There’s a certain amount of skill required when it comes to job search and here are four key hard skills that I had put into practice when I was looking for opportunities.
Researching and analysing
Searching for the ideal job is time-consuming but I knew that the more in-depth my research, the more likely I was to find a opportunity that was right for you and I was pretty confident that I didn’t miss out on something that was exciting or suitable. My research included using the Internet, job boards and other internet sites, magazines, newspapers, networking events and my own networks.
And the research continued once I’d secured the job interviews because I was then interested in researching the company and its history. That included researching Google news to find articles and press releases that related to the interview, searching LinkedIn – via Google – to read up on the interviewers and prospective colleagues and reviewing the employer’s website.
Reading and interpreting
Employers’ job descriptions and adverts won’t always be explicit in terms of what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. They’ll often leave out specific requirements, so reading between the lines was important and trying to understand and interpret their requirements. Reading key areas of employers’ websites – for example, the about us section, or the ‘our people’ section – gave me an indication as to the sort of people that they recruited and the culture and environment in which you can expect to be working in. It’s then up to you to decide whether the job and company suits you. It’s not always clear to from the website the sort of culture the company has to offer so ask plenty of questions about the social activities and expectations if you’re lucky enough to get an interview.
Writing and expressing
Having done loads of research and background reading I lots of information to write a CV that was relevant to the job I was applying to (and a cover letter if required). I wrote about skills that I have that are relevant to the job and how I’d used those skills to enhance my previous/current employer and advance in my previous/current role. Writing a CV and cover letter is all about expressing yourself in a tone of voice that reflects the advert and words used on employers’ websites so I even used similar words to those that were used in their ad copy.
Selling and negotiating
There’s no escaping this one. Selling is a core skill in the job search process, or more to the point, selling relevant skills, attributes and achievements. Apart from selling myself on my CV and cover letter, I had a number of opportunities to sell myself and present my strengths to my future employer including on the telephone in general conversations, during telephone interviews and especially when I made contact with the employer or recruiter for the first time.