10 Best Job Search Strategies for 2017

job search strategies

Did you know that the average job search takes over six weeks – or 43 days? It takes such a long time because of the intense competition for jobs, which has made the job market an arena for the survival of the fittest.

It is no secret that the job market has become extremely competitive. Most people believe that only people who have a lot of experience and can promote themselves effectively will get noticed by employers. For this reason, you need to be prepared to try out alternative options in your job hunt.

If you have you ever wondered what the best way to find a job is, you need look no further. In the infographic below we list the 10 most popular techniques to search for and land a job in 2017!

job search techniquesCareerAddict

1. Browse Job Boards

Job boards have always been the number one resource for finding jobs. Indeed, Monster, The Ladders and Careerbuilder are some of the most popular sites that list open positions for full-time and part-time employment. These sites allow you to create an account, search for a job, upload your CV, get email alerts and apply for jobs directly to employers.

Many sites such as Glassdoor also offer company reviews to help you decide whether you would be fit to work with them. Job boards also give employers the possibility to search for CVs for their open position and to post a job. This makes job boards the most popular meeting place jobseekers and recruiters online.

2. Ask for the Help of a Recruitment Agency

Luckily job boards aren’t your only option to find a job. Recruitment agencies, which are the ‘middlemen’ between jobseekers and employers, work on behalf of companies to find the most suitable person for the available position. The way this works is quite simple. The agency takes the job description and uses that information to search for CVs in the database that match the skills, qualifications and experience employers need for the role.

Using a recruitment agency expands the reach of your job search at large. Specialist sector agencies can help you out because they have a strong knowledge of the industry and they can offer expert advice on how to break into a particular industry or career. If you are considering this option, you will need to create a CV specifically for recruitment agencies to highlight your skills and experience.

3.  Go to Career Events

One of the best ways to land a job is attending career fairs. You might not think of this as important, but in any type of career event whether it is an open day at University, an undergraduate or postgraduate event, a career seminar or a networking event, you will get to meet many interesting people who have something to teach you, either by giving you advice on your field of work, or referring to other professionals who can help you out. But, just like in every job interview, attending career events with the intention to meet and impress an employer requires some preparation.

LiveCareer gives some key suggestions on these to help you prepare:

  • Pre-register for the fair: pre-register for the event and submit your CV to give employers to prescreen your profile along with other applicants
  • Research registered employers: you need to have an idea of what each employer does and what they expect to see in every candidate
  • Take multiple copies of your CV: bring at least two for each company you are interested in because you never know how many people you are going to talk to
  • Dress smart: choose appropriate attire that makes you look like you are in the job you are after

4. Search for Jobs on Your Mobile

Apart from the traditional job boards, job search apps and mobile recruiting has allowed a new trend to flourish within recruitment. The latest Jobvite social recruiting survey discovered that 45 percent of recruiters have mobile career websites as compared to 37 percent of last year.

Jobseekers have welcomed this shift to mobile as it makes their life a lot more convenient. 52 percent of job seekers have reported searching for jobs in bed, 37 percent at work and 15 percent in the restroom. Using your mobile phone to search for a job is the perfect solution if you don’t have much time on your hands.

5. Make Use of Social Media

Social media is more important than you think and if you have a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account you have more chances of landing a job. According to Jobvite’s survey, 67 percent of candidates use Facebook in their job search. This may have to do with the fact that Facebook has introduced a new feature allowing companies to publish a job posting on their profile, just as easily as a regular update. This means that your next job could come from your newsfeed.

The study also shows that the majority of recruiters find LinkedIn the most effective when selecting candidates. Overall, here’s how employers are using social media when hiring:

  • LinkedIn – 87%
  • Facebook – 43%
  • Twitter – 22%
  • Blog – 11%
  • Instagram – 8%
  • YouTube – 6%
  • Snapchat – 3%

This information shows if you are not on LinkedIn, you practically don’t exist. But, there is still hope. While LinkedIn is the top choice on their list, employers have started making use of other forms of social media, and it’s time to do the same.

6. Practice Networking

As far as it concerns getting a job, it’s who you know that’s important and not what you know. So if you want to be successful in your research, you need to follow the 20-20-60 approach to job hunting. Ideally, you will need to spend 20 percent of your time searching and applying for jobs, 20 percent connecting with or getting their attention and the biggest percentage (60 percent) needs to be spent networking.

Job search success doesn’t directly depend on how many qualifications you have rather how many people you have in your network. Today, thanks to LinkedIn you can connect with employers and other professionals directly either through professional groups, discussions or personal in-mail. You can also network offline starting from your inner circle, family, friends and colleagues.

7. Cold Call Employers

It might not be the best job hunting strategy, but no one can argue that it isn’t effective. Cold calling means taking the initiative to contact employers directly. Even though this may sound scary to most people, it also shows employers how much you want to work for them. In fact, there are still employers who prefer you to take the initiative and present your CV in-person.

But since this is a bold move, you have to prepare for it. Unless you want employers hanging up on you, you need to come up with a working list of employers and carry out your research on all of them. Also, you need to prepare a script for what you are planning to say, practice some calls and prepare to take notes if need be.

8. Create a Personal Brand

Personal branding is all about having a clear message of who you are and what you have to offer to potential employers. It refers to knowing what you can do in the role and demonstrating that effectively. If you know anything about marketing, creating a personal brand will come easy to you. Promoting yourself into a job is a great way to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by highlighting two or three of your unique characteristics and explaining how these are different from others and how they apply to the job at hand.

If you haven’t done so, start taking advantage of social media, create an elevator pitch and demonstrate your unique skills on your CV, cover letter, business cards and portfolio/personal website. Also, don’t forget to check Google to see what employers can find out about you.

9. Complete an Internship

Completing an internship can increase the chances of you getting a full-time job once you graduate. The NACE’s (Natural Association of Colleges and Employers) class of 2015 student survey showed that interns who were paid at private, for-profit companies had a 72 percent chance of getting a job offer, compared to just 44 percent of unpaid interns. The tough competition of the job market has made internships a necessary way of developing your skills and gaining valuable experience in your field of study.

However, if you want to turn that internship into a full-time job you need to make an effort to show employers that you are worth their time. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Make a good impression: learn more about the mission of the organisation, what they expect from their employees and how they define success
  • Think about your career goals: find an internship that meets your professional expectations and help you become a competitive candidate when adding this experience on your CV
  • Get on well with your supervisor: check in regularly with your supervisor and make sure that you meet his/her expectations
  • Follow company rules and guidelines: get the right dress code for work, learn the company policy on what’s acceptable or not and stay disciplined

10. Check Company Sites

Some employers choose to only post vacancies on their own website. This is part of a larger employer branding strategy where organisations get you on their company site, to give more details on a position and explain why you should consider working for them.

Checking company sites shows that you have made the effort to search for available positions directly from the source. It also demonstrates your interest and initiative to conduct research on the employer and learn who they are and what they do. Few websites list jobs directly from company websites like LinkUp.com, and it’s a good idea to bookmark this on your favourites once you decide to go full-on with your job hunt.

Nobody said that job hunting was easy. More than anything it’s a process that needs your full attention, persistence and patience if you want it to be successful. As you can see a multi-channel approach to job-hunting is crucial to finding a job.

What would your approach be? Let us know in the comments section below…