Chapter 3: Diversify Your Job Search Strategy
Chances are, you’ve tried your hand at job searching at one time or another and (to your dismay) you’ve come to the conclusion that finding a job isn’t an easy task! You may feel this way because you’ve spent countless hours applying to hundreds of opportunities only to be left with no response. The bottom line is, people want to hire you, but it’s time to change your approach. Instead of focusing on the quantity of applications you have submitted, start focusing on the quality of applications you’re sending out. Without a clear understanding of the hidden job market, the importance of using a variety of job search methods, and a tailored approach, you are at risk for increasing your frustrations and decreasing your motivation to find work.
The hidden job market, which according to Statistics Canada accounts for 65-80% of available jobs, suggests that an unprecedented number of jobs are no longer being publically posted. More often than not, positions are being filled internally, by referral, or through direct contacts. Therefore, when we rely on conventional methods of job searching, such as online job search websites, we risk competing against the largest pool of candidates for the least amount of available opportunities. Diversifying your job search means opening the door to a more responsive market and exposes you to additional opportunities, resulting in a shorter, more successful search. Before diving more deeply into how and where to look for work, you need to be able to answer the following questions:
- What are my job goals or ideas?
- What are the qualifications required for these positions? Do I meet them?
- What companies do I want to work for?
Once you have a better idea about your job goals, you can more productively start your search.
In the following sections, job searching has been divided into two major approaches – your online job search strategy and your networking strategy. Consider using the following methods the next time you’re looking for work.