Reports on the uncertainty of the current economy are dominating the headlines, and it is easy to allow those stories to weigh on you, especially if you are in the middle of a drawn-out job search. Instead of feeling helpless, remember that in any economy, companies need good workers. By fine-tuning your job search strategy, you may be able to land a position that seems out of reach.
Consider these job search traps and ways to avoid them:
1. You put all your eggs in one basket.
If you’re like most job seekers, you probably heavily rely on the internet to help you in your job search. While this can come in handy — as a way to research potential employers, determine which companies are hiring and locate positions specific to your area — it should be just one of the many tools you employ. Also consider scanning trade and business publications, networking with professional contacts, and registering with a recruitment agency to broaden your search.
2. You don’t make finding a job your full-time job.
To find a job, you must cast a wide net. It’s a numbers game, and the more inquiries you make, CVs you submit and interviews you go on, the better your chances of success. Of course, these activities all require a significant input of time and effort, so set aside at least a few hours each day to focus solely on your job search.
3. You’re less than perfect.
Believe it or not, even one typo or grammatical error in any of your application materials could be keeping you from finding a new position. With dozens or even hundreds of candidates to evaluate, a hiring manager won’t think twice about passing over an applicant who has five years of “word professing” experience. Ask another person to review your application materials before you submit them.
4. You don’t follow up.
One easy way to stand out from the crowd of applicants is to follow up with the HR manager after submitting your CV. Often a brief phone call or e-mail reasserting your interest in the position and strong qualifications is enough to cause a potential employer to revisit your CV.
5. You don’t network.
The simple truth is that networking is the most effective way to find a new job. A referral from someone you know is likely to land you an interview with a prospective employer or at the very least, move your CV to the top of the consideration pile. Even if your contacts are unaware of any immediate openings, they may be able to introduce you to others who do have job leads.
6. You haven’t registered with a recruitment agency.
Registering with a recruitment agency can dramatically increase the size of your network. The consultants who work for these companies have contacts throughout their industries and often know of job openings that are not being actively promoted. In addition, your consultant can handle much of the job hunting ground work for you by distributing your CV, setting up employment interviews and keeping an eye out for promising opportunities.
Even during periods of economic uncertainty, there are jobs to be had, especially for candidates who have the right skills and qualifications. After all, companies are always looking for talented employees. By avoiding the above job-hunting traps, you’ll be better able to demonstrate your value to potential employers and strengthen your chances of finding the job you want.
Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy with a global network of more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.