As we know, the 2020 pandemic has changed the world as we know it, including the recruiting process. However, your job search goals may not have changed. You may be just as determined to find your first Canadian job, move further down your career path or land your big dream job.
With so many virtual opportunities available through social media platforms, online hiring fairs, and webinars, the next question we need to ask ourselves is: How can we better prepare to stand out when we get in front of potential employers and recruiters?
As we learn more about the hidden job market and the importance of networking, we need to really consider how we approach these opportunities. At Devant, we break down this process into three stages: planning, preparation and action. Each stage contains important steps that will better prepare you to engage with employers confidently. No matter where you are in the process, you may want to sign up for our free career assessment session which delves deeper into topics that are covered in this article (and you’ll get to meet our career coaches).
This article is a brief overview of some of the actionable steps you can take to get ready to connect with potential employers and recruiters.
Planning is where it all begins. The planning stage starts by asking yourself where you are and where you want to go in your career. What kinds of industries and employers are you interested in? Where are your ideal jobs located? What timeline have you set for your goals? Taking some time to address these questions will better inform who and how you should approach potential employers and recruiters. Make sure you conduct this analysis to avoid wasting resources and time.
Self-reflection is an important stage in how you eventually present yourself to employers and recruiters. Being self-aware of your strengths, skills and experiences will help you position yourself confidently. When it comes to skills, write down both your soft and hard skills. You’ll also want to take inventory of all your experiences. Think beyond traditional jobs as your experience; consider volunteerism, class projects, and business ventures. Ask yourself what lessons you learned, what challenges you faced, and what successes you saw in those experiences. Once you have your skills and experiences in check, you’ll need to think about how you might communicate them in a document, informational coffee chat or a formal interview.
Once you’ve identified your industry, skills and experiences, it’s time to look at employers and recruiters. The more you know about a particular organization, the more insightful your discussion with employers and recruiters will be. You can learn a lot from a company’s website, but there are so many other ways to conduct research. Check out their social media platforms, newsletter, blog posts, news articles, and financial reports. Not only are you getting information about how the organization functions, but you’re also gaining an understanding of their corporate culture and voice. When you do interact with a team member, see how you can showcase your knowledge of the organization.
When you do interact with employers or recruiters, it doesn’t end there. Make sure you have a plan in place to follow up with them in a timely and helpful way. A thank you note is standard, but consider other ways to keep your new relationship going. You can try sending them a particularly interesting article, an event invitation, or request a follow-up meeting or coffee chat.
You’ll also want to keep track of your successes (and failures). This will give you a big picture idea of what’s working in your networking strategy and what areas need work. A great way to do this is to create a simple Excel sheet that outlines your contacts, organizations and dates you reached out to them. Keep this document updated as you go.
Remember to also include any feedback you receive from the employer or recruiter about your interaction. This will give you a better understanding of their hiring process and how you can better fit their needs. If you see any patterns in your tracking sheet, you may need to consider how you can improve in those areas. It’s also helpful to keep track of and reflect on the questions that are asked so they can better respond to them in the future.
Making the most out of your interactions with employers and recruiter is essential for job search success. At Devant, we’re here to support your career search journey, no matter what stage you’re in. If you’re ready to speak to our career coaches, sign up for your next FREE Career Assessment Session. There is a waitlist available if the session is full.
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