16 May Five ways to switch up your job search
In Rita Mae Brown’s 1983 novel, Sudden Death, the character Jane Fulton says: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’. This rings true in almost every walk of life. History is littered with politicians, film stars and sportsmen who’ve reinvented themselves to get to the top—and you can do exactly the same thing with your job hunt.
Knowing how to write a cover letter and a CV is all well and good, but you need to change tactics to really beat the competition. On that note, here’s five ways to switch up your job search.
Use Boolean searches
One way to diversify your job search is by using Boolean searches when browsing via search engines and job boards. A Boolean search narrows down your search results so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Therefore, by applying this search technique to your job hunt, you’ll spend less time trawling through unrelated vacancies.
To conduct a Boolean search, enter multiple terms into the search bar, typing quotation marks either side of each phrase. Then, type ‘AND’ between each phrase. By typing ‘AND’, your search will only produce results including those specific phrases, rather than each of the words on their own.
So, for example, if your search looked like this: ‘“Graphic designer” AND “Training”’, your results would comprise of adverts featuring the phrase ‘Graphic designer’ as well as the single word ‘Training’. As such, you won’t have to filter through every job description featuring the three words ‘graphic’, ‘designer’ and ‘training’.
The same principle applies when you want to exclude words or phrases from your results. For instance, typing ‘“Marketing assistant’ NOT ‘Marketing executive’” will only bring up results featuring ‘Marketing assistant’ and omit those containing ‘Marketing executive’.
By doing this, you’ll find jobs which are tailored towards what you really want.
Boost your personal branding on social media
Keeping a consistent, professional brand across your social media profiles can also help you switch up your job search. This is because it shows you are establishing yourself as a professional and a thought leader as you’re raising the standards of your digital presence.
One way to create a consistent personal brand is by using the same professional photo for each of your social media profiles. When choosing a photo to use—or even taking a new photo—make sure you look smart and, as ever, avoid selfies. Ensure you use this head shot across all your professional social media accounts. That way, you’ll become more recognisable as you’ve defined as the consistent professionalism of your personal brand.
Another way to maintain a professional, personal brand that benefits your job search is by ensuring your profile tells recruiters you’re available for work and a great prospect. Try changing your LinkedIn headline to something which attracts recruiters. So, if your headline reads ‘Customer service assistant looking for work’, an eye-catching edit would result in: ‘Motivated customer service assistant now available for next challenge’. Post the same sentence on your Twitter bio to ensure your branding is consistent.
We also recommend cleaning up your social media posts—remove those GIFs of dogs playing the piano!
Send speculative applications
Sending speculative applications to companies is another trick to add to your job search arsenal.
A speculative application involves sending a cover letter and your CV for a job which hasn’t been posted yet. A traditional cover letter expands on the skills listed in your CV to show why you’re great for the vacancy. A speculative cover letter, on the other hand, expands on the skills in your CV to sell yourself for a position that doesn’t exist… yet.
When writing your speculative cover letter, keep in mind that you’re going in cold. Therefore, it’s a good idea to research the company thoroughly and stress your knowledge of the company throughout your letter. Use the company website to pick up any insights or news articles to briefly touch on in your letter. Furthermore, the website will also list names of staff, so make sure you address your speculative cover letter to the correct staff member.
When expanding on your skills, try matching your relevant skills to the company’s culture, KPIs and the ideal role. Like in a traditional cover letter, give examples of when you used these abilities. By recalling a specific time you used a skill, the employer will receive validation over your strengths as a employee.
Choose your company wisely, though. You won’t get far with huge corporations such as Apple or Nike, but if you contact smaller, local businesses you could be in luck. Sending speculative cover letters is a great way to display your initiative and show exactly how you’ll benefit the company you’re targeting as their newfound employee.
Ring recruitment agencies
Another way to switch up your job search is by contacting recruitment agencies. This can be a quick way to get ahead because agencies will forward your CV to companies they work with to get you a job interview.
We suggest sending your CV to three or four agencies and ringing them to discuss the kind of work you’re looking for and how they can help you. Agencies can cover one or multiple industries, so make sure the agencies you contact recruit in your preferred industry.
With that said, use agencies with caution—ensure they’re offering you the right kind of opportunities. So, be sure to continue using a wide range of job search methods including posting your CV on job boards and applying for vacancies on company websites, too.
Display how passionate you are about your career
One final job search hack is displaying your passion for your career when writing your cover letters. Piquing the recruiter’s interest with your drive and how much you want to succeed is another simple way to switch up your job search strategy.
Firstly, we advise using positive language so the recruiter sees how passionate you are. Words such as ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘integrity’ will create this effect and leave a lasting impression.
Secondly, convey your pride in your achievements. If you’re covering any highlights of your career—a promotion or a successful pitch, for example—state why you were fulfilled by this.
By conveying your passion, you’ll build a warm image in the recruiter’s mind and become more memorable in the process.
With that said, don’t let your job search become stale and make sure you switch up your job hunting habits to find success.
About the author: Alistair Hendrie writes for CV-Library, covering the latest career advice on job interviews, CVs, cover letters and work life matters.