How to be a Proactive Jobseeker
If you thought that all there was to finding a new job was browsing recruitment websites and getting the jobs paper once a week, you’ll probably find that someone else is beating you to all the best and most flexible jobs. So if you’d prefer to be a proactive job seeker than a reactive one – and end up with a fantastic new career – here’s how to go about it.
Most people are reactive job seekers, waiting for the perfect job to come up. It works for some – obviously vacancies are advertised and filled all the time. It’s just not ideal if you’re trying to find work in a certain sector or company that’s not well known for using jobs pages to recruit.
Targeted job hunting
Ideally, when you’re proactively job seeking, you need to choose the companies you’d like to work with and target them with your CV. The Internet and social media have made this so much easier than even a decade ago.
Before you start, make sure that your CV is perfect, represents exactly the type of work you want to do, and appeals to the type of employer you’re looking for. Do the same with your LinkedIn profile so that as soon as prospective employers start researching you, your profile will stand out.
Research the companies you want to work for. Do they have flexible working hours and family-friendly policies? Follow them on LinkedIn and see if you can find out more about them. If you already know someone who works there, ask them about the company culture and what it’s like to work there.
Read their website news updates and blog if they have a blog. Follow them on Twitter (you can also surreptitiously search for their company name on Twitter and see if you find anything interesting out.) Some companies recruit via social media and others recruit via agencies also on social media, so if anything does come up, you can get in there first.
You can also be sneaky and check the company out on anonymous review sites like Glassdoor.
Network like a pro
LinkedIn is your friend with networking for business. If you do a company search for the employer you’re interested in, you can find out how many people in your network are working for them, or even know others who work for them. This is excellent for getting to know people already linked with the organisation.
If they have any related groups on LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to join the groups and get involved with conversations. Ask for advice, but don’t ask straight away if there are any vacancies or ask if someone can help you get a job. That doesn’t go down so well. A major advantage of joining groups is that it gives you a way to talk to people high in the organisation without having to message them privately. Keep your comments positive and professional – just join in, and ask questions, too.
Being proactive takes time, so set aside a few hours a week for research and networking, and eventually, your efforts will start to pay off.