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Where To Look For Jobs In A Competitive Market

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

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The job seeking process is not for the faint hearted! Some people say looking for a job will be the hardest job you will ever have. In today’s competitive job market, it can take even more time and energy to find employment than ever before.

75% of Australians who are currently searching for a new job have been looking for up to six months. -

Making the decision to search for a new job is not an easy one, but the good news is there's many resources available to support you! In this article, we'll give you the top sources to consider when searching for opportunities to apply for.

We'll cover:

Don’t overlook the possibilities where you already work

If your motivation for changing jobs is potentially fixable, consider if it could be achieved in your current role or company. Perhaps you need flexibility to pick up your kids from school, want to work at home more often, or receive more training opportunities. Ask yourself what’s not working or what’s not fulfilling. If it comes down to one or two things, and you can see yourself growing in your current company, have the conversation with your manager. You could be surprised with the result!

Approach your manager with what you want and work out a plan that will address your needs. Perhaps you need to figure out when you will make up any time away from the job, or how you’ll come up to speed regarding any meetings you miss. Now is a good time for discussing this type of flexibility - Because there’s so much attrition, companies are more open to having these conversations.

Don’t forget to check out the careers section of your company’s website. It can be much easier to transfer to another division or team in your existing company than it is to start from scratch somewhere else.

Job Search Sites

Employers often publish job openings through classified ads in local newspapers and on websites such as Seek and Indeed. These easy access advertisements are a good place to start. Because of their obvious nature they also attract a high volume of responses, so keep in mind the competition for these positions is even more intense.

Once you find a job you’re interested in, a good way to get ahead of the competition is to find a few people you know who already work at the company. If you’re not familiar with anyone at the company, activate your network to see if there’s anyone you know who has a connection there. Politely ask them to put in a good word for you and offer a recommendation. This will help you to stand out from all of the other people who’ve applied. The hiring manager will be impressed that a couple of internal employees recommended you. Now you have a big leg up on the competition!

Job search sites can be a great way to find a new role. These sites provide you with valuable information about companies and positions including location, industry, salary, necessary qualifications, culture, and more.

Other benefits to using a job search site include the ability to upload your resume and cover letter for quick and easy application submission. They also provide you with the option to receive an alert when a new opportunity, that fits the criteria you share, becomes available.

There are a number of popular job search sites, with these capabilities (and more). Here are some of the most common to get you started:

  • Glassdoor gives you access to job listings, employee reviews, interview tips, salary information, and more. You can post your resume so hiring managers can contact you directly and the site includes a feature in which you can view interview questions specific companies tend to ask — which is a great interview prep technique.

  • Indeed provides you with access to new job listings, company reviews, and accurate salary information. The site also allows you to post your resume so recruiters and employers can easily reach out. The site has a variety of other resources such as opportunities to receive professional interview advice as well as access to the latest — and most popular — job listings, salary information, and company reviews.

  • Seek is a straightforward and simplistic job search site. Employers post their latest job listings and you can sift through them by location and/or one of the site’s industry types.

Using LinkedIn To Find And Apply For Jobs

LinkedIn isn’t just a professional networking site — it’s also a job search site. The platform will take you through a series of steps to help you begin and narrow your job hunt. You can view position openings while employers can read your resume, view your LinkedIn profile, and connect. LinkedIn has done an amazing job of improving the process of helping you find a job, research it, and apply for it.

To search for jobs on LinkedIn, click on the ‘Jobs’ icon at the top of your Home page (note some job search features require a premium subscription). LinkedIn provides some great insights about the job and company, as well as how you stack up as a potential candidate. It will list the skills required for the role, and highlight the ones you already have. LinkedIn Job Insights are a great way to find positions that are a good fit for you, and identify any gaps in your profile or skill set.

By turning job alerts on, you'll receive a notification whenever new jobs are posted which align to your search criteria. Setting up these notifications gives you the best chance to apply quickly as soon as a new opportunity arises.

The ‘top applicant’ feature is another one that can be really helpful during the job seeking process. Here, you can quickly identify recommended jobs for which you're considered as a top applicant based on the information in your profile. Completing your profile information and adding skills you possess will help you stand out as a top applicant.

If you're ready to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level, we're here to help you with the best way to achieve this:

The Hidden Job Market

While the classified ads and job search sites provide a place where companies can draw a large number of applications, many more desirable positions are not publicly advertised.

Companies seeking highly skilled workers to fill specific areas of responsibility may employ recruiters and head hunters to find talent.

By contacting the Human Resources department of companies in the industry you would like to work, you can gain access to the internally communicated list of job openings. You may ask to send your resume directly to the HR department of a specific company you've had your eye on.

Company Websites

Whether or not you’re sure about a specific opportunity, create a list of your dream companies you think you'd enjoy working for. This is a great way to keep track of opportunities at the companies you’re most interested in and remain goal-oriented.

If you already have your dream employer in mind, go directly to the career section of the company's website. If you track openings, there's a chance you'll find just the opportunity that you've been waiting for.

Consider companies comparable to those on your list of top picks, too. For example, if your goal is to work in marketing at Nike, consider applying for a similar position at a newer, growing company in the same industry. By being open-minded and realistic about how you’re going to reach your end goal (such as working at Nike), you'll avoid locking yourself into one, narrow career path option all while gaining valuable experience along the way.

Create a list of employers that you'd like to work for and visit their websites often. If you're really set on working for a specific company it may take some time to find just the opportunity that fits your skillset. But if you've got time, this might be the optimal method for finding your dream job.

Headhunters and Recruiters

If you're looking for some professional help in your job search, headhunters and recruitment agencies can help.

Many organisations hire through recruitment agencies to streamline the hiring process. Head hunters actively recruit individuals to fill specific vacancies.

Having a smart, experienced, knowledgeable and well-connected recruiter working on your behalf can make all the difference in the world. Top recruiters have deep relationships with companies and hiring managers. They’ll often know about open job requisitions before anyone else. Often companies don’t aggressively advertise certain jobs. In these instances, they rely on recruiters to conduct stealth, under-the-radar searches for the appropriate candidates.

Temping, Internships or Volunteer Work

Temporary employment and short-term contracts often lead to permanent positions. It's a great way to get a foot in the door or at the very least provide you with useful business contacts to call upon in the future.

Internships are a great choice for students who are just graduating from college. If you're just starting out and you can afford it, volunteering can be a great way to gain valuable industry contacts.

Activating Your Professional Network

One of the most effective ways to find a job is through people you know who can vouch for your skills and knowledge, potential fit with their company, and work ethic. This is particularly true for senior management and executive roles.

Read the below articles to discover how you can build and activate your professional network to support your job search:

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