As the ambassador for an Expats and Local community in Trinidad and Tobago, I get several emails from members of my community asking me for assistance in searching for a job. I would usually tell them to go through all the national newspapers everyday or to check out caribbeanjobs.com for job opportunities, but then I realized that I needed to expand on my advice to them.
If you have been searching for a job for the last couple of months, don’t give up. I remember when I was in my 20’s looking for a job, whilst still enjoying the luxury of living in my parents’ house, it was months before I got a response from a newspaper ad that TELCO at the time, had published, looking for an Executive Secretary to the Corporate Secretary. I had sent out numerous letters to companies and I was getting ready to send out even more when the letter arrived.
To assist you in your search, here are some questions to guide you in troubleshooting your job search:
Are you positioning yourself appropriately? Perhaps you have been going for jobs that are too junior or too senior. Maybe prospective employers don’t clearly understand the scope and scale of your past roles. Ensure that your experience as it is described is relevant to the jobs you are pursuing. You should also look at your personal training and check to see if there maybe some courses that would assist you in getting the job of your choose.
Is your marketing complete? Some jobseekers overwork their resume but then don’t have an updated online profile. Many recruiters today, are using social media, especially LinkedIn to seek out prospective employees. Check out LinkedIn profiles of professional who are part of your network to see how they have drafted their profiles. In today’s world, if you don’t have an online presence, your job search marketing is incomplete. I have received several offers from people who have viewed my profile and indicated that they were interested in me.
Are you spending too much time on recruiters and job postings? Recruiters and job postings are still necessary but you cannot rely on these alone. It is important to network among your friends, family and to put yourself out there. One way is to talk to people that you may meet whilst out liming with friends etc. Most importantly, print some personal call cards with your name, profession and contact number and give it to people that you meet. How else are they going to be able to contact you? You may be pleasantly surprised…
Do you have 3-4 key message points? You need to stop providing too much details in your cover letters, networking pitch and interview responses. People make up their mind quickly so be concise. Get the important information out early and cut out the rest. In your networking pitch and interview responses, make sure that you are in a positive frame of mind and solution mode. I personally, get very turned off in conversation with someone, when I ask questions about certain issues, and all I get is why it can’t be done. Next……
Do you have a process to stay on track long-term? You know the saying: If you want 100 persons to turn up to an event, you have to invite 10,000.00 people. Many jobseekers do a lot in their first week, maybe the second but then lose heart. Looking for a job is a marathon. Therefore, you have to send out as many letters as you can. The selection process takes time, (imagine my surprise when I received the letter from TELCO, months later, asking me to come in for an interview) and you need to continue your search across multiple fronts. Make sure you have a routine for following up with the HR departments in the respective companies, for organizing your search information, for preparing for interviews and meetings, and most of all, staying refreshed, motivated and positive.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mail your letters: PO Box 5145, St. James