The bad news is that a job search isn’t always as easy as it first sounds. The Internet is teeming with vacancies on job boards, career sites, Twitter, Facebook, and business networking sites like LinkedIn or Xing. At every turn, employers are vying for that rare type of applicant. And, of course, all will claim to offer the best terms of employment.
Do you believe everything you hear? Exactly.
The good news, however, is that looking for a job will be easier provided you have a good search strategy for making the most of the options you find online.
To make sure you don’t run out of steam or take any detours along the way, we’ll show you how to take advantage of some smart short-cuts during your job hunt and ensure you reach your goal.
Five job search strategies you should take to heart1. Thorough preparation
First, define several parameters that are important for your job search:
- What do I have to offer?
- What companies might benefit from my skills?
- What companies are actually of interest to me?
This will help you filter out those jobs that poorly match your personal profile ahead of time. If, on the other hand, you find yourself wandering around aimlessly, you can also consult a professional career coach.2. The aggressive approach
People who are considered experts in their field will attract recruiters and head hunters sooner or later. You can become an authority by carving out a permanent digital presence for yourself and creating intelligent content. For example:
- on an industry-specific blog
- on the microblogging platform Twitter
- on your own website
- via your online business card (for example, About.me, Pixelhub or RebelMouse).
References to your publication platforms (provided they look professional) can and should be woven into your application materials. This strategy will help you both with passive and active job searches.3. Proactive networking
Good connections are and will remain the key ingredient for job seekers. The more people you know and value, the more potential contacts you have who can recommend you. You should therefore keep in touch with old classmates and colleagues – simple enough today thanks to business platforms like Xing and LinkedIn.
You can also use these platforms to make contact with the staff of potential employers. In doing so, you shouldn’t come across too heavy-handed and calculating or this strategy can quickly backfire.
Another option is to indicate your basic interest and stay up to date on current job offers by linking to the career pages of specific companies on Facebook or Twitter. But beware: this provides a potential spying opportunity for your current employer.
Job fairs and school and university alumni networks are also fertile ground for making interesting contacts.4. Intelligent filtering
Today, applicants find most jobs online. Fine tune your search by setting up search alerts and automatically receive matching job offers from Alpha.ch emailed straight to your inbox.
The Twitter pages of Alpha.ch also notify you of the latest vacancies in the blink of an eye and give you an edge over the competition in terms of time. Still, you should also keep an eye on the regional daily press for the occasional rare gem.5. Physical fitness
Those who are physically fit won’t run out of breath as quickly when looking for a job. Seriously! This is a real success factor that shouldn’t be underestimated. Practising meditation, exercising (such as jogging, swimming or boxing) and eating well unlock forces to help you get through the day with greater dynamism – and make it easier to complete your application marathons.
Job posting check: to apply or not to apply?
No applicant can predict whether an employer will ultimately turn out to be the company of their dreams or an exploitative nightmare. There are, however, several indicators that can certainly give you an idea of how a company ticks – and help make a preliminary selection.
The company check: what candidates can do ahead of time
Self-promotion: Have a look at the website to get an initial impression of the company, its vision, products, location and staff.
Public image: Research Google News to find out what type of headlines the company makes in the press.
Reputation: Search Google for customer experiences, search employer rating platforms for credible statements from employees (for example, Kununu or Watchado).
Interaction: Check Facebook, Google+, Twitter or YouTube to see whether the company actively and transparently communicates with its customers.
Professionalism: Closely scrutinise the style and wording of the job posting. Platitudes, vague job descriptions or even spelling mistakes are evidence of a company lacking direction – and a shot-in-the-dark approach to finding applicants.