This Job Search Guide provides practical guidance and information and on how to secure the job of your choice.
Ideally you should progress your job search through two key phases:-
• Create your Plan & Implement
• Manage your Plan towards Success
PHASE 1 – CREATE YOUR PLAN & IMPLEMENT
Key steps in your plan should include the following:-
STEP 1. Focus on Your Preferred Career / Job Search Target (s)
Research: Take time to carefully research the job market into which you want to move:-
• list the key employers
• quantify the actual opportunities available now
• ask about the likely future trends for opportunities
Consider: Take time to consider your key requirements such as:-
• key skills
• experience level
• relevant qualifications
• salary and benefit requirements
• career development opportunities
Discuss: Take time to discuss the results of your research a Professional Coach.
Decide: Make a decision on what type of career / job(s) you will target. This can include more than one option, for example you may decide to target job opportunities in both facilities management and hospitality management.
STEP 2. Produce an outstanding CV
Marketing Tool not an Historical Record: The prime purpose of your CV is to market you to a prospective employer by focusing on your qualifications, achievements and suitability for the job you are targeting. Your CV should not be a summary of every thing you have accomplished to date, so only include information relevant to your targeted job or actual application. Your CV can be produced with a ‘DIY’ approach or you CV can increase your chances of being invited for interview by having it produced by a Professional Coach.
STEP 3. Decide best route to your Job Target(s)
Evaluate the most suitable route or combination of routes for your specific job search. Consider the following options:-
Option 1: – Use Your business & social Network
Success rating – Very high: UK Research shows around 80 % of individuals now obtain their new job via networking through friends, relations, social and business contacts.
How to implement: Effective networking starts with an initial list of close business, family and social contacts and then extends through a chain of names to individuals who may wish to employ you.
- Use a spreadsheet to list names each of whom will be willing to provide you with at least two more names of individuals who it would be helpful to contact.
- Generate a list of at least 50 perhaps 100 useful names, but the ‘quality’ of these names is critical so take care to be selective over your choice. For example:-
- Both your Dentist and the Landlord of your favourite pub will know a wide range of people and each should be able to provide the names of at least two individuals who would be interested to help you.
- Asking people for ‘information’ rather than asking who could give you a job makes them less defensive and more willing to help you.
- The key to these initial contacts is to ask them for just two useful names. Neither of these may be potential employers but when you contact these new names then these may lead to individuals who can help you with your job search, even potential employers. When you telephone or email individuals who are potential employers ensure you:-
- Explain your circumstance, ie. Developing your career,
- Confirm your intention of progressing your career into X
- Ask for information that would be helpful for someone with your background and expertise i.e. their future manpower plans, application process, contact names, etc. If they know of an opportunity or have one themselves they will tell you.
Option 2: – Approach Companies / Organisations Direct
Success rating – Very high: If you want to work for Company X or Organisation Y, then contact them direct as this is normally their preferred method of recruitment
How to implement: Large organisations normally have a career web site where you can register your interest in a certain type of job. This facility enables you to automatically be contacted when such a vacancy arises.
- Register your contact details on web-sites of your choice early in your job search campaign.
- For organisations without a career web-site then obtain the name of the Director responsible for the division you would be interested in working, e.g. Logistics Director, Flight Operations Director, etc. Next, telephone their Secretary and double check their name and correct job title, email or postal address.
- Send a covering letter and CV confirming the date when you will telephone to follow up your enquiry.
- Many HR departments focus on current vacancies whereas the line Director is more likely to be aware of both current and future manpower requirements.
Option 3: – Web Search Engines
Success rating – Medium: This is a very targeted approach. The results will help you understand, and where appropriate, re-focus your target for the job you are seeking
How to implement: Using specific web search engines to identify opportunities that meet your requirements can be extremely beneficial. They can automatically send you daily or weekly details of actual jobs that meet the requirements you set within their web site i.e.
- Type of job
- Rate of pay
- Full details of each opportunity plus application process and timing.
- Remember the complete job application and selection process can often take three or four months so submit your applications well ahead of your leaving date.
Option 4: – Job Advertisements
Success rating – Medium: Highly targeted approach. The disadvantage though is that you will be in competition with all applicants, as compared to networking where you may be the only applicant.
How to implement: Find out where jobs of the types you are seeking are advertised. Sometimes this is obvious but if in doubt then ask a few HR departments where they normally advertise and / or which employment agencies they use.
