A Structure for Success: Advice for Job Hunting During COVID-19

Make a job out of finding a job: As time goes on, it’s easy to slip out of routine and conduct your search half-heartedly, but it’s essential to treat finding a job like it’s your job! You need to stay in a regular work routine every day and resist the temptation to aimlessly surf the internet or watch TV. …

A Structure for Success: Advice for Job Hunting During COVID-19

Make a job out of finding a job: As time goes on, it’s easy to slip out of routine and conduct your search half-heartedly, but it’s essential to treat finding a job like it’s your job! You need to stay in a regular work routine every day and resist the temptation to aimlessly surf the internet or watch TV. 

For those who find themselves out of work (either now or later in the year when the various employer wages subsidies expire), it will be important to plan how you are going to get a job.  Higher unemployment means there will be more competition for roles, and this is not something many of us have seen before. On average, if you are out of work, it takes 22 weeks to find and start in a new role in this type of market.

The process of finding a job will be relatively unfamiliar to some people, and it does require planning and diligence. It is best if you adopt the mindset of treating the task of getting a job just like a job itself. Let me explain:

Organise your strategy

Start your search for a new role by identifying what type/s of roles you are interested in, willing to do and capable of.

Then prepare your approach:

  1. How will you sell yourself for each of these roles? Give this some thought, and it will help you understand what value you can bring to an organisation.
  2. Make a list of companies that you think would value your skills and write down why. Try to make the list at least 100 companies long.
  3. Then make a list of potential “referrers.” These are people who potentially “know people” and can help you get noticed:

    1. Friends, family and professional acquaintances who may know people in the companies you have listed
    2. Recruiters who specialise in the types of roles you are looking for. Make sure they are specialist recruiters, otherwise they may not have the right connections. Work to develop a relationship with these recruiters so they are more likely to think of you when an opportunity comes up (more on this in future blogs).
  4. Methodically work through your contacts and company lists to understand who may be able to help you. Remember, people generally love helping!

Set your weekly and daily routine

Weekly:

  • With your above strategy in place, work through your contacts and company list, covering at least five companies each week. Conduct research on each one and reach ou to express your interest in potential roles.
  • Nurture your relationships and stay in touch. Aim for at least a weekly text, call or email – even if you don’t hear back (which will be the norm), people will remember you, so stick with it.

Daily:

  • Each day, scan new ads on whatever sites you are using. Most of us use Seek and Indeed.  Identify the ads you think you are qualified for and prepare your applications.

Something to consider: Think carefully about applying directly

if you have a relationship with a recruiter who knows of you, that is often the best approach. They may already have the job listed but even if they don’t, they know how to get you in front of the hirer and this will often be more successful than you applying directly. 

Even better, if you have personal or professional contacts who know people in the company and can refer you, that is much stronger than a direct approach. If you don’t have a relationship with anyone who may be able to refer you, you will need to approach them yourself (more about this in future blogs).

Get organised and keep records

Make two simple spreadsheets:

  1. Create a spreadsheet of all the contacts you have, both personal and professional. Include friends, family and past work colleagues. Record the dates and contents of all communications you have and ensure you make a record of when the next comm is going to happen.
  2. The second spreadsheet is for the jobs you have applied to. Chances are, you will be applying to well over jobs 50 jobs – it is not ideal when you receive a call from a potential hirer and you cannot remember what you applied to. So, record the date, the job and who you applied through (i.e. personal contact, recruiter or directly) and what cover letter you used, and then make sure you record all communications that relate to the role. If you don’t do this, you will lose track of what you have applied for and when.

Finally, keep in mind that this is a numbers game. It really is a case of “the harder you work at this, the luckier you will get.” There will be a lot of rejection and disappointments, so prepare yourself for this and reward yourself for the little wins. Getting a returned call or email, and landing interviews with recruiters and companies are all movements in the right direction. Focus on the next step; the application, the interview, the offer. Try not to fixate on the job but rather work through the process, stick to a routine and – make a job out of finding a job

For more advice or support with your job hunt, get in touch with our team of specialist recruiters today. And if you missed the first blog in this series, click here for an overview of the ten actions you can take to help you prepare, train and execute your assault on the job market.

 

Pete Davis is Managing Director of Frontline Recruitment Group (FRG). FRG is a specialist recruitment company with offices across Australia and New Zealand – they have been operating since the early 1990s and have worked in high unemployment environments with job hunters in many different industries. This blog series is about sharing some of the lessons from the past and integrating them with the technology and business practices of today. We hope you enjoy these articles and welcome your opinions.