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Strategic Research Gives You An Edge In Job-Hunting

In this week’s post, Project Displaced volunteer Dwayne Warman shares suggestions of places and sources to explore when researching information about role opportunities.

He brings his own experiences and insights. It’s a timely and relevant read.

It’s typical for job seekers to use platforms such as LinkedIn and Seek when they start their search journey. In reality, there’s a myriad of additional information sources that can assist with discovering the hidden job market – the roles that haven’t made it to advertising yet.

Information sources can include people, events, and places.

Let’s start with printed and online material. Company pages, industry pages, industry groups, associations, social media channels, individual profiles, news articles are all typical sources. There’s substantial amounts of data in this group alone. Being targeted about the information that is informative is important to ensure you’re making the best use of your time.

How to work out what’s relevant

Search content about what companies are doing, for example, a catering company that has recently won a supply contract suggests they may be looking for new staff. Announcements about new projects or new initiatives are indicators of opportunity.

Reading company Annual Reports can be like eating an elephant, however, initial sections will give you an overview of company priorities. Company social media updates allow job seekers to get recent updates on these priorities.

Industry groups and associations not only enable professional networking, but interaction with members about developments and opportunities such as organisation change, release of new products and new ventures. These can include activities such as new divisions and new markets.

Shifting gears to people

Professional networking is the prime source here and is covered in separate posts on our blog.

Recruitment specialists are another prime source of market activity insight even if there’s not a specific role that may suite you. Agencies have a vested interest in understanding the market to secure placements, so regular engagement with select agencies will allow you to probe sectors and organisations with existing or emerging roles.

Consider also speaking with people in industry. I once assisted a job seeker who landed an interview with Apple for a role in their retail stores and suggested he go into a store and have a chat with a friendly worker about key insights to improve his prospects.

Events and places

Consider industry events, seminars, webinars, workshops and shows. These can all be great opportunities to obtain the latest updates on emerging products, initiatives and learnings.

As an example if you’re looking for IT roles, consider forums such as Microsoft’s Azure and Dynamics ‘training days’ providing content updates that you can reference when networking. In some cases, organisations may have open days or visitor centres allowing you to get a sense of the organisation and industry overall.

And you never know the possibilities. An impromptu drop-in to the visitor centre for a major rail infrastructure project allowed me to connect with specific people in the project’s talent acquisition team. Sometimes, being in location creates opportunities that don’t exist online.

In short…

Information gathering can be time consuming and deflating when it feels like time invested in seeking opportunities is not yielding return.

Getting strategic about your approach, your information sources and setting realistic goals each week will allow you to gather knowledge and insight to best position you for networking and role applications.

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