Job Search Tips

Job searching is not simply about combing the papers or job-boards for positions. It requires outlining your own goals, objectives, and limitations to define the position that is right for you. It requires evaluating the companies that are a good fit for your own expectations. The following resources will help you answer the important questions for a successful job-search strategy.

Working With A Recruiter

An IT job seeker preparing to relocate from Dubai to North America contacted me in hopes of finding out what he should expect to pay in recruiter fees, and if working with a recruiter was in fact really the most efficient and effective way to finding his first new job in North America. Relocating is not nearly as easy as it had been in previous years.

With the IT job market tightening right across the board, conducting a job search in a new place at the same time that you are getting used to the new culture and surroundings may take a very long time and can certainly be very disheartening. On the other hand, you will be a fresh face in the local market, and that could work to your advantage, especially when relocating to a small to midsize market that may have been saturated in the specific field that you are an expert in.

The point is, you should not wait until you have moved into your new home and unpacked all your boxes to start looking for a job. The best plan is to start the hunt before you actually make the move. The longer you give yourself for your search, the better your prospects of finding an appropriate job before your savings run out. Above all, if you are lucky enough to find the new job before your move, your new employer might actually cover your relocation expenses. Do not hold your breath as company budgets are no longer as liquid as they used to be.

It is very very important that you find a reliable, and reputable recruiter in order to facilitate an effective job search when you are moving to a new market. A good recruiter will be able to share the secrets of the local area, fill you in on the best employers in the area, and help you find hidden pockets of opportunity that only seasoned locals would know about. Finding some recommendations of recruiters to talk to by contacting the local chapters of your favourite user group or professional association, or contacting the local chamber of commerce is your wisest strategy. That said, you do not want to limit yourself to working with only recruiters. Be active, and search for jobs online, keep an eye on the classifieds, network with anyone you know (including friends of friends) in the area you’re moving to, attend job fairs, and go directly to your sought after employers.

As for recruiters’ fees, you must not pay them yourself. While that was a common business practice in the past, it’s a rather antiquated business model. In today’s North American market place, the employers always pay the recruiter, on either a retainer or a contingency basis. In fact, be very cautious of any recruiter or staffing agency that asks you to pay for services. It’s important to distinguish between a career coach and counsellor who can help you make the transition to a new level in your career development on the one hand and companies that call themselves “career marketing” or “executive marketing” firms on the other. As far as the latter is concerned, candidates need to be extremely careful because those companies are sharp marketers and they will give you the impression that they can solve all your job search problems. But, more often than not they do nothing more than fill you with hope while you help them fill their bank accounts.

You must be extraordinarily CAUTIOUS as the recruiting industry is one that is unregulated and non-standardized, making it easy to be taken advantage of. If there is any time when someone in that field asks you for money up front, get in your car, hop on the bus, jump in a cab, or simply walk away. I will promise you that it will not be a good investment of your time and most importantly, your money.

You must not forget that there are many people who will try to help you. And there are many who are genuine in their efforts. However, when all is said and done, only you can get yourself hired!

Economic Woes Make Finding a Job Difficult

It can be quite challenging to find a job during normal economic conditions. Now, with the media delivering so much negative news regarding corporate layoffs, it’s no surprise that you might lose interest in putting in the heavy effort required to find a job. You have to get over this psychological wall.

During these trying times, looking for a job means you have to go above and beyond what it would normally take to find one. This is going to become more than a full time job in itself. But, don’t be discouraged. With hard work comes bountiful rewards. You have to go outside the box in your approach to looking for work. So, what does this actually mean? Essentially, your attitude is going to be the make or break factor in how successful you are going to be in finding a job. If you take on a passive approach with the sense of malaise, you will not be very successful. That would normally not equate to success during great times. So, be realistic and assess what your attitude is like now!

Making calls to contacts that intimidate you will be the first step, and brewing the nerves to do so is a must. To do this, you must instil a sense of confidence in yourself by believing that you really have NOTHING to lose. You have to understand and believe just how true this is. The following are just a few guidelines to help get you motivated in your job search:

  • Ask yourself if there is an area or sector that you have always had interest in working in. Now is the best time to explore those areas. Assess your experience and skills with the requirements for this given area or sector and determine how well they complement one another. Is it possible to bring your skills and experience over to this new area?


  • Research at least ten companies that interest you. Assess what they are all about, what their direction is, and what their success or failures have been. Then determine if what they are doing or trying to do will complement your pedigree. If there is a fit for you, track the person responsible for the area within which you would be interested in working in and introduce yourself. Bring to this persons attention the unique skills you bring to the table and how they can be of tremendous interest to this person and this organization. The key here is to hone in on a problem the company may have and present the answer to this problem. Having achieved this, and hoping they have the budget, you will most likely be hired.


  • Make sure you have facts when approaching a hiring manager. Introduce yourself as: “I have noticed that you are going in …… direction and have …….. plans. I can save you ….. amount of time and resources by offering you the following solution(s).” And, then define this solution briefly. The individual you are talking to is very busy and will not give you a lot of time to make a great first impression, so be prepared!


  • Now is the time to learn what’s what and who’s who in the business world. Read, read, and read more! If you haven’t already, you now need to get to know your business world intimately. That means logging onto varying news web sites and read up on the current newsmakers that are relevant to you. Pick up your industry journals. It’s time to know who is doing well and who is not but has the potential to do so. Research involves a fair amount of effort. But, without it you will not know what direction to go in.


  • Read about companies that are not relevant to your industry but are doing exceptionally well. Is there any way you can get your foot in the door here? Why not. You will never know until you research and measure your options. Nothing will effortlessly fall into your lap. You have to instil a sense of intense urgency and passion in your job search. Be confident in yourself, and get out there!


  • To help make yourself feel confident, you should think about volunteering your time to organizations that could benefit from your help. Essentially, you should consider getting out there and contributing so that you have a sense of usefulness while actually providing some priceless help to people who desperately need it. Not only will doing this help your community and make you feel better about yourself, it will give you the chance to connect with people that you probably would have never come across before. These people could be your portal into a new job.


Our economy is recovering. This is a fact. As of May 28th, 2002 analysts have found that Canada has been creating jobs and hiring at the fastest pace of the G7. Know that there are jobs being created. But, you also must realize how competitive it is out there. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, most people become lethargic and easily discouraged in the job search process because of the fact that it is so competitive. That attitude will destroy you. Be prepared to invest some time and energy, and you are certain to prevail much sooner over those who are sleeping in until 10AM every day. Hit the pavement, and hit it in a hard and unique way!