By Thembi Nkosi, Executive Director at Mindworx Consulting
How you approach job hunting can make all the difference to how quickly you find a new position and even to the type of job you find. In a tough economic climate, your approach is more important than ever, particularly in management positions where employers really need to understand your value upfront. Here are our top 7 tips to improving your search.
- Approach the search as if it were your job
Many people experience a dip in confidence when they’re unemployed. An effective way to counter this is to consider the search as if it were your job. Get up every morning at the same time as usual, do all the things you’d normally do before going to work, dress as you would for the job you want, and then apply yourself to job hunting with the same time, energy and intelligence you would give to an employer.
- Keep your expectations realistic
In a tough economy you need to be prepared to adjust your expectations in accordance with what the market has to offer. If you’re holding out for a high level position in a particular industry at a set package, you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed. This is the time to think outside the box.
- Be prepared to work harder than usual to secure the right position
If your dream job exists despite the economy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be the employers choice – you simply have to work harder than anyone else does. Find out everything you can about the company, the department and the prevailing culture and modify your approach accordingly. That said, take care to remain authentic.
- Give employers a clear picture of your value
When times are tough employers want to know that every employee will earn their keep. They want to see what you have to offer and they want to be able to put a value on it. The more you can help them do that, the better your chances of succeeding at securing a good position.
- Distinguish yourself
Showing how you differ from other job-seekers can give you an edge. Carefully consider your accomplishments and accolades, yet be sure to list only the most recent and stick to those that really made a difference to your employer or you will be perceived as desperate.
- Share your character, values and soft skills
Employers need to know who you really are. They want to know if you can connect not only on a professional level but on a personal level too. This is not the time to be shy or hold your cards too close to your chest. Be prepared to show yourself in an honest light.
- Pay particular attention to your CV
As a senior level candidate you don’t need to be told that your CV – and all supporting documentation – must be highly impressive. When times are tough this matters more than ever. It’s worth having a professional writer take a look at how you present yourself, updating your style and making sure that your messaging is clear.
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