Finding a New Job: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Jobs and Career Opportunities

There are a vast number of ways in which you can go about finding job opportunities. In this article, we've laid out the more obvious (and less common) places to find a new job.

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Securing Job Interviews
Job seeking. It’s something that almost all of us will have to do at some stage in our career. For most of us, we will go out and look for new jobs on several occasions throughout our professional lives. And it’s not uncommon for an individual to find themselves in a job and not really know exactly how they ended up in it either! Job opportunities often present themselves when we are least expecting them, and frequently present themselves in strange and wonderful ways too. But what can you do to actively seek out new jobs, how can you best apply and what are the right ways to go about job seeking most effectively? In this ultimate job seeking guide, we explore the common (and less likely) places where you can find job opportunities and how best you can find the right opportunities too.

The Obvious Places to Find Jobs
There are several places out there where one would expect to find jobs. These are a great place to start but might not end up being the places where you find the job you are looking for. These are great for providing inspiration and giving you an idea of the jobs market, the opportunities out there, salary expectations and insight into employment.

  • The Jobs Boards - There are lots of these out and about. Jobs boards are everywhere online now. A quick search on Google will present you with lots of job listings websites, portals and networks. Most of them operate in a largely similar way: a standard job search where you can set your criteria (such as keywords, job title, location, salary, company size, etc.) and you’ll be presented with the available jobs in the market. Some jobs boards and portals are larger than others and some have exclusivity in representing companies and businesses. So, don’t just settle for one of them; try a few out!

  • Professional Networks – Again, like jobs boards and portals, there are several professional networks out there. LinkedIn is the most popular but might not be the best one for job seekers. While LinkedIn’s reach is vast, employees and recruiters don’t always see the best candidate applications from it and therefore won’t always list their jobs on it. But why? Well, because LinkedIn has such a huge reach, it also has an overwhelming number of underwhelming candidates who will apply for jobs that aren’t even relevant to them. This, as you can imagine, isn’t great for recruiters and employers. So, they often save themselves the headache and won’t post a job listing on LinkedIn. What LinkedIn does offer though, is quick, easy and effective access to recruiters, which brings us to our next obvious place to find a job…

  • Recruitment Agencies and Recruiters – These are individuals and organisations whose main goal is to help companies find suitable candidates for job openings. To make the most of recruiters, it’s best to first understand how they operate. Almost always, companies will pay a commission to a recruiter for a successful candidate. So, they aren’t working for the candidates but for the companies. And if you aren’t the right fit for the jobs they are looking to fill, then they won’t be much help to you. This is a broad statement to make and we know that by no means is this always the case. However, it is often how it works. So, while recruiters can be useful and it’s good to form connections with lots of them, they only really work when they are representing relevant companies and roles to those you wish to work in.

The Less Obvious Places to Find Jobs
We’ve covered off the main and likely places where a job seeker will start to look for jobs – and will generally have the most luck in finding countless openings. But, it’s important to remember that particularly in a crowded space where competition is high and dozens, sometimes hundreds of candidates can be fighting over just one opening, that less obvious sources of jobs might just be your way of standing out more effectively.

  • Social Media – The rise of social media has given us far greater access to companies, HR directors, CEOs and high-profile professionals. Use this to your advantage. It’s easy enough to start engaging with decision makers in companies you want to work for. Start a dialogue and show your passions and interests. Twitter is probably your best bet to start with, but don’t forget LinkedIn, Facebook Pages and Groups and a number of other networks too. Having a conversation about the available roles, showing you have a keen interest in a certain company and expressing your desires to work for them can be very powerful. Don’t be too pushy but you can be up-front. Tell them how much you would love to work for their company.

  • Professional Networking – There’s a big reason why we promote networking so much as PushFar. It’s because it works. The fundamental basic to networking is that it helps an individual to spread the word about themselves and their brand. Just like a company who uses marketing to spread the word to the world about their company, their products and their services. Networking is personal marketing. The more people we interact and engage with, the wider our net of opportunities. This includes job opportunities. If you are a job seeker then you must proactively network. For more about professional networking click here to read our ultimate guide.

  • Friends and Family – This may seem obvious to some of you but its surprising how many people we come across who have forgotten this one. So, we thought we’d add it to the less obvious list. Because they are so close to us, we often forget to include them or can even feel embarrassed about asking for their help. But, friends and family are a great way to find job opportunities. You never know which of your friends might be looking for the role that your company is hiring for – or vice versa. Make sure that as many people as possible know that you are looking for job opportunities (of course, this is trickier if you are currently employed and don’t want your employer to know).

  • Internships and Temporary Contracts – This might not at first be what you are looking for and for a lot of people it isn’t a practical option from a financial perspective. However, if you can get into a company even on an internship or temporary contract then you have a far greater chance of being hired afterwards and/or accessing those decision makers in charge of hiring. If you’ve not yet considered this route, it’s worth doing so.

Making Yourself Stand Out
Job Interview
In the increasingly competitive space that is the jobs market, it’s hard to make yourself stand out from dozens if not hundreds of other candidates. So, we thought we would give you a few tips and pointers to try and increase your chances of getting to an interview. Firstly, make sure you personalise your cover letter and CV for the role you are applying for. This is well known and won’t alone make you stand out too much, but it will give you an additional competitive edge over those candidates who don’t (and it’s amazing how many still don’t do this). Secondly, once you’ve submitted your application – follow-up. Find out who is responsible for hiring and recruiting at the firm you’ve applied for, then send them an email, give them a call or drop them a message on LinkedIn (or Twitter even). Following up and asking them for any thoughts or feedback on your application will make them sit up and listen. You cared more than everyone who didn’t do this. And that’s a great impression to make! Don’t hassle them though. Leave it at least five days before following-up (unless there’s a set closure date of the role). Thirdly, if you have personal connections in the company – use them! This often isn’t possible but if you are applying for a role within a larger company, you may already have a friend or contact within the business who can give your application a personal recommendation and boost your chances of getting an interview. Finally, bend the rules and think outside the box. This one isn’t a simple or straightforward ‘hack’ but it can open your mind to a whole host of creative options. Whether it’s going and knocking on the front door of the office building, standing outside the offices with a big banner or sending something creative in the post (a leather-bound CV, for example – but I’m sure you can be more creative than that!). You don’t have to play by the same rules that everyone else does. You don’t have anything to lose at this stage and being creative, bold and ambitious are all great box-ticks for recruiters. These strategies are more likely to work with less traditional companies, but they can work across the board.

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