Deprogram yourself. Forget what you currently know about job seeking and go back to a state of utter ignorance. Put all those shoddy internet tip sheets, outplacement counsellors and shockingly poor recruiters behind you.
Let’s start at the beginning.
If you are going to get a job what needs to happen?
1) There needs to be something out there that you can actually do.
2) The people handling the recruitment of these positions need to know you exist.
3) Furthermore, they need to like what they see from you more than anyone else.
To be honest that’s it! I half thought about leaving it there but you’ll probably want more so here goes.
Ask yourself what are your skills, talents and interests are and can you offer them to someone else in a job? Be kind to yourself. Be generous to yourself. Don’t demand a high standard of proof from yourself. You are probably your own worst critic so don’t feel if you are not a world acknowledged expert in something, you can’t use that skill. You can.
Once you know what you can do, you just have to find someone who wants you to do it for them. That’s called research, and it takes time. You need to talk to just about everyone you know who seems even half way relevant. You need to spend a lot of time on the net. Jobs boards, LinkedIn groups and other forums all have a great use.
Don’t rule out the Job Centres, Labour Exchanges, whatever the state’s employment offices are called in your country. I filled a Director of Finance position I was handling once through this channel.
Even now, printed publications have some use in some countries. In the UK and parts of continental Europe you still have professional magazines that list vacancies for quite senior roles.
Finally, you have to apply. That means a good CV or resume, a good LinkedIn profile, knowing how to handle psychometrics if asked to do them and finally knowing how to interview.
The last part is the most complicated and tricky and the part most people do worst.
The best advice is to seek out professional support for all of this final stage. If you don’t you have only your amateur skills to compete with professionals. It’s the best investment you will ever make, with an enhanced chance of a better job with a bigger package.
David Welsh (with apologies to Michael Collins)