Job hunting: Three steps to ensure you’re not limiting yourself

Are you on the lookout for a new job opportunity?

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Planning to head straight to Seek?

Hold fire for a minute and take a read of the following three steps for effective job-searching. It may initially seem counter-intuitive but this process will maximise your chance of not only getting a job but getting the right one.

Step 1: Define your ideal role
The most common mistake I see people make is jumping straight into looking at job adverts to see what’s available. It seems completely logical because “you can’t get a job that doesn’t exist, right?”.

There are two flaws with this logic, though.

First, actually yes, you can get a job that doesn’t exist. Jobs can be created if you have a valuable skill set and an employer can see how you can be of value to them. Secondly, even if a vacant position does already exist it wont necessarily be advertised. In fact, around 70% of roles are never advertised.

So rather than immediately limiting yourself to 30% of the potential opportunities, start by defining your ideal role and go after ALL the opportunities which fit that description.

Step 2: Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to be relevant
This is an obvious step, but the point here is that you need to tailor both your resume and profile to your ideal role (see my previous article on this topic). You will still need to tweak your resume for individual opportunities, but it’s best to get prepared with a good master copy so you can turn it around promptly.

Step 3: Allocate your job search time effectively
Once you’re ready to find concrete opportunities, by all means, look for advertised positions. The three general sources I recommend are here on LinkedIn, Seek, and Indeed. Also, search on google for industry-specific sites and, of course, sign up for alerts with the specific employers you are interested in.

But remember the 70:30 ratio? If only 30% of jobs are advertised, then it makes sense to dedicate a maximum of 30% of your job searching time to this activity. The other 70% is best spent on focused networking i.e. making contact and developing relationships with people in roles directly related to what you are looking for. Initially, I recommend reaching out for advice on how you might find relevant opportunities.

LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool for doing this critical research and networking to find and create opportunities. So if you are not using it to its full potential, now is the time to start.

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