When I ask people what their job search strategy is, they usually respond that they are registered with or are searching for roles on SEEK.com.
While this approach should be part of your job search strategy, limiting your efforts to this approach may result in missed opportunities. Picture an iceberg, the only visible part is the tip which comprises a small portion of the entire mountain of ice. Advertised roles represent a similar portion of the full population of roles available.
In addition, when applying for roles via SEEK, you are competing against everyone else utilising a job board approach, missing opportunities to leverage more personalised introductions to your target employers.According to the latest Graduate Careers Australia Report, 26.2% of graduates found their full-time roles either through family and friends, work contacts or networking. This percentage increases as these graduates develop their networks.
Here are some strategies for you to reach the lower hanging fruit:
1) Expand your network by:
- Joining a professional association related to your field. For example, AHRI or the Law Society
- Volunteer for community projects in your local suburb or in an area of interest. This will allow you to develop new skills that you can add to your resume and will bring you closer to the role of your choice
- Attend meetings of your local Chamber of Commerce to tap into small businesses and demonstrate that you can add value
- Asking existing contacts whether they know anyone working in the industry / employers you are targeting and requesting to meet with them
2) Join LinkedIn
- 3 million roles are advertised on LinkedIn, how can you afford not to join?
- Search your top 10 companies for current roles (these roles are often different to the roles advertised on company websites). You can also see who you are connected to in the organisation
- Utilise the LinkedIn groups to learn what is happening in the market and to develop new connections
3) Hold information interviews with:
- Alumni of Universities you have attended (identifiable through LinkedIn)
- New connections through LinkedIn groups
- Connections recommended by new connections
4) Attend Networking events through
- Professional associations/ industry bodies e.g. Engineers Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
- University alumni events
- Clubs & societies
5) Meet with recruiters
- This should not be your whole approach, but one part of your holistic strategy.
- Be selective and connect with 2 – 3 recruiters
- Approach those recommended or that consistently advertise your ideal roles
- Ensure recruiters only send your resume out with your permission
- Keep in touch and try to give something back to these agents so they keep you top of mind
6) Look at professional and industry publications – they often include job ads
- Examples include: Lawyers Weekly, Acuity Magazine (CAANZ)
- Remember to ask new connections if there is anyone they recommend you talk to.
By expanding your network and utilising a more holistic approach, you will increase your chances of securing a role and reduce the time it takes to achieve your goal. Consistently applying the right processes will result in a fruitful outcome.
Karen Lewitton is a founding member of the FlexCoach panel of career and executive coaches. Having worked in Cape Town, San Francisco, London and Sydney in professional services, investment banking, asset management, recruitment (14 years in Australia) and coaching, Karen has a diverse background and good understanding of different cultures.
Karen enjoys helping people discover their goals and providing the tools to assist realisation.
FlexCareers offers a free 30-min chemistry session with our coaches. You can connect with Karen here