Little changes in a job search can lead you to your next job

Posted by | December 16, 2012 | Tips For Job Seekers

According to one of my old bosses, the definition of insanity is just doing the same thing over and over. Seems to make sense to me.

As I was talking to a friend the other day, it occurred to me that there are many people who conduct their job search in a rather ‘insane’ manner. How many people search for months on end with little to no results? Is it because they just keep searching in the same way? Doing the exact same thing over and over, day in and day out?

The obvious answer is, of course, to change your tactics. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. If you are someone who is already working a full time job, job searching can be quite difficult. After all, job searching should be a full time job, so they say. So how do you fit another 8 hours into your day that you can dedicate to job searching?

The first place that many people go to is online job boards. It’s easy, it’s accessible and you can secretly do it from the comfort of your desk at your current job (Gasp! Who does that!?!?!); and that is where they stop. This is not a good place to stop. There are many, many, many more jobs out there than what are being posted online and in the newspapers.

Next up is through word of mouth – talking to people and trying to find those opportunities. Third would be through more formal networking, such as attending events or using LinkedIn to connect with people.

Let’s focus on the word of mouth and networking aspect. I bet there are a lot of people out there who feel they have great interpersonal skills and have developed great relationships with other people out in the community and in their industry. But what good are they if you don’t know how to network for a job?

The friend I connected with the other day is very involved in the community – I’m tempted to call her a networking pro. Yet she can’t seem to make her network work for her. She belongs to a women’s networking group, is active with the Chamber, volunteers at her old school – but, she doesn’t really know how to tap into these connections in terms of finding a new job. Is it because she’s a little shy, or it is because she’s worried that by putting it out there she’d be taking advantage of the people she knows? Who knows. Either way around it, the most important thing to remember is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

People are people. If someone doesn’t like the fact that you’ve reached out to them for any help at all with your job search, they will let you know. No need to be pushy, just simply share you are looking and give a brief idea of what you are looking for. If they want to help, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. That is all there is to it.

If your current job search technique is not working, take a step back to examine what you are doing. How can you change it? What approach are you missing? Sometimes it’s as simple as changing your resume, your pitch, your networking circle. Little changes can go a long way.

~ Melissa Macfarlane is a Career Development Professional with Northern Lights Canada.

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