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How to be efficient when looking for a job ?

How to find a job? This has always been the one-million dollars question, especially when settling in an environment we know nothing about.
This post is not about writing down a CV or update a Linkedin profile. This post deals with strategies, job search and how to get ready to impress recruiters.

No matter what your nationality is or where you settle in, you will usually find the same posts on social media: « I want to find a job, I will accept anything, even if it is far below my competencies », with the same conclusions: either « That doesn’t work, I don’t find any » or this job is temporary and do not allow you to feel good and grow in your new country.
What if you were you and only you and just adapt the way you introduce yourself?

Know what you are looking for

Search is useless if you do not know what you are looking for. Having faith that you will finally find a job is not always the best option to have both a flourishing career and life.

Looking for a jobHere are some questions to ask yourself to help you reflect:
– What does « Flourishing career » mean to you?
– If you were in your home country, what kind of job would you look for? How would it be meaningful to you? – Which skills, competencies and capacities would make you unavoidable for this job?
– What would this job allow you to do ? What do you want to develop, achieve thanks to it?
– What balance do you want to have between all aspects of your life (personal, social, family, professional…)?
– How this job fit in your new environment?
– According to your present situation, what are your short, medium and long term priorities? How would these priorities help you get your dream job?

If the purpose of your search makes sense, it will naturally fit in your career definition. It will thus be a step in your strategy to achieve this career and you will always feel that you are getting closer to your final goal.
You also will have a roadmap to stick on when your motivation and focus will weaken.

Know where to look

Business world is a win-win world. Companies do not exist to give you a job for free. Each part wants to get something from this partnership.
You know what you are looking for and for what purpose. You need now to increase your empathy towards recruiters to understand their needs and answer them.
Your job search may be useful to that purpose too! It doesn’t only deal with applications and CV sendings hoping it will lead to interviews. Use it to develop your knowledge of the market, of your environment and above all, to develop your network.

In one word, your search will feed several strategies with the same final goal (get the dream job) but with specific intermediary objectives:
– Get to know the local market
– Build your network
– Get interviews

Here are some research tracks:

Institutional contacts such as embassies, chambers of commerce, international school organizations…
Associations such as expatriates associations in your host country but also at home
Your contacts on social media, wherever they are geographically located
Companies and employees from your home country
Professional and industrial federations
Media, may they be local or international (read articles but meet journalists too, they may help you understand local news)
And, of course, recruiters

This is a non-exhaustive list which needs to be adapted regarding your needs and objectives. This idea is to become a member of the community, be known: listen, share, be visible.
Human beings are not a ressource in companies; They are THE source. Start to establish a contact and understand the needs of your interlocutors.

Understand the firm’s issues

To prepare your interviews only focusing on yourself is not enough. You need to focus on the company and the recruiters you will meet.

Gather all informations you can about the firm through:
– its website
– local and international media (what if you do not read the local language? you may try Google translate to understand it generally, search in expatriates news if the article you look for has not been translated, ask for help from someone mastering the language)
– social media as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin…
– your own contacts
Then analyse your material: what does the company communicate on? What do media write about it? What are the issues and the big communication lines at this moment?

Imagine that the company is a customer of yours. Your product is your profile and you want it to buy this product. To do that, you need to understand the needs of your customer. For example, what do you wait from a room at a hotel? A nice bathroom, space, a great breakfast…? Of course but your primary need is to sleep well! The company announces that a specific skill is required. Look further, ask questions, demonstrate your skills. You will thus show how interested and engaged you are in the company and the job you apply for, but you will also increase your knowledge on the company, its culture and therefore figure out whether you will feel well in the team.

Go back to the job offer. How does the recruiter introduce it? How could you make a link with what you now know about the company? What help could you be to the company to achieve its objectives? What are the issues?
Think about your past experiences. Couldn’t you find some elements that would allow you to prove you have the required skills and competencies to answer the company’s challenges? Yes, you can! You have now your story board!

Furthermore, recruiters want to be assured that you can answer 3 questions:
Can you do the job? That is to say do you have the skills to achieve the mission?
Will you do the job? That is to say do you have the qualities and personality that will allow you to go through what is asked?
How well will you fit with the organization’s culture and people?

Talking about the company strategy, get involved in a discussion about its future on its markets and knowing what part you may play in its growth will help you to develop a relevant and catchy discussion with your interlocutors. It won’t be an interview anymore but a discussion between 2 potential partners.

Ensure a quality customer service

Your application has just been sent. The point now is not to disappear into the stack of other CVs. Shall you call or not? Soon or in few weeks?
Recruiters can’t have every candidate in mind. You need to make yourself visible and unforgettable.

Looking for a jobYou do not need to be a bulldozer and put your foot strongly in the door but you may call to confirm that your application was well received and noticed, ask questions about the recruiting process and remind the company about your engagement few days or weeks later.
Continue reading the company’s news. It will help you add substance to your future discussions.
Finally, you still ask yourself whether you have to give them a call or not? What are the risks? The worth would be to hear a negative answer but then you will be able to move on. In this case, ask the reason your application was dismissed. It will allow you to fine tune your speech and application for the next ones.

Looking for a job is a full-time job! Nevertheless, all this work will allow you to be effective and efficient from the first weeks once inside.

Be patient and breathe! The phone is going to ring soon!

Article published in Le Petit Journal, édition Stockholm