How to be a job search luminary

By guest writer Nelson Sebati, Non-Executive Chairman at Murason Business Services. He has 10 years’ experience in recruitment, talent acquisition, career transitioning & on-boarding, with a specific focus on IT and Executive skills. He is a certified Career Strategist and Job Search Coach. He studied Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School, Law at UNISA among other numerous qualifications & is currently a member of the YBSA, BMF, REC-UK, APSO, CSSA, ASA, and IoDSA. 

In the last two decades, job seeking has transformed and competition for every position is fiercer than ever. The prosperous decades of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when jobs were bountiful and money (not to mention credit) were seemingly free flowing, failed to give way to an equally successful 2010s. Professionals pursuing employment in this market are finding it challenging to do so, mostly because jobs have disappeared, having been automated or completely phased out. Does anyone remember the travelling salesmen selling encyclopedia sets or vacuum cleaners?

Job seekers are discovering that they must be more strategic than ever in their search for meaningful employment. With so many qualified professionals seeking employment, it’s not enough that you are competent, smart, and experienced; you need to be a superstar, make a memorable impression, and “wow” your prospective employers.

Preparing the job search strategy

In order to thrive you need to be appreciative of what it takes to stand out in this tough job market. Those that fail to adequately formulate a job seeking strategy will likely find themselves without a job for the conceivable future. Job seekers must learn to utilise their personal and social networks, professionalise their CV and develop great interview skills. Each of the aforementioned will significantly improve your odds of landing a job; you need to master all of them.

Networking online and offline

Networking is a strategy that many job seekers don’t focus on adequately, but in today’s society should be the number one strategy at the top of the list. The fact is, many workers can trace their current employment to someone who was kind enough to give them a job lead, a foot in the door or point them in the right direction. Today, networking has become easier than ever, thanks, in a large part to the growth of online networking websites.

Social networking websites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great places to meet people who share similar interests or who work in the same industry. However, even with the power and reach of social networking websites, you must start your job search using the contacts you have developed in your own, personal network. Speak to your family and friends and make them aware that you are job hunting. Don’t be scared to reach out to people who are in a position to help.

Professional CV Writing

Having a strong CV is a vital part of the job search process. With unemployment on the rise, the competition for jobs is as ferocious as ever. Human Resources professionals routinely receive hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of CVs for each and every job opening. In order to even be considered for a job, your CV must stand out from the pile. If it fails to impress in the first few seconds, the probabilities of being called in for an interview is significantly reduced. Without a professionally written CV that highlights your skills, experience and achievements the likelihood of actually getting the job becomes an impossibility and only leads to further despair and stress.

If you are not having the success you desire from your existing CV consider having it professionally written or edited by a Career Strategist. The cost of a CV writing specialist is far less than the cost of not having a job.

Interview Skills:

Having great interview skills is extremely important and gives you the opportunity to shine in person. Actually receiving an interview request is often the hardest part of the job search; therefore make sure you are well prepared for the job interview. Research the company and the people, practice answering potential interview questions. The more information you have on the company and people interviewing you the more prepared you will be to answer any tough questions that come your way. The best way to becoming a master interviewee is practice!

Staying Positive

In today’s tough job market, job seekers should be prepared for a lengthy job search. However, being strategic about your job search can help you remain confident and upbeat during this period. Positivity is important so make sure you surround yourself with positive people. The last thing you need is negativity in your life.