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Effective Job Search

Job hunting? In case you didn’t realize it, the competition is fierce. Before you start hunting though, you may want to do some preparation and research first. With your particular skills in mind, browse the job boards and find out which companies are hiring for what positions and what skills and experience they are requesting. Do you fit the criteria for the job? Ideally, if you wear more than one ‘hat’ you are open to additional opportunities to find a job. If you need to update your resume and cover letter to reflect your qualifications as they relate to the interests of a prospective employer, do it. Do what needs to be done to be considered and get selected.


Some of the top job search websites or job boards include:

Next you want to make a list with this information:

  • companies hiring now
  • position
  • skills required
  • experience required

Now match your resume and portfolio against that data. Once you have a better idea of the types of organizations you will be targeting, you can then compile a list of actual businesses to focus on and that you wish to work for.


Make your list of actual places:

  • company names
  • addresses
  • contact persons & status
  • contact numbers


Call the relevant department in each company and confirm the person to contact; get their title or status at the firm. Keep the call short and professional and explain how your skill set can benefit their company.


Follow up immediately with an email which focuses on your skills and experience and attach your resume and digital portfolio, if you have one. Most times they will be happy to supply you with their contact details. If you are shy about doing this, try the company’s website for the information.  


Follow up within 5 working days to confirm that they have received your resume and ask when can you expect to hear from them.  If you have not heard from them in the next two weeks, give them another follow up call. If in another two weeks you have not heard from them, send them a thank you letter.


You can also create a checklist to keep track of your progress:


- name of organization, address, contact number

- contact person

- date of first contact, first email

- date of first interview, second interview

- status - job offer, rejection

- thank you letter


NB. Whether or not you are successful, send a thank you letter.


Alternatively, you can connect with your network of friends (influential or not), update your LinkedIn profile, join the rat race and apply for the jobs listed on the job boards, in classifieds, newspapers, volunteer at charities/events, etc. When you hear about a new opportunity, don't wait for it to be advertised. Contact someone in the company right away. 


Create and maintain a 'list of job leads'.  As you hear about any new lead, add them to it. Always be on the alert, you never know when your next job may crop up. Happy hunting.

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