Natalie sat on a cold bench in the park on a hot sunny afternoon.
She was tired, she was thirsty, she was hungry and she was frustrated. She had spent all day going door to door trying to get a job. Nothing had come forth; no one seemed interested in offering her even a glimmer of hope. She wanted to cry, but that too, would not help.
Job hunting is a difficult affair, mentally and physically draining.
It means doing and redoing your resume until you don’t even recognize it yourself, writing countless cover letters, opening your email a hundred times over to see if anything has come through, dressing up, and showing up to an interview hoping that it will be the last, picking a call and hoping that it is the life-changing one.
In 2021, going through the same job-hunting motions must end.
With everything being classified as smart; smartphones, smartwatches, smart computers, we must turn it into a smart process too.
Here are a few smart tips to finding your way to a job.
This one has to be the smartest job-seeking move today. As they say, your network is your net worth. It is not cliché, it is the reality.
How does one network? First, you have to decide what line of work you want to get into. Look out for events that host people in the same profession or business and attend.
When you attend these events, ensure you are presentable and confident. Do not be afraid to approach and engage people. Do not be shy about the fact that you are open to opportunities and inform of skills that you possess.
It is just a matter of time until you are talking to the right person at the right time.
- Social Media
Social media has moved away from being a space to exchange banter on, meet up with people you knew in primary school, and read about the latest Kardashians gossip.
LinkedIn is a great space to showcase your professional skills, engage like-minded professionals, learn from them and even get to know of openings in different organizations.
You must remember that in job hunting, it is you selling yourself, you are the product, and you must package yourself appealingly so that potential employers are attracted to you.
Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp are all platforms that give you a chance to get into the right spaces with the right people.
Use your Social Media Pages Wisely.
- Cold Pitching.
You know how sometimes you stumble on an outfit that makes you look so good and feel even better? Then you realize it is what you needed but you did not even know?
Sometimes companies do not know they need your skills until they see your email detailing what you have on offer and how it will benefit their organization.
Do not be afraid to pitch yourself to your dream employer, it is a smart job hunting move and it could pay off.
There is absolutely nothing to lose.
- Volunteering/ Internship/Job Shadowing
Sometimes, you do not get the job you want because you don’t have enough experience or exposure. Again, you may not have the experience or exposure you need because you don’t have the job. Crazy, right?
Instead of going around in a vicious circle, volunteer your skills and services to an organization that you would one day like to work for. This means you would offer your services for an unspecified time.
You may offer to intern for a specific period and if you are lucky, they could pay a stipend.
You could search for an organization that offers Job Shadowing opportunities, whereby you are allowed to follow an individual already doing what you aspire to do, and learn from them.
Although these opportunities may come at no pay, it is an investment you would want to consider as it builds your skill and as a bonus, gives you insider information into openings at the organizations you are attached to.
- Announce your Job Search.
You are not going to hire a public address system and go round the neighborhood announcing your job search. You will do something similar but more subtly.
Do not be ashamed of the fact that you are searching for a job. If you get a chance to talk to someone who you know may be in a position to help, do not hold back. Your friends, relatives, lecturers, gym buddies, neighbors, and any acquaintances.
It may seem like a lot but you never know who they may refer you to. Sometimes, HR and Hiring Managers do not want to spend too much time and resources on hiring.
They also want to hire smart and guess who they will remember when they need a referral?
Do not wear yourself out.
It may not look so near but a day of rest when you land your dream job is coming and it needs you to be well prepared.
Take a break from the conventional ways of sending endless CVs and cover letters and try to find your job the smart way.