Another question people ask me is how do I find a job? Again, if I knew the answer to that, I'd be a rich man.
The best thing that anyone can do is to do a thorough, methodical and strategic job search, frequently analysing your approach, is it working? If you're not being successful in getting job interviews, ask yourself what can I do differently to get a different outcome? If you're not getting job interviews then it is probably your CV and cover letter that are not hitting the right note. In which case you need to re-vamp your CV to make it more appealing to a potential employer.
If you're getting interviews, then that's a good sign as it means your CV or your application form filling is good but you're failing at the last hurdle if you're not getting job offers, so you need to analyse what you are doing wrong in your job interviews.
First of all, where are the jobs?
We are lucky these days as the world is at our finger-tips, not like the bad old days when searching for a job meant scanning the newspaper recruitment sections. Most jobs are advertised on-line whether it's on job-sites or on social networking sites or on company's websites, usually all three.
Then there are industry websites, magazines and journals where jobs are advertised or there are stories about companies winning contracts or expanding. This sort of research is invaluable as if you have a nugget of information about a company expanding or winning contracts, then you know they are going to be hiring so send them a speculative application.
This I must confess used to be my preferred method of job application because first of all you are applying for jobs that aren't even advertised yet, so you should be first in the queue. The other good thing about speculative applications is that it shows that you have initiative, are creative and have the cheek to ask in the first place. It's a bit like asking someone out on a date. What's the worst thing they can say? No?
Identify who you want to work for in your industry and approach them directly with a speculative application. It's also useful to do a bit of detective work too. Find out the names of people in charge, the names of people who are in charge of hiring and direct your application directly to them. Again, just the fact that you know who they are and what they do, shows a lot about you. Initiative and pushiness are qualities that most employers are looking for.
Agencies are useful too and there are a lot of them out there. Many deal with specific industries so find out who works in your industry and register with them.
Use social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. as a lot of jobs and increasingly more so, are being advertised on these sites. Make sure that you have a good up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Put the URL link from your LinkedIn page on to your CV.
Use your networks too. People who you have worked with in the past can be the best advocates for you when applying for jobs, especially if they work at the company you are interested in applying to. LinkedIn is very useful for networking and making new contacts, as well as job searching.
If you have a website, put a link to that on your CV too. These days everyone should have a website. They have never been cheaper or easier to make. There are lots of companies out there that do most of the work for you for a minimal amount of money.
Needless to say, if you are a creative type or artist, then having a website is a pre-requisite as you can show off all of your work on it.
Or if you have a blog, you can put a URL link to that on your CV. Remember a CV these days shouldn't be more than 2 pages, but it doesn't mean that you can't have links on your CV to external websites that show more of your skills and achievements.
Think about self-employment, consulting or starting a business, especially if you're coming up against a brick wall. There are lots of organisations out there, many of them offering free advice on setting up in business and the various issues that you need to consider when becoming self-employed. I use such services myself, South East Enterprise in Greenwich, London offer free advice and courses to local people who want to start a business. These organisations which are usually non-profit and funded by the EU, local government or lottery funding can be an invaluable source of information and they exist in every part of the UK.
Last but not least, don't give up. The universe is a magical and mysterious thing and your destiny is quite often being shaped by higher powers but the onus is on you to make things work, so be bold:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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