Develop a winning job search strategy

If you’re not considering your wider career goals, the organisational culture in which you thrive or the issues you’re passionate about, you’re not approaching your job search with a winning strategy, according to recruiting company Hays.

Following relevant organisations on social media, saving your CV across all your devices and taking notes of who you’re speaking to about what opportunities are also part of a winning job search strategy.

“There are great job search strategies and then there’s the scatter-gun approach,” says Jason Walker, MD of Hays in New Zealand, in a media release.

“We fill 1,000 jobs every working day and see a lot of focused, winning job search strategies. But we also see jobseekers who frantically send off their CV whenever they can spare a minute to any role that looks vaguely suitable. These jobseekers would benefit from investing a little time in putting together a job search strategy that allows them to apply for the right roles in the time that they have.”

To form a winning job search strategy in today’s job market, Hays suggest you firstly identify your ‘must haves’:

  • Consider your career plan: What’s the next step on your career plan? What type of role and organisation would help you work towards your wider career goals? For instance, if you would eventually like to move into a senior people management role but need to work on your leadership skills, look for a role that provides you with basic leadership responsibilities outside your comfort zone, where there is room for progression and where a mentor could support your development. Whether you are looking to ramp up your career and continue climbing the same ladder, or looking to scale back and take on less, it is important that your next opportunity is aligned to your ambitions.
  • The perfect company culture: In what type of organisational culture do you thrive?
  • Your preferred industry: Which industries interest you, and what topics are you passionate about?
  • Work-life balance: Consider your personal priorities. Would your ideal organisation require you to be in the office at 8am sharp every day, or would it offer more flexible working hours or work from home options?
  • Practical considerations: Factor in what you need in terms of salary, rewards, location and commute.

Then you’re ready to plan your job search:

  • Keeping on top of opportunities: Now that you know which type of organisations you are most interested in, follow them on social media and review their career sites. Keep an eye out for updates surrounding current vacancies, and set up job alerts on recruitment websites such as Hays so you can be quick off the mark when the right role does come up.
  • Save your CV across all of your electronic devices (except work ones): In doing this, you will be ready to apply as and when jobs crop up, wherever you are, whichever device you are using.
  • Be organised: Take note of all jobs applied for, what stage you’re at which each one and the name of relevant contacts. Add any meetings or interviews to your calendar and take notes. Refer to these before you make any follow up calls or emails. This can be very useful if you have multiple opportunities in the pipeline and you need to keep track of who you’re speaking to, about what and when.
  • The support of a recruiter: An expert recruiter will help find the right roles for you, and put you forward for them. This can save a lot of time and they can introduce you to roles that may not reach the open market.
  • Don’t lose hope: It is important that you keep your spirits high during your job search, even if you don’t get an interview for a role that you really wanted. Not every application leads to job search success, but don’t give up. It can help to talk about your next move and your search progress with mentors, friends and family. You should also take regular breaks and reward yourself for a productive job searching session. The key is to stay motivated.