Archived: Robust job search planning strategies

This post has been archived and may contain outdated information.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the correctness of this post!
The days of just looking at a job board are over; instead students looking for post-graduation, summer, or part-time employment have to adopt a multi-faceted, robust job search plan in order to score the best opportunities. For this article we met with Patsy Valenzuela, Supervisor, Career Education and Employment Development at MRU’s Career Services to talk about strategies students should consider when looking for work.
Don’t be passive about your job search” is the number one tip Valenzuela had to offer, adding that vagueness is the other trait to avoid in a robust job search. With a tougher job market, the need to stand out among the crowd is even more important than before, and you can do that by targeting your efforts. Not only will you see a higher reply rate, but you’ll likely see better and more applicable employment offers.
For a targeted robust job search, Valenzuela has 7 tips:
1. Start off with a strategy – what are you looking for, a job or a career? Where do you want to work? What’s more important, experience or specific level of income? Answer these questions, and then start designing your strategy.
2. Customize your resume to reflect the kind of work you’re looking for, highlighting what you would bring to that job.
3. Customize your job search to your industry or the position you want. Casting a wide net won’t do you many favours.
4. Use strategic job postings. If you’re a full-time student, look at student job boards to find employers who wants to hire students for example. Use industry-specific job boards to lay the groundwork for your career.
5. Network to find those unadvertised job opportunities. This could be recruiting events, club events, faculty events, community information sessions, or professional associations.
6. Cold-calling potential employers to learn more. Valenzuela comments that there is “still something to be said about connecting with people in a targeted way”.
7. Use your social media interactions strategically. Avoid posting “looking for a job; any leads?” to your general network, as it’s too general. Instead consider the best social media channel for your strategy.
Alberta’s economy has changed in the past number of months and with the dip in oil prices a number of traditionally lucrative industries are slowing their hiring practices. This can make post-secondary students wary of their prospects, but should only reinforce the need for a strategic approach to job searching.
If students need a hand developing their job-search strategy (or with any of the remaining 6 tips) contact Career Services >>
For more articles for job-seekers, including tips on networking, references, hiring fairs and more, check out our Career Planning & Opportunities tag >>
Feeling stressed out with exams and the looming pressure of full-time employment? Connect with our Peer Support Centre >>
-By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator