January is traditionally a time when people decide to get their career in shape. However, these days, job seekers need to approach the market with greater effort and a creative approach. Here are some tips:
Apply the 80/20 rule
Spend 80pc of your time targeting unadvertised jobs and 20pc targeting advertised ones. Attack the job market with proactive strategies such as networking, social media networking, speculative applications and volunteering. When targeting advertised jobs, give your application an edge by relating it to the specific job.
Stop hiding behind that CV
A CV offers a fraction of the information needed to make a hiring decision. Develop strategies to take the focus off your CV. Try to create opportunities to enable you to communicate your personality, attitude and how your performance can make a difference.
Ask yout way to success
Ask more questions. There are many people willing to share information and advice. Start seeking feedback about applications and interviews to help keep you on the right course.
Learn how to sell
If you can't sell yourself then no one else will do it for you. Every job seeker must become a salesperson. Interviews are difficult to secure, so you must ensure you deliver when you land them.
Start planning your activity and setting challenging targets. This will act as your motivation. Record your activity and results.
Use social media
Job seekers need to embrace tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Social media can help job seekers stand out when targeting advertised jobs and help them access the hidden job market.
Don't be despondent
With all the talk about the economy, you need to switch off from the negativity and set up a selective information filter that only digests positive news stories.
Increase your attractiveness to potential employers. Up-skill, or retrain. Qualifications and training will increase your attractiveness on paper to potential employers. This can help improve your application-to-interview ratio.
Revisit old contacts
Revisit companies you have previously targeted as circumstances change. You may have been pipped at the post for a job but the selected candidate may not have worked out.
You may think you've done the careers seminars and boot camps, but even if you pick up a few tips to bring your skills up to date it's worth attending. Career Zoo is hosting Career Clinics this weekend to bring your skills up to speed.
Paul Mullan is a Career & Outplacement professional and founder of Measurability www.measurability.ie and will be at Career Zoo tomorrow and Sunday at Dublin's Mansion House. Entry is free, visit www.careerzoo.ie