7 Steps to successful job searching

Job-Seekers put themselves through the agony of successive highs and lows because they take a frenetic rather than systematic approach to the jobs quest.

Experts at The Focus Group, the Forest Town-based firm of human resource consultants to some of the country`s top employers, recommend a balanced programme of reactive and proactive job searching.

Says Focus Group director Gavin Sher: “Disappointment never degenerates into despair if you follow a structured job search programme. You retain a positive self-image by seeking employment in a professional way. You are not looking for instant gratification. When you are engaged in a process, glitches along the way cease to be a total disaster.”

According to The Focus Group, four essential reactive steps and three vital proactive steps need to be taken.

Reactive methods

1. As a matter of routine, check all traditional sources of job advertising, including daily newspapers, the Sunday Press, Workplace, and community papers. Don`t assume, for instance, that weekend advertising is always focused on experienced personnel.

2. Check all traditional and online media including specialist job sites, such as PNET, Career Junction, Linkedin and online industry forums. Many companies have corporate websites. Check these for information on potential employers and vacancies. Press groups also carry electronic job ads. Thousands of local and international jobs are advertised on the internet. If you don`t have a computer, go to an Internet café and invest in computer time. (It is also possible to enter your CV into the database of some job vacancy sites.)

3. Don`t forget electronic media. Some companies now use radio to advertise vacancies in specific regions.

4. Read the industry press of the sectors of particular interest to you. You will acquire background knowledge of industry and corporate developments and find lots of vacancies.

Proactive Methods

1. Take a selective approach to identify talent search companies. Pick three or four which seem well positioned in the industries or specialisations of interest to you. (Going to dozens of recruitment firms makes frustration inevitable). Arrange an appointment. Take along your CV and supporting documentation. But remember, being `on the books` of a recruitment company is no guarantee of a job (so don`t build up unrealistic expectations). Nor does it absolve you of the responsibility to continue your own search.

2. Market yourself by targeting specific companies for which you would like to work. Research them. (One way is to phone head office reception, corporate affairs or PR and ask if you can pop round to pick up a corporate brochure.) Send your brief CV and a covering note explaining how much you would like to work for the company, perhaps including a brief reference indicating some knowledge of the industry and company.

3. Create a personal network. Make a list of family, friends and contacts. Tell them you are in the job market and ask if they know of any openings. Add to your network list as you are given the names of new contacts. At functions, social gatherings etc. make a point of mentioning that you are looking for employment. Keep pen and paper handy so you can note down any possibilities or write down your own name and contact number to give to a helpful contact.

Talent Search