Be Unusual: 10 tips to defy ‘normal’ job searching

Usually… adverb meaning ‘under normal conditions’, ‘generally’, ‘routine’.

 I was struck by this word in relation to the successful outcome of the campaign initiated by Marcus Rashford. His goal was to extend the childcare vouchers provision for free school meals for all children throughout the Summer months. His detractors said that childcare vouchers do not usually extend to the Summer and tried to block his efforts.

Given the impact of Covid19 globally, I would say that these are not ‘normal’ conditions. So, the reference to what is ‘usual or normal’ should not be used as a deciding factor. However ‘normal’ is defined… context is key.

A similar parallel can be drawn to engaging in your job search particularly during the current and post-Covid climate.  Are you looking for jobs in the usual places? Whatever techniques or strategies you previously used to find your job, they should be revised to acknowledge the new environment in which you are now operating.

Here are 10 questions to consider:

  • Why do you want that specific job?
  • What are the qualities that will help you to stand out?
  • Which aspect of your role do you wish to keep doing?
  • What are your strengths and how do they set you apart from others?
  • Is there a need for your key skills, knowledge, experience in a similar or different industry?
  • What opportunities are there for you to switch to a different way of working?
  • Are you aware of current trends in your industry or job role of choice?
  • Do you know what criteria employers are using to recruit good candidates?  
  • How do you keep yourself motivated when you experience a setback?
  • Are you being proactive and consistent in your job search efforts?

Exploring and getting clear on these 10 areas is a good place to start the work needed to help you land the job of your choice and set you on your path to achieve your career goals. Employers use a combination of personal qualities, skills, knowledge and achievements to help them decide on the best person who is a good fit with their organisation. Don’t get caught out!

Are you showing your flexibility and adaptability?

Don’t leave anything to chance! As the job seeker, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you highlight the areas that will set you apart and show your fit with the job. Remember to be clear and consistent in all your interactions with the recruiter or employer whether that is through CV, letters, telephone conversations, social media, Zoom calls.  

It’s now routine for Recruiters to check your LinkedIn profile to gather evidence of your activity e.g. posts, comments, or professional conversations with peers. This way they can easily connect the information that you present to them with how you show up in the public space. This may be a critical recruiting criteria if they are looking for someone who will have a representational role for the business.

Start where you are

If all of this seems too much right now, consider where you can start or where you can get help with some or all of this. Think about any contacts who can provide support during your job search. What is your personal and professional network like? Building your support group to keep you motivated and focused helps to lessen the stress of any challenges you may face during this time.

Don’t get stuck in the comfort zone of the usual

Since these are not ‘usual’ times, go for it and step up your approach to job searching, without fear! Always keep your career goal in view and you will be glad you didn’t do the ‘usual’ when you land your next amazing job.

Until next blog…go make those Transitions!

About Denise Meade-Hill

Denise is a Career Transition Coach supporting individuals through their professional development journey. She is passionate about helping career changers to find roles that fulfil their purpose as they prepare to thrive in their careers. Her Career Planner... take your next steps with confidence is a handy, easy to use resource to get you started on achieving your goals for professional change. Get your copy here.