors are booming, and others are playing catch up, which in unison is creating far more opportunities than normal.  The biggest issue for employers is finding suitable people so the market is in your favour, but it will not last forever so, grab it while you can.  Nothing in this world stands still or remains the same and the jobs market is no exception to the rule.

However, your career does not take care of itself – it’s down to you, so go out & grab opportunities.  We are all different and some will find it easy and others will hit a few bumps along the way. The key is to build a rewarding career is being consistent & driven in your search – it can genuinely be the difference with having an ordinary one to one that is greater than most. Getting off on the right foot is a big advantage, too.  However, you’ve got to work at it & I’m not saying sending 100’s of applications per week will help; your search needs structure and balance.  On the other hand, sending one or two per week will not accelerate you along the career path, either.  It needs balance & thought along with a powerful strategy.

May I stress that job hunting is not easy & requires a lot of determination & energy and embracing this concept can enforce real growth.
I do see a lot of people stay unhappy in their roles but if you want change, you must make change, or else nothing is going to change.

Careers are about learning & growing and sometimes, people are scared to embrace this, but we all have the power to rewire this pattern of thought. Everyone is on this journey but ones that are prepared to keep pushing & strive for better things, do achieve great things.

You will find a job in many ways – contacts, friends, recommendations, job boards, niche recruiters, direct applications, networking, Linkedin, career fairs, Alumni & the list goes on.  All these access points are effective, but no single one is guaranteed for any individual. It’s best to use a mix.   The trick is to find what approach suits you best but don’t overemphasise the easiest way at the expense of others – it’s conversations that get you jobs, not emails.  Put yourself out there & get talking & connecting.

Note on recruiters – experienced and credible ones will have extensive knowledge of the market – their livelihoods depend on what/who they know.  Do not mass mail your CV to them. Pick one or two that you trust & have a good experience with.  The best can have a big impact on your career, as you will most likely move 3 or 4 times over time, and they can help you achieve this, in more ways than others.

No ‘fruitful’ job search will work without research.  If you have a specific sector you want to work in, your goal is to identify & build info on those companies & key contacts in your chosen geographic area.  The same reasoning applies to looking for a certain role – try to be specific and not general. A search that is too broad and loose can cause issues.  This type of effort will not only help you in the short term, it will also help you build up a network that will help you throughout your career.  Don’t underestimate it.

Don’t be judgemental or listen to idle gossip – you are looking for opportunities & contacts, so cast your net wide.   You will most likely come across interesting info on growth, acquisitions, recruitment drives etc – keep a log of it.  This type of intel will make you shine at interviews & inside knowledge will create a favourable impression at an interview & your effort is noticed.

Some general tips –

* Don’t mass mail. Small but consistent is way better.  You will have more control and build better contacts.  A careful & targeted approach is more productive because you will start to build a raft of contacts & you will start to build a better understanding of your chosen industry.

* It’s no use sending out CVs without a follow up.  An open and honest conversation with a potential contact can become an ally who can point you in the right direction. Savvy hirers will keep a file of people of great professionals that they can’t use today but want to keep available. Contact & recontact your job leads. Follow up on CVs you send out.

* If you aren’t getting the desired response – change the CV.   Add colour, change the font, summary, layout, txt – whatever it takes.

* Don’t stop searching until you have a written offer in your hand.  Similarly, don’t stop at the first interview you receive.   It’s tempting to think ‘this is the one’ but it’s rarely the case. The more interviews you attend, the better you feel & the better you get at interviewing.

* Use normal business hours for making contacts. Early morning or afternoon or around lunchtime are pretty good.

* Don’t feel guilty about taking time off from your job search.  Regular breaks are necessary.

* Maintain records of your contacts – there is nothing worse than being contacted about a job, for someone to say, ‘which job’.  It will kill the conversation stone dead.

* Remember, it’s all up to you.  There are many excuses not to make calls or send CVs or continue looking.  Be prepared for knock-backs but let them push you further & make you more determined. There are opportunities for people who assiduously turn over many stones.

There is no perfect way, and if anyone tells you it is, they’re either superman or superwoman, but  you will learn what works & what doesn’t & the more you do, the better & more focused you will be.

Given that it’s not going to be a breeze, it’s important to know that it’s not going to be too difficult, either. I’ve come to realise that we thrive when challenged and job hunting is no different and as long you put the effort in, the reward is achievable.