Finding work can be an overwhelming process, especially when you don’t know when, where or how to look for opportunities. These tips and resources will help make your search for meaningful employment a lot more effective.
Spend your energy and resources wisely. Defining an employment target helps you focus your effort on finding jobs that fit your aptitude, interests and qualifications. Because you are more likely to be the right candidate for these positions, your chance of success will improve.
From the employer’s perspective, it is a lot more time and cost-effective to fill an opening through internal recruitment and referrals. In addition, when a position is publicly advertised, competition will naturally increase. Therefore, you should focus your energy into finding opportunities before they become public knowledge. In other words, you need to tap into the “hidden job market” and the best way to do this is through networking.
Develop and use your network
First, start with your existing network:
- Your parents, relatives, friends and their families
- Your instructors, program advisors, program chairs, fellow students
- People you know through work, volunteer, activities, clubs or hobbies.
There are various ways to build and expand your network:
- Ask someone in your existing network to refer you to someone they know
- Attend career fairs, conferences, presentations, mixers and other networking events
- Join student clubs and professional associations.
Talk to the people in your network to:
- Identify the top employers in the field or industry of your interest
- Learn about employment trends and practices of different organizations or industries
- Learn about possible job openings before they become public knowledge
- Connect with people with hiring power.
It is not always about “finding a job”
Although securing satisfying employment is your ultimate goal, it should not be the goal of every interaction you have with the people in your network. When you put in the effort to build long, lasting relationships with people, they will become more invested in your success.
Be courteous, respectful and sincere in your communications. Keep your network up to date with your progress. Your relationships with them do not stop the moment you secure employment. Keep in touch and whenever possible, return the favour. It can be simply passing on an article that you think they might be interested in or referring them to another great candidate for their organization!