November 9, 2018 - Cheyene Shuart
Having trouble finding a job? These tips on job searching can help you boost your job search abilities and bring you closer to landing an interview!
Job searching is a process that incites a lot of cringing and misery. Scanning through Indeed.com or Google for jobs in your field is pretty much the most dreadful process of job searching. High school does not prepare you for the job search – they hardly prepare you for a proper resume – so when it comes time to find a job and you haven’t learned much about it, it can be a disappointing experience.
An important thing to note about job searching is that only 15-20% of the jobs that are available are posted online. That means that 80-85% of available jobs are located in what the office of Career Development and Experiential Learning likes to call “The Hidden Job Market” (cue dramatic music). As ominous as that sounds, there are secret arts to tapping into this enigmatic job market that we Peer Advisors can share with you during Drop-In hours at JEC 100 from 10-4pm. For now, I will leak some of these top-secret tips to help you get ahead in the job search battle, but don’t be afraid to come and ask us for more information!
Tip #1: Social Media
In our previous blog posts, we have mentioned the importance of keeping up with your social media for professional development. LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Facebook, and Twitter are all massive platforms that employers use strategically to find the best candidates for their organization. Creating a separate Twitter and Facebook account for professional purposes and making those more open in terms of privacy than your personal accounts will help you entice employers if they choose to look you up and find reasons to hire you. LinkedIn is an essential component of job searching – not only do you market yourself and your skills online, you can follow employers, look for jobs, and broadcast that you’re interested in employment.
Tip #2: Tell Everyone
Your Grandma’s best friend’s son might be hiring for a position right now. Telling everyone about your interest in finding a job can open up doors you might not even imagine. Classmates, professors, previous co-workers, volunteer supervisors, and your Grandma’s best friend’s son could know of someone’s cousin’s brother’s friend who is looking for someone with your skills. Networking sounds like a scary word, and you may think that telling everyone and their dog that you’re looking for a job sounds desperate, but you might be surprised who may know about your job search and who may mention it to your potential future employer. Work on that elevator pitch (come see us for more details) to help you get your name out there!
Tip #3: Reach Out
So, you know of someone’s cousin who works at the company you want to work at? Message them using your newly updated professional social media profiles and ask them if you can find out more about their job, their position, their skills, and their professional development. In conducting informational interviews like this (without asking for a job!), you create a bigger network for yourself and you can learn what skills and competencies you need to hone to be eligible for your dream position. Even if you don’t know someone at a company you’re interested in, messaging active employees on LinkedIn and asking them about how they like their career can be flattering to the person you are contacting, and will help your name stick in their mind.
Tip #4: Dos and Don’ts of Calling
Cold-calling a Tim Hortons to ask if you can speak to a manager about a position will likely just bother the already-busy employees. Cold-calling a hiring manager at an organization at an appropriate time may work better for you. Cold-calling consists of calling an employer without previously speaking to them, and can be pretty risky in job searching. Warm-calling involves contacting previously acquainted individuals that you may have met at a job fair or back in an old volunteer position – this is likely a better way to cast your job search net. It is important to research what times are best to call and to whom you will be talking to avoid uncomfortable calling failures.
Tip #5: Visiting the Company
When physically handing in your resume, remember to approach it as if it is an actual interview. Dress nice, have a crisp, tailored copy of your resume and cover letter handy, and prepare an elevator pitch in advance. Ask for the hiring manager – if the manager is not available, ask when you might be able to return to see them, or ask for their email address so you can contact them directly. Be polite and confident, and interact with employees by asking them how their day was – sometimes leaving an impression on the employees of a company can help you get a leg up in meeting with HR.
These are just a few tips that Career Peer Advisors can share with you about job searching. For more tips on finally landing employment, come and visit us in JEC 100 from 10-4 Monday through Friday!