How to create a winning formula in job searching
Whether you are just starting out in your job search or looking to upgrade your current position, applying effective strategies can help make your search easier.
Wondering just where to start? Branch Manager of Boston City Campus, Maponya Mall, Merriam Koqo‑Hlengane provides her top tips on conducting an effective job search.
Setting time aside
Create momentum by allocating a specific amount of time for research, setting up appointments and following up on applications.
“Prepare the night before, setting up your list, so that you create an organized infrastructure allowing you to start right away,” says Koqo‑Hlengane who suggests setting targets for the number of calls and appointments you want to achieve.
Anticipate that there may be some challenging times, when you may experience frustration because things aren’t moving as quickly as you would like. See this time as a process. Some days may be relatively quiet. Be gentle with yourself, knowing that ups and downs are a natural part of job searching. The most important thing is to take action, keep the momentum going and have faith in yourself.
Think of people who are already in your network and who would be able to make any recommendations where you can apply. Former colleagues, managers or people from graduate school should all have some ideas. (Boston itself has a consulting office created to assist graduates in job searches). Try LinkedIn and see who you can contact digitally.
“LinkedIn is also an excellent place to find jobs in your particular field. A LinkedIn profile can serve as a good advertisement of your competencies and experience to prospective employers and HR managers,” says Koqo‑Hlengane.
Your online footprint
It is common practice for future employees to research your online profile in order to find out more about you. A LinkedIn profile can enhance someone’s impression of you. The flip side of the coin is true as well – ensure your online social media profiles would be acceptable to a potential employer.
The Covering letter
Once you find a job or company where you want to apply, create a covering letter, highlighting your key qualities and experience in relation to the particular job specifications.
Where to look
Google is your friend when it comes to your job search. Keywords such as your industry + the position you are looking for will bring up specific sites dealing with your particular field and offering relevant positions.
“Searching online helps you to get to know the job market and what is being offered out there,” says Koqo‑Hlengane. “It can also help you to see if you need to brush up on any skills. Take the appropriate steps to increasing your eligibility in finding your ideal position.”
What are you offering?
Write down your skills: soft skills such as having a strong work ethic, being a team player, solution orientated, communication and adaptability and love of learning. Note your strengths – professional competencies in which you excel and which can make you an ideal candidate.
Whether you are just starting out or if you are looking to take the next step in your career, it is important to sustain your relevancy in your industry through continuous learning. There are many short courses or even additional degrees or post-graduate diplomas to such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Management which can be studied part-time and which can set you on a career path of success.
Prepare for your interview
Prepare mentally for your interview by going over the possible questions and seeing yourself answering them. You can even do a mock interview with a colleague or friend, helping you to be more prepared and more relaxed in the actual interview situation.
You have to know that you are going to get Yes’s and No’s. Prepare yourself –you need to persevere.
“Make this into a learning experience,” says Koqo‑Hlengane. Always try to get feedback if things don’t work out – it helps you grow professionally and personally.
Keep on. Face the challenges. Be flexible. If a strategy isn’t working, then maybe you need to adjust it. Eventually, you are going to find your match. You’ve got this!” Concludes the Boston Branch Manager.