Manage your job search

Looking for a job requires organization and follow-up. Here is some easy-to-follow and effective advice to help you skillfully manage your job search.

 

Would you like a new job?

The different phases of job searching

Looking for a job requires organization and follow-up. Here is some easy-to-follow and effective advice to help you skillfully manage your job search.
 

Our tip: Draw up a job search summary chart. Write down the actions taken. This chart will help you organize the application and follow-up process and remind you to send a thank-you email after the interview. Being organized will make your job search most effective.
 

1
Look for ads or for companies that you would like to work for

Look for ads or for companies that you would like to work for (print, cut out and write down anything that can be useful for your job search).

2
Write a cover letter

Write a cover letter that matches the position and the company that interests you.

3
Send your application

CV + cover letter

4
Wait? No! Act now!

Follow up! Call the company approximately 10 days after you send your application to find out what stage the recruitment process is at. This will also allow you to show that you are still interested in the position. Keep your organizer handy in case you need to schedule an interview!

5
You’ve landed an interview?

Prepare for the interview, know your CV inside out, practice answering typical questions, study for any test you have to take and learn about the company to be as ready as possible for the big day.
Gather all the documents you might need (a copy of your CV, cover letter and your references). Don’t forget to bring a pen, notepad, etc. Carefully choose what you will wear for the interview, taking into account the etiquette of the company and your personal comfort, in order to look and feel your best.

6
After the interview

Send a thank-you email and reiterate your interest in the position.

Where can you find job opportunities?



Looking for a job: a full time occupation

Just like with any project, looking for a job requires a pinch of organization and a touch of reflection. Give yourself one week to set everything straight.

How about starting with your desk and trying to create a neat work space? As we all know, tidying up the space allows to tidy up the mind and to get organized. So begin by cleaning up, sorting out, throwing away, making a clean sweep to start afresh.
Regarding papers, the best way is to divide them in different stacks according to the degree of urgency: "urgent", "to be taken care of during the week", "important" (for example for documents that need to be filed) and "other" (for less important documents that you still wish to keep). Set aside all the business cards that you might find during the process so that you can add them to your address book later (see Wednesday).

Your computer is your best ally for your job search. Start by archiving the files and folders on the desktop.

Create a "Job search" folder as well as sub-folders in order to efficiently follow-up on your job searches, your cover letters, the employers' replies, etc. Save your CV in an easily accessible location.

You can then personalize your browser's homepage and update your favorites. Delete the ones that are not useful or that are obsolete. Briefly search for websites that can come in handy in your job search and add them to your favorites. For instance, take a look at our list of useful links. Finally, arrange your favorites in various categories, for example "job sites", "job search tips", “company websites”, etc.

Using a computer has the advantage of bringing together two vital tools for your job search: your address book and your agenda.

Your agenda (often integrated into Microsoft Outlook) allows you to efficiently manage your time, to organize meetings and to write down the tasks that you will have to perform during your job search. Write down all of your appointments (phone conversations, interviews, job fairs, forums, etc.) and synchronize your smartphone calendar to make sure that you have all the info you need whenever you go to an interview.
When managing your application process and following up on your job search use your chart to get a quick overview of your progress.

Your address book is the second key element of your job search and can also be found in Microsoft Outlook. Just as you did on Monday and Tuesday, you have to tidy it up a bit first.

  1. Sort out your contacts by level of interest in terms of professional networking. Organize your contacts into groups such as "companies", "former colleagues", "friends working in the target field", "friends and family", etc

  2. Update your address book. Make sure that you have at least a phone number and an email address for each of your contacts.

  3. Take the business cards that you set aside on Monday and enter these contacts into you computer's address book.

  4. Synchronize it with your smartphone

In order to stay positive and reward yourself for your newly acquired organization, get a little something to add a personal and welcoming touch to your office space. You can opt for a plant (some are known to have a air-purifying properties), a lamp, a painting, a picture or a nice object, the purpose being that this decorative touch makes you feel like sitting at your desk and making progress on your job search.

Everything is ready for you to get your job search off to a good start. Last detail to check: your CV. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and take an honest look at your CV. What do you think of your CV? Do you like the layout? Which elements stand out? Would you want to meet this person, to hire them? Does the picture look professional / up-to-date? Does this CV reflect who you are? If the answer to any of these questions is no, dedicate this day to remodeling your CV as to give a true image of who you are. Your CV is your professional identity card so it should reflect your personality.

Last but not least: Social networks. Whether you have a LinkedIn, Xing or Facebook account, make sure to keep it up-to-date, just like your CV. Use this opportunity to organize your contacts into groups (this allows you to choose who can access which information) and to update your profile picture (preferably a sober and flattering picture). Read our advice on how to maintain your profile and make it look attractive to recruiters.

Well done! You can now take advantage of the weekend to relax or exercise, so you can start again fresh with your job search on Monday.

A few tips for your job search

The job market is not restricted to job sites. Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities. In order to maximize your chances, adopt a proactive attitude and use as many channels as possible.

Apply directly to an employer

Select employers that interest you and with whom you would like to work. Obtain their addresses and phone numbers. Do not hesitate to call the company to find out who is the person in charge of the department you are interested in and send them your application file. You can also visit the company to give them your CV personally. If you don’t have a contact name, ask to speak to a Human Resources representative.

Consider smaller companies

Many new jobs will come from smaller, growing companies. Small businesses are a valuable source for job searching. Although larger companies are more visible, well-known and aggressive in looking for employees, smaller companies may offer the same interesting positions. Focus on small companies that are expanding; they can be easier to approach and contact.

Read the press

Still the main place to find job ads just a few years ago, newspapers are now publishing fewer and fewer of them. Most daily newspapers do, however, still publish a “jobs” section. Perhaps this could be a way to stand out from those who apply online?

Search the Internet

The Internet has large range of job search websites. The main job boards (www.monster.ch, www.scout24.ch, www.jobwinner.ch, www.jobs.ch, www.jobup.ch, etc.) are sources that list vacancies and hiring companies. In addition, most websites give job seekers the possibility to post their CV and write a message expressing their motivation for potential employers to review. However, there can be a lot of competition for these positions due to a high number of applicants.

Learn more

Contact regional employment offices

The Regional Placement Offices (Offices Régionaux de Placement, Regionalen Arbeitsvermittlungszentren or Ufficio Regionale di Collocamento) centralize job vacancies in your region. Advisors can give you information on the job market outlook, which companies are hiring, etc. free of charge. You will find extensive documentation on how to search for a job, present you application file or pursue vocational training. In addition, these offices are often equipped with job search terminals where you can access a listing of all vacancies.

Visit the RPO website

Try temporary or contract work

Working as a temporary worker can provide you with valuable experience, contacts and references. Many times temporary or contract jobs can turn into permanent opportunities. Also, some staffing companies offer free training to increase your skills and professional knowledge.

Learn more

Use your network

Make as many contacts as possible and use your personal network (friends, acquaintances, family, former co-workers, etc.). Tell them about your experience and professional skills. Ask them if they know of any job opening. Do not hesitate to tell everyone you meet that you are job hunting. The bigger your network, the better your chances to find opportunities.

How to network

Controlling your image on the Internet

As the No. 1 media, the Internet carries all sorts of useful information for job hunters as well as for recruiting employers. However, some personal information could get in the way of a potential hiring or promotion. Your virtual reputation, or online reputation can have serious consequences on your real life. How then can you control your image on the Internet?

Check your e-réputation