Traditional and Modern Job Hunting
If you can, cast your mind back to the dark days before the invention of the Internet... Searching for a new job could be a depressing, demoralising and thoroughly exhausting process back then, involving endless hours scanning jobs pages, traipsing around various recruitment agencies and posting off numerous CVs to potential employers, most of which would never even get a reply.
All that has now changed, with potential employers and job seekers alike increasingly turning to the Internet to satisfy their recruitment needs. However, despite its increasing popularity, the Internet does have its disadvantages and the more traditional job seeking methods are still favoured by many people. Below is an objective look at a range of traditional and modern approaches to job hunting to demonstrate that, no matter what your personal preferences may be, there is a suitable job hunting method just for you.
Probably one of the most obvious benefits of going to visit your local recruitment agency is the opportunity for you to have a face-to-face meeting with an actual person - a person who is committed to helping you with your job search and who can provide you with practical advice and expertise. They should possess local knowledge and a good network of contacts across local businesses. Some recruitment agencies will specialise in particular industry sectors and will therefore be especially well placed to recommend you to the most appropriate potential employer.
Generally, the recruitment consultant you are assigned to will interview you in person, to ensure they have an accurate understanding of your career objectives. They will require an up-to-date CV from you and will both inform you of any current vacancies that match your requirements as well as store your details for future reference.
It is advisable to register with as many recruitment agencies as you can so that you are given the opportunity for maximum exposure in the area. Just be sure that two different agencies don't apply for the same job on your behalf - companies will not look favourably on this as it could lead to complications when they have to pay their finders fee!
Available vacancies are published in the national papers as well as in local and regional press and industry-specific trade publications. There are even dedicated recruitment papers published on a regional basis, and you can subscribe to many of these. Trade publications are particularly useful because they also include articles on companies in your field of interest, which may highlight where possible expansions or recruitment drives are anticipated.
Newspapers are an extremely popular method of job hunting and, as a result, each advertisement is likely to create a massive response, so be prepared to apply for a number of advertisements with a potentially poor response rate. Despite that, it is still an extremely popular job hunting method and one that is still used by many employers.
This is another method that has a relatively low level of response but it can be useful if your cover letter has been carefully written and phrased. Although they may have no vacancies at the time of your initial application, they may well do in the near future and, as long as your CV and cover letter are professionally prepared to have maximum impact, you should be remembered when a suitable position arises.
If you are able to build up a network of business and personal contacts within your industry sector, you will find that you are better able to keep abreast of any organisational changes which may result in a vacancy becoming available. This first-hand information could enable you to contact a company before anybody else thinks of doing so, thus giving you a potential advantage.
The key to successful networking is to make sure that you manage to speak to the right person within the company and to be confident and clear about your aims.
Other traditional methods of job hunting include visiting your local Job Centre as well as attending careers fairs, which enable you to speak directly to representatives of companies in the area. Some fairs are industry-specific while others target just graduate or executive job hunters.
The Internet has rapidly become an extremely popular resource for recruitment purposes and it is used extensively by employers and job seekers alike. Indeed, all of the traditional methods above-mentioned now provide online services as well, making it much easier for people relocating to a new area to find suitable vacancies.
Most high street recruitment agencies now have their own dedicated websites offering a wide range of services that complement the work carried out by their branch network, as well as enabling a job seeker to monitor their progress at their convenience. The main national newspapers and local press also carry job sections on their websites, enabling you to create specific job searches. This reduces the need to read through irrelevant job advertisements, which can be time-consuming if you are reading a 'real' newspaper.
Networking is also becoming increasing popular online, enabling you to make contact with a broad range of individuals without actually having to travel to meet them. Discussion forums and chat rooms are particularly common and, although this may seem relatively informal, you should be very careful to make all your online communication as professional as possible.
There are also a number of dedicated job sites available on the Internet, some of which specialise in particular industry sectors while others offer a more general service. Both recruitment agencies and employers use these sites to advertise their vacancies and they often include links for you to actually submit an application online.
The majority of major organisations also post any job vacancies on their own websites, and these too often enable you to apply online, either by attaching your CV or by completing an application form.
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Author: James Innes