You may have heard it being said that post Chinese New Year or Hari Raya is the best time to look for a new job. To some, the beginning of a new year marks a new personal beginning and as such, people will go hunting for something new. This seems to be more like a cultural practice.
- There’s never a wrong time.
What we have to say is that in 2021, there’s never a wrong time for job hunting. Here are a few reasons for that.
a) Regardless of any situation, you still need a job.
b) Recruitment agencies like us scout for jobs all the time. The jobs are there but competition is high.
c) Maybe the best time to start looking is in this period of time, the last three months of the year, also known as the 4th quarter. This is the time when big companies make a lot of decisions and some of these decisions will involve hiring new people or creating new roles in their organisation.
d) When is the right time for you personally, to look for jobs? This is something to consider too.
Perhaps we need to understand that being unemployed at certain times in our life is a natural part of life. The job hunting process can be long and tense, especially if it keeps going on and on. Our career guidance team recommends that you keep on learning and upskilling during this downtime so that there is no loss of skill and you could be easily deployable once you get a position. Do not stop.
For the record, it’s true that many are out of work now due to competition and the pandemic. We’re not disconnected from that reality.
Today’s job market is more network driven and there exist layers of technological walls or barriers. If we are to be successful in landing at least an interview, we need to figure out how to get over those barriers. We need to create a strategy with the following aims:
1. A personal website – Your resume on wheels 24/7.
This can be done by organising your achievements, experience and capabilities into an organised set of data. You know where we are going with this.A personal website about yourself is a way better bet at securing leads and followers. It’s your resume on wheels 24/7. If you can do this, then you can tap the power of the other major platforms to help get your website noticed. Recreate yourself as a person of worth. Here are some good examples:
2. First, choose the job and second, get behind the company.
Target your job and the company you want to work for with all its benefits. Next, find out who is the hiring manager behind the company. The person promoting the company’s products on Facebook is usually a marketing executive or manager. The person in charge of hiring is usually mentioned in the job ad itself or in the company’s website. A simple Google search will also yield results.
3. Relationship building.
Do some relationship building through LinkedIN, Facebook and Instagram. Go to LinkedIN and try to connect with them. Try asking questions about their company and the challenges of work. Be subtle. Don’t go in there and say you’re looking for a job. Talk about work like how lots of colleagues do. Be a colleague. Offer ideas and solutions, even some service if possible. You’ll soon start to sound like a person who knows the job and how to wade through the company’s pain points.
This is a soft selling exercise. Wait for the relationship to form and the right time to express your interest. In some cases, you will get an offer to meet up for an exploratory interview.
An exploratory interview is when you meet in a casual setting over coffee outside of the company. There is no commitment as a pen and paper interview is. This however is a more powerful interview. A getting to know interview where strong touchpoints are made. Your new friend will also size you up to see if you are really the type of person that they would want to invite into their circle. Handle this deftly and you will be closer in line for the job.
You will also need to be direct and clear if you’re asked about your intentions at this meeting. They might offer you business opportunities or a job. Both parties can clarify what they want at this point.
The same relationship can be started over Facebook. A comment here and a question or suggestion there could spark a relationship. Above all, you must be a person who “asks” relevant questions and “asks for” information about the company and their role. Don’t ask everything at one go, but communicate and make suggestions over a few weeks.
This third quarter is a good time to start building the relationships of your choice. Many such relationships or connections can help qualify you for that post.
4. Wait for your time.
When is the right time for you personally, to look for jobs?
You can’t stress yourself up and spend each waking moment looking for jobs online. The above soft and slow way seems to be the better way but does this mean you abandon your usual hunt? No.
The usual, conventional hunt continues because you need a job immediately even if it’s from a company that you didn’t desire. Take that job and use your time to continue the soft hunt on the side. Besides, companies prefer to hire someone who’s already employed as that shows the candidate is still up to speed on the current job requirements.
While the above scenario applies for an experienced jobseeker, what about the fresh graduate? Well, the answer is obvious if it’s immediate employment that’s desired. What could be the strategy here?
You could start planning a job hunt at the beginning of your final year. This will give you time to learn the job requirements so think of it as preparation time. Remember what we spoke about volunteerism, internship and building relationships?
Volunteerism and taking up some work on freelance should start earlier perhaps in your second year assuming you’re doing a 3 year degree program. This will give you much experience, some portfolio record and a much needed boost to your confidence.
Now, talking about relationships, a graduate who performs a good internship stint may end up cultivating good relationships with the people of that company. This is extremely important. When the internship ends, this graduate can leave their resume and provide positive feedback to the employer, expressing their desire to join them when they graduate later. The two keys for this to happen is performance on the job and relationship. Your academic background which has volunteerism turns out to be more added value. So for the student on internship, give it your absolute best by being more involved and interested in the company’s business. Offer new innovative solutions, build relationships and don’t mess it up because you can’t afford to. Think of internship as a long interview.
That’s all there is to it. But there is still one more point to go.
5. Brush up on your communications skills. Choose the right coach.
We did mention that you need to be a person who “asks”. But what are you going to ask about and how are you going to go about that?
a) Ask questions that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
b) Target your resume to the job, and address company pain points.
Many fresh graduates as well as experienced hires have jitters doing this as they lack the work experience or specific industry experience. This is where a career coach comes in. One who already understands the pain points of companies well and has the ability to equip candidates with that knowledge.
To correlate your skills to a suitable position, you can work with Xremo for a more efficient job search. Call up our team of dedicated, professional recruitment advisors to help take you by the hand and partner with you to engage the employer in the most targeted way.