Video to watch: Where to look for jobs
Job searching skills
Where to search for jobs
Once you’re ready to begin your job search, it’s a great idea to think about the places you will search for jobs. You might initially think about looking on job boards such as Seek or Trade Me Jobs, which are great resources, but websites like these are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of available jobs. In this section, we will talk about where to search for jobs and how to tap into the ‘hidden job market’.
What should I include in my job search?
We will discuss these in more detail below:
Job boards (e.g. Seek)
Applying directly through organisations’ websites
Using your network
Using LinkedIn and other social media
Working with recruiters
There are a number of different job boards you could use to look for jobs. Choose one or two and set up notifications so you don’t miss opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and experience. You will often find the same jobs listed on different websites, so don’t feel you have to use all of these.
Some popular jobs boards in New Zealand include:
The most popular job board in New Zealand and a great place to start looking for jobs.
Another large job board with a variety of different jobs listed.
This job board specialises in jobs in the New Zealand public sector.
LinkedIn has quite a few jobs but focuses more on professional and managerial jobs. More on using LinkedIn is below.
Indeed is the world’s largest job posting site and has a number of roles at different levels.
Applying directly to organisations
Another way to apply is to go to the website of a company you’d like to work for and see if they have a jobs or careers section. They might list the jobs they have available, or simply ask you to register your interest. This can be a great and relatively simple way to secure a job with an organisation that you like.
Video to watch: Networking & using your network
Using your network to find jobs
As many as 70% of jobs are found using networking, so it’s a really good idea to think about who you know and how they might be able to assist you with your job search. A lot of people feel intimidated by the idea of networking. But, when it comes down to it, networking is all about getting to know people, which means that you are already networking every day and everywhere you go. You’re networking when you chat with your neighbour, meet a friend of a friend, or catch up with a former colleague.
Perhaps more than anything, networking is about helping others. We are naturally inclined to build relationships with others to develop a feeling of connection and belonging. Without these connections, people feel isolated and can experience loneliness or depression. This means a key goal of networking is to make sure you maintain your existing relationships and develop new ones.
Tapping into the hidden job market through networking can feel nerve-wracking at first. Networking skills require practice, and it might feel awkward initially. If you keep it up, however, it will get easier, and this could very well secure you your next job. Being open to connecting and helping others can help you find the right job, make valuable connections, and stay motivated during your job search.
Networking is the best way to find a job because:
People love to hire people that come recommended by those they trust
The job you want may not be advertised at all; networking leads to information and job leads, often before a job ad is placed
You might end up being the only applicant for the job, meaning you may not need to go through an in-depth screening process or compete against other candidates
Identifying your network
You have a bigger network than you think. Think about some of the people you know who might fall into these categories:
Family and friends
Parents of your children’s friends
Past work colleagues
Gym, sports, hobby clubs or church groups
Barista, hairdresser, etc.
Reach out to your network
Once you’ve put together your list of contacts, start to reach out to the people in your network. Let them know that you are looking for a job. To be clear, you are not asking them for a job, but rather for more information to see if they can help you find a lead. Be clear about what kind of work you’re looking for and ask if they have any information or know anyone who could be useful for you to talk to.
Networking works best when you have a specific goal in mind or even specific employer targets. Make sure your request isn’t too generic, as this can make it hard for people to feel like they can help you. Asking for specific information or leads is much more focused and easier for your contact.
Remember, don’t ask for a job, as this is a request that comes with a lot of pressure. You want your contacts to become your allies in your job search, so ask for information or insights instead. If they are able to hire you or refer you to someone who can, they will. If not, you haven’t put them in the uncomfortable position of needing to turn you down or tell you they can’t help.
Where to start
A great place to start is by talking to your referees. Contact them and talk about your possibilities and also get their agreement to be your reference. Tell them about your goals, and also keep them informed of your job search process. From there, move on to other people you know well before moving further down your list.
Within 24 hours, send an email thanking the person for their time and advice. If they have given you the name of additional people to contact, let them know if you have made contact with those people. At the very least, acknowledge the action you intend to take.