• Popular options include company web sites, UK job web sites, national or local newspaper, or professional / trade journals. Many organisations only use one or two of these options so ensure you are aware of these otherwise you may miss out.
• When submitting a job application remember it is the Covering Letter that the employers reads first. They will only look at your CV if they are engaged by the content of your Covering Letter. Obtaining professional help with your Covering Letter will give you a significant advantage over other applicants.
Option 5: – Employment Agencies
Success rating – Medium to Low: The quality of employment agencies varies enormously. Try to select ones that specialise in the type of career / job you are seeking.
How to implement: Use of employment agencies is expensive for employers so they normally only use them as a back up or for very specialist appointments.
• Employment agencies can be a useful route to the job of your choice, but it can be risky to make them your only route. Through careful research identify agencies that specialise in the type of job you are targeting.
• Try and develop a good relationship with a consultant from each agency and agree how they can best help you, but be aware consultants are driven by the needs of their clients and not the needs of candidates.
PHASE 2 – MANAGE YOUR PLAN TOWARDS SUCCESS
STEP 4. Take Full Personal Accountability
Success Tip – Choose your Buddy: Ask your partner or friend to act as your “Job Search Buddy”. Their role is to ask you 3 questions once a week:
1.How is your plan progressing?
2. Are there any issues that concern you?
3. What are you doing to address these issues?
How to implement: You must take full personal accountability for your job search campaign right up to achieving the new job of your choice. Others can provide you with information, assistance and advice but you must be the individual driving everything forwards.
Be prepared to devote as much time as possible to your campaign and expect your timescales to range from several hours a day to several hours a week.
• Assume you will not reach your goal quickly and there will be periods of excitement and frustration. Choosing a ‘Job Search Buddy’ can be exceptionally helpful. It’s their job to be:-
• always there for you to talk to especially during periods of stress and possibly despondency
• supportive right up to you reaching your ultimate goal
STEP 5. Maintain Comprehensive Records
Success Tips – Accurate Records: Set up a spreadsheet of your contact details. Set up a file for each organisation you approach. In each file keep a copy of the CV and Covering Letter, plus relevant notes. Maintain a log of all the applications you made with dates, names, and results
How to implement: Your job search campaign must be supported throughout with comprehensive records and attention to detail. Anything less will significantly reduce your chances of obtaining the job of your choice.
• Ideally maintain your records on a computer, but if this is not possible then use some lever arch files to maintain records of each application and your network contacts. If this is not your forte then perhaps a friend or member of your family can help you with these records.
STEP 6. Interview Preparation
Success Tips – Interview Preparation: Effective interview preparation is about being selective in what you research and not being overwhelmed with unnecessary information. Preparing your answers in advance of the interview. ‘Mirroring’ the requirements of the job profile in your answers
How to implement:
• Skilled interview preparation is exhibited by:
- Being selective in which of your achievements you propose to focus on in your answers by aligning these to the requirements of the actual job specification
- Understanding that the interviewer will evaluate your answers against the requirements of the job specification. The stronger this alignment the stronger your chances of success
- Understanding that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. The interviewer will therefore want to focus on examples of past performance – so ensure you provide your best examples
• Unskilled interview preparation is exhibited by:
- Failing to select what information is relevant to the actual job interview and therefore what must be included in your answers
- Trying to include everything you have done to date into your answers
- Failing to understand that an interview is an evaluation process
- Failing to understand what information to avoid in your answers as it will count against you
• How do you rate your interview skills?: When were you last interviewed for a job? You may not have been interviewed for several years with the exception of the interview training provided as part of your resettlement.
• Being coached for an actual job opportunity is quite different to being trained. Coaching is an investment you should consider making as it will make all the difference to your success.
STEP 7. The Job Interview
Stop Success Tips – The Job Interview
• Prepare your answers in advance and get feedback from a professional coach
• Look right, sit right, feel right and you’ll deliver an outstanding performance:
• Have your CV, interview notes, job specification to hand together with a pen
• Look relaxed but with 100% concentration
Listen and respond:
• Listen to each question, decide what the interviewer is measuring and respond with your most suitable answer
Keep everything Positive:
• Be cautious about questions designed to reveal your weaknesses, Never reveal anything negative about your experience, back ground or expertise
• Never criticise the actions or policies of a past or current senior colleague
• Never argue with the interviewer or show any sign of being ruffled during the discussion
STEP 8. Perseverance will bring Success
Unless you get an early break then assume your job search campaign can last several months possibly more.