Job hunting can be a stressful experience at the best of times, but even more so when the employment markets are tight and competition for jobs can be quite fierce. In challenging labor markets, frustration can be felt right across the spectrum from graduates seeking graduate jobs to experienced senior professionals looking to make the next career move.
In challenging employment markets, a job seeker needs to adopt a more innovative approach to the process, thus enhancing job prospects and increasing confidence. The old and traditional route of seeking employment no longer serves millions of people and instead, people are expected to be enterprising in securing employment.
Applying a few useful tips can help manage the job hunting process more efficient as well as take out the strain in seeking new employment.
Developing a Flexible Mindset
In challenging employment markets, maintaining a flexible mindset is imperative. In the 21st century, a job seeker needs to maintain and/or cultivate the following attributes:
- Be innovative
- Be enterprising
- Be creative
- Being optimistic
- Being enthusiastic
- Being proactive
- Setting goals and achievable targets
- Being honest and open
- Having faith in the process
- Seeing obstacles as opportunities
Creating a Focused Job Hunting Strategy
It is easy to get sidetracked or disillusioned when seeking new employment in a challenging market. It is very easy to give up if the effort put in does not yield the desired results. Some people may expend a lot of energy at the beginning of the process but gradually find that motivation tails off when nothing is heard back from recruitment agencies or potential employers.
The key to this process is to adopt a focused approach and this can be done by making a list of initial job agencies, recruitment agencies, and internet job search sites which need to be contacted. Avoid the “spray and pray” approach because it gives a false sense of accomplishment and in reality, will dilute the resume/CV. Adopting a focused approach will highlight that the job seeker has spent time thinking about the next role and not just applying because it makes the individual “feel good.”
A proactive and enterprising job seeker will look at various options available to him/her. This may include the following:
- Selecting and reputable recruitment agencies
- Networking with industry professionals
- Reading trade journals
- Conducting internet searches for reputable job websites and job agencies
- Seeking advice from trusted friends and family
- Seeking the help of a reputable career coach
- Keeping abreast of industry developments
Keeping abreast of industry developments can often lead to the individual becoming more aware of job postings, jobs online or coming across key individuals within organizations.
By keeping abreast of developments within the industry, the job seeker will come across potential job postings more quickly, rather than waiting for the traditional route, for example, a call from the recruitment agency or headhunter. This is why the job seeker needs to be able to act fast when applying for jobs posted on job websites or job search sites.
It is worth ensuring resume and CV’s are updated regularly and if the individual is expected to complete an online application form, s/he must ensure they do so carefully. The individual who can see opportunities when faced with challenging obstacles is more likely to find effective solutions.
Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities
It is very easy to get sidetracked or disillusioned or even frustrated when facing job hunting obstacles. However, as the old adage goes, “behind every cloud is a silver lining.” This is often the case with job hunting especially if an individual has set his/her sights on a particular employment role and does not get the role.
Not taking any rejections personally, will also serve the job seeker well. Competition can be fierce in tight labor markets and employers can choose from a larger talent pool to select new candidates. This does not, however, mean that the individual who was rejected is incompetent or unable to undertake the role. Instead, the individual may not have been the “best fit” for the role in question and the person who secured the role had exactly the attributes and criteria the employer was looking for.
Seeking new employment in a challenging market can often become a very long process. Taking the frustration out of job hunting can make a big difference to the job seeker’s confidence and may impact his/her chances of securing the right role. Undertaking some initial preparation and initiating a focused approach to job hunting will pay dividends in the long run.