Be Proactive In Your Job Search Strategy

A good job search strategy requires a commitment to time, dedication and hard work.  As a suggestion, divide the time you have for job seeking into the following areas:

Networking resources

(75% of your time)  Part of an excellent job search includes mailing your resume to prospective employers.  If you mail 100 enquiries, you may only get 5% who respond.  The secret to a good response rate is finding a job before the job is advertised. This is the best way to learn about a job opportunity is to talk to people.  The following may give you some useful sources of information.

  • Previous Work Colleagues

Since you have worked with them in the past they know your potential.

  • Friends and Relatives

Asking the right question is important.  For example, “Do you know anyone in Melbourne?” or “Do you know anyone who works in purchasing?”  Even distant relatives can be good sources of information.

  • Career Exhibitions

Visiting career exhibitions enables you to become more familiar with employers.

  • Membership in Professional Organisations

Attending meetings and conferences of professional associations can place one in touch with key people in their field and the community.

  • Volunteer Activities

Become involved with your community.  Widen your professional contacts and increase your knowledge by volunteering your services to community organisations.  Even as little as one evening per week can pay valuable dividends, improved skills and a broader base of contacts.  This is especially true for university colleges.  Getting involved with campus clubs, student government organisations and talking to people in your residence halls or classes can lead to valuable contacts and rewarding experiences.

  • Memberships in Health, Special Interest Clubs and Religious Organisations

Increase your circle of acquaintances in your local area and beyond by involving yourself in interesting organisations.

  • Information Interviews

People who are currently employed in your field of interest may have valuable information. Ask them how they would find employment, which colleagues would help and what publications to read.  Talk to people who have recently found employment.  They often have information from their experience to share.

Related resources

(25% of your time)  An exception to this rule would be graduating students, who should spend 50% or more of their time utilising university resources.  But if you are looking for employment in a limited geographical area, small employment category or have extensive experience, only 25% of your time should allocated to related resources.  A good job search campaign should be a combination of all sources of information and not just one or two.

  • University and College Placement Offices

Look into the services and vacancy materials they offer to alumni and students.  Graduating students should spend 50% or more of their job search time utilising these resources.  Find out who has hired previous graduates from your university.

  • Executive Employment Agencies

Utilise agencies that do not require a fee.  They may have access to job openings that you do not.

  • Chamber of Commerce

A local chamber of commerce can provide information on local businesses and developing industries.  Your local chamber of commerce is good source of inside information about a community.

Library reference resources

  • Directories

Many directories list organisations by industry type and geographical location.  Directories also list nationwide employers who have sold stocks and shares.  Do not forget that the telephone book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date listing of all employers in a geographical area.

  • Vacancy Bulletins

Vacancy bulletins list job vacancies by area. These are usually available at local and university libraries.  There are an increasing number of computerised bulletin boards and databases available to employers and job seekers.  You can learn about these through magazines and other professional publications.

  • Newspapers

Many local and national newspapers publish job advertisements.  You can answer classified advertisements for employment opportunities, but many authorities recommend that you only spend a small portion of your job search efforts on this resource.  Specialty newspapers compile job opportunities from many newspapers nationwide.

  • Specialty Magazines

Every organisation and industry has its own publications, which will give information on recent developments in the field as well as job listings.  Learn about specialty magazines in your field of study and stay informed to be successful in your job search.