Video to watch: Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the main platform currently used for professional networking in New Zealand (and internationally). It is extensively used by employers and job seekers. In order for it to work for you, you need to build a profile that represents your skills, experience, education and achievements. In many ways, it is an online version of your CV. As with your CV, you must ensure that your online profile represents your skills and experiences in such a way that anyone reading it will understand what you have achieved and what you would like to achieve going forward.
More and more organisations are using LinkedIn as a core part of their recruitment sourcing strategy. So, if you don’t add this to your portfolio of job search strategies, you may be missing out on potential opportunities.
Enhance your public professional profile (promote your ‘brand’)
Works for you whether you are a passive or active job seeker
Helps others to identify and contact you when they are keen to connect
Keeps you top of mind with recruiters, potential employers, or their network
Helps promote your skills, achievements, potential and interests
Makes it easier for you to research people and organisations you are interested in
Allows you to expand your network into organisations that you are targeting
What does your profile on LinkedIn need to contain?
Before you build your profile, it is important that you determine and incorporate keywords for the kind of job you’re looking for. Recruiters and employers run searches through LinkedIn and look for key requirements. We suggest that you identify roles that you are interested in on job sites and find the keywords that consistently appear in these. Ensure you use these keywords throughout your own online profile, so that people looking for these particular skill sets and attributes are able to find you.
For example, name, industry, headline (title), head and shoulder photo, location, etc. Your photo is included on LinkedIn (unlike your CV) because it is about networking. Some people remember your face and not your name and vice versa - so we strongly recommend including a photo. The photo should look like you (rather than being heavily edited) and you should be dressed in clothing similar to what you typically wear at work.
In the form of a profile summary; this can contain a brief summary of experience, industry, skills and achievements. It can provide people with a sense of the direction you are looking to take. You can utilise similar wording to your ‘personal profile’ in your CV.
Much like your CV, this will include detailed information around previous roles. It often pays to include most of your previous roles here, as this will enable LinkedIn to connect you with people from those organisations, both current and past, enabling you to expand your network. This section can include a paragraph describing your responsibilities and bullet-pointed achievements.
LinkedIn can connect you to people who you went to school with, so that you can find out where they are now (and possibly reconnect).
Skills & expertise
This section allows you to list key skills that you wish to promote. This is also another opportunity for you to utilise the keywords mentioned earlier (so recruiters and employers can find you when they are searching for new staff).
Other sections that can be added
Projects, Languages, Publications, Honours and Awards, Certifications, Volunteering & Causes. These are all potential ways of promoting who you are and what you have to offer.
What else can you do with LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is not just about presenting information about yourself, if you use groups and ‘follow’ companies, you are able to explore information about other people, organisations, industry groups, etc. Their activity (e.g. posts/publications) will also appear on your home page when you log in, and (depending on your settings) send you updates about anything that is happening in your network.
Video to watch: Working with recruiters
Working with recruiters
Recruiters have approximately 15% of the market, so connecting with recruiters can be another useful way to find roles. One of the most essential things to remember about working with recruiters is that while you are important to them, the client is their number one priority. Think of yourself as the product that the consultant is working with and selling to their client.
To help you to choose which recruiters you work with, and how to manage these relationships, consider the following:
Do your research
Talk to your friends, family, previous colleagues, your referees, HR and other network contacts as to whether they work with a particular recruitment agency? Do they liaise with a specific recruiter? How was the experience?
Look at the area that you want to work in, or the company that you are interested in working for. Keep an eye on job sites and LinkedIn and see if you can find out more about which specific recruiters and agencies are working with those roles or companies. This may give you an indication as to whom you can approach.
Before you speak to a recruiter, you should be prepared to discuss the following things:
Type of role you are looking for
Permanent and/or contract
Dates of availability
Always thank your recruiter for the interview and for their help. Recruiters always remember the candidates who show their gratitude – anything from buying them a coffee when you come in, to sending flowers or a thank you note if they place you in a role.