Job Hunting

According to the Free Online Dictionary – ‘Job Hunt’ means to seek employment or to look for a job. Yes you are out there, seeking earnestly without success or your job search may be off to a slow start or getting stuck? If only job hunting could be so simple.

Now that your job search is trickier, more sophisticated and highly competitive, you have to be imaginative, savvy and smart to be successful. Just responding to advertisements in the classifieds probably won’t land you your dream job — nor will sending out the same stale résumé to each potential employer. Here are some quick time-saving job search tips that will help your hunt for a new job go smoothly.

Be Prepared – Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you are not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections with who can assist you in your job search. When updating your résumé, keep the following tips in mind:
• Make sure your descriptions are concise and detailed.
• If you have a long job history (more than 15 years) focus on just the most relevant, significant and recent information.
• Remove any personal pronouns. Save them for your cover letter.
• Keep the résumé length to two pages or less (or just one, if your job history is short).
• Proofread your résumé very carefully for typos and grammatical errors.
Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address; this can be optional, but consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner.
Very important! – Please ensure that you answer your phone in a professional manner, you never know who will be calling you for a job or to attend an interview.

Get Help. Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as: Career Placement Services at Universities, Career Advice Column in your local newspapers etc.

Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way, you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you are applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs would not need to be changed. To assist you further, Microsoft Word users can download free templates for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.

Review Samples. It is always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials.

Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step.

Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job alerts to sign up and receive job listings by email. Examples of local sites which offer job alerts are CaribbeanJobs.com, CareerJamaica.com etc. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.

References Ready. Have a list of three (3) references including: name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews.

Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work, ask if they can help.

Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available free of cost for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. Some other networking routes you might want to consider include:
• Job fairs
• Alumni groups
• Professional societies and associations
• Social activities
• Local business community events

Try to remember you are not alone – Unfortunately, struggling with unemployment is a common occurrence, but it does help to know you are not alone. Try to connect with someone who has been in a similar situation as you are now; they might be able to offer helpful advice as to how you can speed up your search or they could just provide some much needed commiseration. Either way, take solace in the fact that there are many individuals who have been in a similar situation and were able to come out of it stronger and more determined than they were before.

Find Alternative Ways to Bring in Income – When money is tight, it can intensify the stress and discord in all aspects of your life as well, so utilize any opportunity to bring in extra cash. Think of any skills that you can utilize or services that you can offer to make some alternative income from, and any opportunity for bringing in money during unemployment is one worth pursuing.

Keep Busy – When you are used to working a job, it can be hard adjusting to having a surplus of free time on your hands, so it is important to keep yourself busy. Having too much time to think can lead to a spiral of negative thoughts, so in order to keep your morale high, provide yourself with plenty to do. Make a list of daily goals; obviously, you will want to schedule a few hours to dedicate to your job search, but also leave room for areas of personal development. Exercising, meditating, trying out a new skill set, or volunteering your time are all things that will keep you feeling purposeful and motivated until a position opens up for you.

Finally, you can stay positive during your job search by shifting your focus and enjoy the little things in life, whether it be watching your favourite movie, catching up with a friend, baking, gardening, sewing or just doing something creative. Always allow yourself to breathe by taking your mind off the search for a moment. This way, you will allow the tension and stress to dissolve.

Cheer up! and I trust and hope the above tips were very useful.

Good luck in your job search!
Lorraine Gray-Grant
Volunteer Membership Coordinator

P.S. You can see my resume here on CaribHRForum.com and also leave your own. Also, check out my video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz-vuAnb4z4 

2 thoughts on “Job Hunting

  1. Anya Narine-Maraj

    My name is Anya Narine-Maraj. I work at the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business Administration with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. I am a new member to this forum. I must say to you, Mrs. Lorraine Gray-Grant, that you have given some valuable information into Job Hunting and being prepared. From my experience, I have found it very useful to have a soft copy of my resume which I can easily and quickly modify to suit the job I am applying for. Also, when job hunting, it is always a great idea to research the company you are applying to and the position you are applying for so that you can tailor your resume accordingly. I truly appreciated the great tips you gave.

  2. Denese Toby-Quashie

    I found this articles to be vey relevant and useful as I am about to embark on a job search after many years in the same public sector job. I intent to make use of the suggestions especially the social networking and exploiting LinkedIn. Thank you for your valuable input to the process.

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