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Keys to successful job hunting

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NO one likes doing a job search. Not anyone, ever. Everyone has at some point experienced the pressure and frustration of a job search. Job hunting is very difficult during this COVID-19 pandemic with sudden job freezes and unexpected layoffs. With that, you can be stuck and it is understandable that you might be feeling defeated. You may encounter many defeats in your job hunt, but you must not be defeated, don’t give up.

guest column:Emmanuel Zvada

Job search is not an enjoyable process, particularly if you are out of work. There is an added layer of stress when you have to find a job, not just because you need to grow your career, but also escape a toxic work environment or find an organisation that values work and life balance.

The pandemic has created matchless economic uncertainty which makes it obvious that there are less job opportunities in a few sectors.

The job market is crowded and you have to use various job search strategies so that you can stand out from the crowd and show the hiring manager that you are a candidate who definitely should be selected for an interview.

Job seekers please know that job searching is not always about applying for jobs and hoping to get called for an interview anymore.

Very few job seekers are able to simply put in an application, get an interview, and land a job in today’s competitive, network-driven job market without also using other means.

If you want to unstuck yourself, you have to utilise a variety of strategies from establishing a social presence to targeting companies to help yourself stand out from the crowd so that you can land a job.

Make your resume right
Your resume is arguably the most valuable piece of paper for your career. I have found that job seekers get too caught up in their current work and environment and end up creating resumes that cannot highlight the work they do.

Your resume should be no longer than three to four pages long. If you are a student, you may not yet have a great deal of experience, so one to two pages is acceptable.

If you have several years of experience and accomplishments, however, it can be a challenge to keep it within the three to four-page limit when writing a CV.

Remember that great resumes are short and succinct — so be sure to follow our guidelines on what to include and exclude in your resume.

Get on the networking train and be bold
Whether you like meeting people face-to-face or prefer to connect electronically, there are a variety of networking tips and tricks that will help make your job search successful.

Networking is an essential component of your job search, so it’s important that you know how to do it well. You actually have to reach out to your network to see who can assist you.

Think about your network when you find a job online you are interested in. See who you know that currently or recently worked there and ask for background information.

If the company has a formal referral system, ask your contact to submit you. If there is no formal referral system, make sure you list your contact as your source.

Continuously build your network in the industry
Experts in job hunting build various networks way before they need it. It is important to make connections in your industry and career field also follow career experts in your field.

Join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, post and join the discussion. Forming and creating valuable relationships is also vital for a job hunt using social media.

By building a network in advance, you will not have to scramble if you unexpectedly lose your job. Poor networking is waiting to look for a job until you need to.

For social media such as LinkedIn to serve as a useful communication and networking tool, users should make as many connections to other professionals as possible.

Register with all recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies can be your key to unlocking great job opportunities. Lots of jobseekers choose to look for jobs on their own, and few know how to tap into the expertise and network of recruitment agencies who are the conduit that bring the world’s best employers and brightest candidates together.

The role of a recruitment agency revolves around working with employers and job seekers to facilitate a successful job match.

In Zimbabwe there are many recruitment agencies such as CV People, Valcol, Recruitment Matters, Oxford Recruitment etc.

In order to be successful in your job search when using a recruiter, it’s crucial to understand how recruitment agencies work and register with them.
Don’t apply for jobs that are not relevant
Let me put it clearly that never apply for jobs for which you are under-qualified. Read the job advertisement and if you do not fulfil the criteria, do not apply.

If you just apply for every single job you see, you may eventually be seen as an unfocused candidate. Keep track of the jobs you apply for via the web.

Agencies often advertise the same job on different sites, so if you have already applied through one site, do not send your CV again through another. It will save you time and you will not create the impression of being desperate.

Some of the toughest things about job searching are getting rejected or not hearing back. That can happen in the hunting process, but it is much more likely when you are applying for jobs that does not match you.

From a personal perspective, I think you can minimise rejection or being ignored if you apply for the jobs you are the most qualified for.

Continuously research companies for opportunities
There is no denying it, searching for a job really is a full-time job in itself. As a job seeker you have to spend some time researching prospective employers. There are several good reasons why it is worth investigating companies.

Keep an open mind, too, about the industries which you concentrate your job search. Some sectors — such as technology, life sciences and e-commerce — are hiring more than others at the moment, so be strategic about how and where you look for new roles.

As you find job listings that interest you, research the hiring companies before applying. This can provide you with information about company culture, benefits and salary range, products and services and work environment.

Your research will tell you whether you want to or are qualified to work for the company. It also gives you valuable information you can reference in your cover letter or interview.

Consider developing new skills
In today’s economy, professionals need to keep their skills sharp even when they are still job hunting.

Since employers are struggling with a skills shortage, this means that professionals who have the right skill sets will find many opportunities in the job market.

Think about any skills that will be necessary for the job, but that you either lack or have not used in a while.

As a result, finding new ways to continue learning about the job is crucial to not just staying up-to-date with current industry trends, but also keeping yourself marketable for future opportunities.

Finding the right job opportunities and standing out in a competitive market is tough. Job hunting involves more than searching for open positions and continuously sending your resume to employers.

Job searching is hard work, and it can be a challenge to stay motivated as there are a lot of ups and downs.

If you are still hunting don’t give up for in the middle of difficulties lies opportunities.

 Emmanuel Zvada is an award-winning Most Fabulous Global HR Practitioner 2020, HR disrupter and a trusted coach. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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