After working at the same job for the past 8 years, I decided to leave my job in search for something new, exciting and challenging. Looking for a secure job right after the pandemic has proven to be somewhat difficult since some industries are not actively hiring. It is even more so if you are planning to do a mid-career switch, like myself.
Feeling lost, I decided to take the first step by attending job search workshops and career coaching sessions. From there, I managed to learn some effective job searching tips which gave me better clarity in looking for the right job at the right places and right time. Here are 6 effective steps which I’ve learnt to secure a job right now in this post-COVID world.
1. Know and understand yourself
It is important to understand yourself so that you will be able to find a job that matches your values, interests, personality and skills. If you have just graduated from college or school, you might find yourself feeling lost and had no idea what you really want. That’s totally normal because we are often not exposed to the various career options in school and would have absolutely no idea which career options might suit us better. Besides, our personality and interests might change over time as you discover more about yourself. Hence, it is important to check in with yourself and find out what exactly motivates you and what makes you jump out of bed each morning.
Another thing to note is to list out what your current priorities in life are. If you are planning to start a family, your priorities in life might be your spouse or your children. As such, you might prefer to work in a company which values work-life balance. Or perhaps you’re young and highly-driven, you might place your work priorities on work achievements and generating a high income.
Thus, it is good to spend some time to reflect and list down your priorities, personalities, interests and skills. If you’re still unsure, you can perform free personality tests like the Truity Personality test. If you’re a Singaporean or PR, you can utilise the free self-assessment tools on MySkillsFuture to find out your personality, interests and values.
Going for workshops, courses and reading books would also help provide some enlightenment if you are still not sure where you are heading in your career.
2. Be open to different options
Once you understand yourself better, start listing down the potential jobs that matches your values, personality and skills. To be more effective in your job search, it is advisable for you to find out which industries or companies are still actively hiring in this period of time. For instance, the healthcare industry is actively recruiting.
And here’s an insider tip: companies which recently received huge amount of fundings also tend open up more job positions to expand their team. With more funding, they are able to hire more people to work for their organisation.
Then, gather all the facts about the nature of work, skills required, company culture, benefits and progressional opportunities from professional networking sites like LinkedIn. I guess it would not harm networking with strangers by just striking up a professional conversation with them. After all, the best to find out more about the company from people who are working in the company. To get an inside scoop of what it is like working at the company, you can also check out Glassdoor.
3. Develop job search strategies
I’ve always thought that as long as you ace in your resume writing skills and interview, you will get hired. However, I come to understand that securing a job isn’t just about submitting the best resume. You need to develop a strategy or a plan to go about searching for the right job.
Being equipped with effective job search strategies will help yourself get noticed by potential employers. One way is to develop your unique selling proposition that encapsulates your biggest strengths and accomplishments. And one way to market yourself is to craft a well-written resume. HR executives typically only spend about 6 seconds, on average, to read your resume. As such, you will need to make your resume stand out from the rest. A well-crafted resume will include the key contact information, career summary, skills, working experiences and education. It should also be filled with keywords of the desired job or industry.
If they like your resume, you will be scheduled for an interview. Be sure to do some research on the possible interview questions relevant to your job or industry. Also, be prepared to answer tough questions like ‘What is your weakness?’. I’ve learnt that the best way to tackle that question is to talk about a weak skillset you possessed, which is totally irrelevant to the job you are applying for.
Another tough question to anticipate is ‘What is your expected salary?’ Instead of just quoting a salary range, you can reply with something like this, ‘Based on my qualification, experience, skills, market rate and work that is expected of me, I am sure that the company would compensate me fairly.’
4. Connect with employers
You can rely on social networking to engage with your potential employers online as this might help improve your chances in securing that potential job. You can actually connect with them via LinkedIn by leaving them a note with your connection request. I personally haven’t done that before but I might give it a try if I managed to find a potential employer.
5. Stay positive
Staying optimistic and hopeful is better off than being pessimistic about things. The job searching process might take a few months or up to a year or so. Patience is key because finding the right job takes time and you would not want to land on a job you don’t enjoy and end up quitting 6 months later.
6. Help is always available
In Singapore, you can find all the help you need via MySkillsFuture and organisations such as Workforce Singapore and NTUC’s e2i. There are several career programmes that caters to the different category of employees like the SGunited Mid-Career Pathways Programme and SGUnited Traineeships for recent graduates.
You may also look for jobs via any of these 5 popular job search websites listed in this post.