By Terry Lende, careers specialist
Whether you are looking for your first job or exploring new work opportunities (within your existing company, in other organizations or even in other countries) planning is crucial.
In my experience, candidates who are most successful in finding a job are those who are prepared to devote the time and effort to conduct a thorough search using a variety of resources and techniques.
A good search does not happen overnight, it is the result of hard work. You must know where you want to go and be prepared to put in the time to cover all your bases. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but after all, you’re worth it!
1. Know your value
Make a list of your skills and accomplishments and be prepared to speak to them. No false modesty. Think back to previous jobs (even just part-time work while you were at school or university). What are you proud of? What are your successes? How did your actions impact the business or company?
If you are a recent grad, think about your coursework. What did you enjoy most? Did you excel in certain subject areas? Were you involved in class projects? Do you do volunteer work and have hobbies that speak to your accomplishments? Now is the time to develop a compelling message that clearly articulates your value to a potential employer.
2. Update your resume
Your resume is more than a job description. A powerful, accomplishment-based resume will act as a calling card, generating interest and interviews. Is your resume opening doors for you?
3. Have a marketing plan
Know your targets. Who are the major employers in your industry and what do you know about them? A perfect place to start for those new to the industry is www.mineweb.com, which offers an overview of mining developments around the world and includes company listings and links.
Job search websites to check out include:
You can go direct to company websites too – they’re a great place to learn more about the organization and potential career opportunities. Many send out ‘job alerts’, so register to keep up to date on new postings. Examples of company websites in Canada include:
Contact and register with search firms specializing in mining and energy opportunities, such as:
Remember, search firms do not work for you and will not find you a job. They work for the company that is paying them to find the right candidate for the job. If you are the right fit and in the right place at the right time – great!
Use Social Media. LinkedIn has become an important element in a successful search. Update your summary, job description, accomplishments and professional affiliations to make sure they reflect your most recent career activities. Attend LinkedIn’s free jobseeker webinars to learn more about features and how to use them in a job search.
4. Think you’re done? Not by a long shot!
Now you need to network. Simply put, networking is talking to people. You do it all the time. Using networking in your job search will help you get your message out, gather marketplace information, get advice and ideas, and get referrals. When we poll candidates on how they found their last position, 70 per cent tell us networking played an important role. Be proactive in your search. Develop and expand your network. Professors and teachers can be a great source of information and leads.
5. The Interview
All your hard work has paid off. The interviews have begun. Now is not the time for improvisation. Anticipate questions and prepare your answers. Review your skills and accomplishments. Remember #1 – Know your value.
Prepare your success stories using the guidelines of SOAR:
S: situation or challenge
O: obstacles you overcame to meet the challenge
A: actions you took
(and most importantly)
R: result. What was the impact of your action?
6. Evaluate the offer
Yes, it is an exciting time when you are offered a position. But make sure you step back for a moment. Remember, the first opportunity might not be the right one for you, the first offer might not be the best offer. How does the role fit with you current needs? For those new to the industry, consider career development. Does the role ‘get your foot in the door’ and potentially lead to other opportunities? Walk through the compelling reasons to accept the role. Is there room to negotiate?
7. Manage your career
Review your accomplishments on a regular basis, ensure you are staying up to date in your field, stay alert for opportunities and stretch assignments.
Yes, you can go out there and ‘find a job’. This approach will help you to find meaningful work now and in the future.
Terry Lende is Vice President Professional Services & Operations with global talent mobility firm Lee Hecht Harrison, providing operational leadership for career transition services in Western Canada. She is an accomplished business leader with 25 years’ experience in program development, facilitation, client relationship management, training and coaching at all organizational levels. www.LHH.com