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Posted By: Eva Grabner | on February 5 2016

Job hunting is a sport: practice hard and play by the rules

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Although Australia is not officially in a recession, we haven’t exactly been going through a boom period either. Clearly there is an economic downturn in areas such as mining and construction which has impacted unemployment, share prices and housing values, consumer confidence and capital investment.

I speak with candidates on a daily basis that have been made redundant and are struggling to find work despite having a strong professional work history. The majority of employers are nervous employing those that are ‘overqualified’ as they feel they will leave once the economy improves or a better opportunity comes up. This can result in a very frustrated job seeking experience for some.

I recommend you treat job seeking like a game: take it seriously, practice hard, play by the rules but remember, when you lose, there is always next time.

Here are my suggestions to help you maximise the chance that you win the game:

  • One option for those who have been in the same industry is to look outside the square. See my blog ‘Are you thinking of changing industries’.
  • Is your resume up to date? Most high level professionals don’t have a current resume and tend to ‘throw something together’ when they are job hunting. If you are not up to date on resume formats, cover letters, etc. then get a professional to update yours for you. It’s worth it.
  • If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up immediately. The majority of businesses will check your background via LinkedIn. Again, get a professional to help if you are unsure how to do this.
  • Network, network, network! Get out and about within your local business community. Join local chambers, networking groups, etc. It’s the best way to make new business contacts.
  • Be prepared! Hand in hand with your resume is preparation. Have you researched the company you are interested in? If applying via a job site, have you addressed the key criteria in your cover letter?
  • Follow up on applications. Yes, do. This will make you stand out. I recommend a phone call a few days after you sent your application, just to ensure it has been received by HR. Don’t overdo it though; there is a fine line between a class act and being needy or desperate, but it will draw attention to your application.
  • Have a personal business card made up for your job search. Have accurate and current information on it and a link to your LinkedIn page.
  • Consider temp or contract work or even volunteering. This will help you to gain exposure and sometimes permanent job offers come from contracting.
  • Acquire new skills. Learn new software or update/expand on your skills. Perhaps start that degree you always wanted to.

Last but not least, are you prepared for an interview? Do you know how to present yourself? I have some quick tips here that may help otherwise, feel free to contact me for any assistance with your job search.

Good luck with the game of job seeking!

Eva Grabner
Managing Director
Elite Executive Pty Ltd
eva@eliteexecutive.com.au
0409 59 11 88

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