GNcareers, from Gulf News

Going about optimising the job search

Job searchImage Credit: Supplied

Fact: You won’t get a particular job, unless you apply for it.

So if your approach to job hunting resembles wishful thinking more than putting an effort into the process, you probably will be missing out on many opportunities.

That doesn’t mean you need to randomly send out dozens of copies of your resume. But still job hunting is a numbers game, especially if you’re not at the stage of being headhunted. The more resumes you send out to targeted employers, the more likely you will get a job offer that matches requirements.

If unemployed, the time invested in finding job openings and sending applications may not be as big of an issue as when employed. But in either situation, make sure your time and efforts are getting you the best returns. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering how to organise a job hunt.

Select the platform

It is important to develop routines to help you stay organised. One of the biggest aspects is to decide which platforms you need to be checking regularly or getting job alerts from. For example, you may create a list of web pages and online job boards you check every day for new jobs. Some companies may allow you to subscribe to job alerts based on the search criteria, and so do some job boards.

The point is to be organised and regular in checking new ads, because many openings are available until filled. So you don’t want to be the last to know about these opportunities. In addition, getting in the habit of looking at openings even those that don’t exactly match what you’re looking for will help develop a good sense of the market, and refine your own idea of what makes for a good opportunity.

In addition to all the online job platforms, make sure to not overlook major print publications and industry journals. Many specialised jobs may be posted on industry association venues and locations where industry groups are likely to meet for networking.

Have your documents ready

Have your online files — like resumes, cover-letter templates, scanned transcripts, recommendation letters, etc — organised and ready to be updated and sent. Similarly, have printouts of the documents that do not need updated nicely packed in folder and ready to go.

In this process, make sure to never send documents without checking that all the information related to the employer and the potential job are updated accordingly. Nothing says rushed and careless as a cover letter addressed to ABC Company and sent to XYZ Company.

When you have the online and print documents almost ready, you create more time to do more research about the job and the company before the interview. You are also less likely to be stressed if called for a job interview on short notice. That type of organisation helps improve your chances of looking more prepared, interested and informed, which in turn makes you a better candidate.

Keep track of your applications

Have a spreadsheet or a notepad by the computer or phone where you job down some details about the jobs being applied for. Even better, make sure to save the job descriptions or job posts. Doing so will help you recall quickly the job opportunity if you get an unexpected phone call.

It will also help you prepare for the interview by reviewing the job requirements and making sure to emphasise your relevant experience.

In many job posts, you can easily spot the employer’s priorities. Learn to find these and pick some of the keywords used in the post. Integrate these keywords carefully in the responses if they are applicable.

In addition, reviewing the job details and requirements can always help you remember any issues you had when you first came across them. For example, do you need to ask relocation, probation period or reporting lines? Keep this highlighted on your printout or spreadsheet to make sure to cover it in any questions to the employer.

Get your job hunting organised:

* Check job platforms regularly.

* Have your files and documents organised.

* Keep a record of your applications.

* Highlight questions and concerns to be asked.

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.