Develop an effective job search strategy
There's more to a job search than simply applying for online postings, though the majority of job seekers confine their job search to exactly that.
It may sound crazy but job postings are not the number one method employers use to recruit. A good job search strategy includes a number of job search techniques and approaches, including utilizing your network — the number one source of productive job leads.
Understand the importance of a targeted job search
To learn how to uncover opportunities in what's known as "the hidden job market" educate yourself on a variety of job search strategies to use in addition to searching online postings (you should still apply for positions posted online but that shouldn't be your only strategy).
Many students panic at the prospect of not finding immediate employment and apply for any and every job that bears even a remote resemblance to their experience or skill set. This is a mistake for a number of reasons…
- It's difficult to succeed at a job that doesn't mesh with who you are.
People who do well at their jobs are people who enjoy what they do — and you're less likely to enjoy your job if you haven't taken the time to target your job search and direct your efforts at applying for jobs you're really interested in.
- Creating a polished, professional and tailored application package takes time.
It's difficult to invest the time and energy into effectively applying for positions you don't truly care about — which is why applications from students who apply for "anything that comes up" aren't usually strong enough to be competitive.
- Employers can tell when you're not all that interested.
When your documents aren't tailored or you don't know much about the position or you don't seem to care about the company, your application shows it. Employers want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the organization and the position being advertised.
So while it may seem like a good idea to bombard the world with your resumé and hope for the best, you'll experience greater success by really focusing on opportunities that are meaningful to you. That means fewer, stronger applications as opposed to a multitude of weak ones.
Career Centre Resources
- Job Search and Networking Strategies: learn about the various techniques for discovering and creating career opportunities.
- Career Lounge: Pop-in with a quick question or bring a career document to work on and stay awhile.
- Job Search Advising: Discuss job search resources and strategies, get ideas about how to expand your network, find out how to enhance your LinkedIn profile, or get tips for an upcoming interview during this 30-minute individual appointment.
- Job Search Action Plan [PDF - 56 kB]
- Building Connections: The 20-Second Introduction [PDF - 46 kB]
- Dos & Don'ts for Building and Maintaining Online Relationships [PDF - 44 kB]
- Steps to Conducting Effective Cold Calls [PDF - 53 kB]
- Tapping into the Hidden Job Market: Conducting Company Research [PDF - 53 kB]
- Tapping into the Hidden Job Market: Informational Interviewing [PDF - 65 kB]
- Tapping into the Hidden Job Market: Job Search Contact Sheet [PDF - 37 kB]
- Tapping into the Hidden Job Market: Job Search Record-Keeping Sheet [PDF - 36 kB]
- 100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters: In this valuable pdf document, experienced recruiters share their top 10 job search strategies, the top 3 common mistakes job seekers make, their top recruiting sources, and their favorite recruiting stories.
- Scott Library's Career Research Resources guide provides a variety of resources to help you find information about specific companies or organizations.
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