The term ‘Job Seeker’ has been part of my daily vocabulary for….*covers mouth*….years, suffice it to say, I have seen more than one or two recessions come and go, and have seen a complete evolution of the job seeking / recruitment process and everything in between, this I say merely to establish my credentials that qualify myself to offer some advice.
Surely this is just semantics…job seeker | job hunter, tomato | tomahto?
In actual fact….there is a huge difference between the two, and that difference is connected to the mind-set of the seeker / hunter in question.
Very often, ‘Job Seeker’ is a label rather than a state of mind, it describes someone who is not particularly happy with their job, or the way things are going at work and envision the need for a change at some point in the future…you know…when the right opportunity crops up.
It could be more serious than that, it could be a person under threat of redundancy, or in the worst case, a person stood on the steps of their former place of employment, holding a box of personal knick-knacks that used to adorn their workspace.
Actually, there is a step further than that, but I am not here to terrify you!
I have seen vague Linkedin headlines that suggest that the profile owner is ‘seeking new opportunities’ or ‘on the look-out for my next challenge’, which, on the face of it is giving the right message…but it is all just a tad non-committal, a little too casual.
The Job Seeker can become easily disillusioned, he or she may have applied for a number of roles, even having attended an interview or two, perhaps not getting the results they would prefer, and can [trust me] very easily conclude that ‘there are no jobs out there’, ‘this is a waste of time’….’better the devil you know’.
A Job Seeker can quickly move into the ‘I might as well stay where I am and count my blessings’ phase.
I am not saying there is something wrong with this mind set, there is more to life than work after all, finding a realistic ‘work/life balance’ can be very liberating [in other words, being happy enough at work that you don’t wake up with a migraine every Monday morning because you realise that outside work, things are pretty good and this makes 9-5 a means to supporting this].
There are so many factors why this happens, we could chat for a couple of hours and still only scratch the surface.
So what is the difference between the person described here and a Job Hunter?
The tiger is the hunter...not the hunted, at least in this post!
Think about it, a hunter has very definite goals, very definite ideas about how to achieve those goals and all the tools needed to accomplish those goals.
At this point, I would just like to mention that I do not advocate the hunting of animals…I am using the term ‘hunt’ metaphorically as an accepted term.
Here are 6 things that transform a Job Seeker into a Job Hunter.
This is crucial! Understanding that job hunting takes time will help you to factor in the necessary time resources needed to do all you can to secure your next role. Yes, with technology, things have become easier, for example, how long does it take to upload your CV and Covering note to apply for a job? No time at all, but this can hamper your search if you think that ‘click to apply’ is all you need to do.
Tailoring your applications takes considerable time. Understanding the job specifications and making sure there is evidence within your application to support these essentials [and desirables] is ….well….essential!
Peppering job boards and recruiters with the same CV and Cover note is not a good idea, this behaviour more accurately describes the activity of a spammer rather than a serious Job Hunter.
Knowing where you are in relation to your ‘prey’ [a job] is really important, you could have the job hunting equivalent of a bazooka in your tool kit, but if your stalking techniques are not optimised, then you may never have the opportunity to test it out!
By tracking your progress periodically, keeping careful tabs on the route you have takenand knowing where you need to be next will make your hunt more methodical and will seriously help you narrow the gap between you and the job you are hunting.
Having a ‘to do’ type of list [just email me and I will send you one] is a really great way of tracing your steps and planning your next step. Setting review dates to follow up, send messages of thanks following interview and perhaps requesting feedback will make you much more effective in your search.
A literal hunter may spend several hours lying in wait, and this is true in your case too.
The problem is that once you decide that you’d like to move on, it is at that point you kind of move on emotionally, and this can impact on the motivation and enthusiasm you have for your job, and even your performance in your current role.
Remember that the hunt can realistically take several months, so you may have to make a demarcation between your diligent efforts at work and the determination you will need to draw when you get home…don’t overdo it though, burning the candle at both ends may cause you to lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish, and have a negative impact on your whole life.
Job Hunting can be a real rollercoaster featuring seriously contrasting emotions ranging from euphoria to serious discouragement, the latter of which can really eat away at your motivation. Maintaining your levels of motivation is really important.
Just to illustrate, I am in the process of moving house [just in the planning stages at the moment], I haven’t reached the market yet as there are a couple of cosmetic jobs to do before that, but I keep thinking about the upheaval, the expense and so on and my internal voice keeps trying to talk me out of it, and it is affecting my motivation to forge ahead with this major project.
I am sure you can draw the parallels!
As we have established, blasting away at your potential target can do more harm than good. Carefully selecting your target and making sure you land pretty near the bullseye is time consuming and quite difficult, especially with keyword scanning software, complex application processes and the competition for a limited number of vacancies, not to mention the gruelling interview.
Conscientious tailoring can increase the match between your CV and the job specification, thus increasing the possibility of being invited to interview.
Give yourself a reality check too, there are fewer things more frustrating to a recruiter than reading a CV from someone who is only partially qualified for the advertised vacancy, the recruiter is not going to submit applications that seriously fall short of the mark.
A professional, either someone who writes CVs professionally, or a career coach may offer some free initial advice - I am happy to carry out a health-check on your CV for free - just to point you in the right direction, that may be all that is needed, of course, if more work on your CV is needed or if you need some time with a professional to identify a realistic set of career goals, you can decide whether or not to take that step.
I would say to speak to a trusted friend, but obviously, depending on the skill set of this person, this may accomplish so much, but it may help you just by voicing the reasons you need a change, or just tapping into your support network. Job Hunting is really tough, the more people who come with you on the journey, the better it will be for you.
I hope that this was useful to you, feel free to get in touch if you need more information.Back to Candidate blogs