Posted by Robert Half on 16 June 2017
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recently released data showing an unexpected plunge in Australia's unemployment rate, from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent - its lowest level in more than four years.
So what does this mean for professionals looking for their dream job?
In many sectors, demand for candidates exceeds supply at present, with employers looking to hire talented workers to support their expansion plans. But for the most attractive roles, there is still likely to be strong competition, as skilled and experienced professionals aim for career progression.
This means it is important to form a job search strategy - considering job hunting techniques and then putting them into action. Professionals who adopt an organised, structured approach to the application/interview process stand a greater chance of being the chosen candidate.
So the question is, what can you do to maximise your job search and to increase the likelihood of securing your dream job?
Dedicate time to job hunting
It is important to commit time to the job hunting process, even if you are busy with your existing job and other responsibilities. The chances are, a dream job isn’t going to simply fall into your lap - you need to go and find it.
Looking for roles across a number of platforms, and leaving no stone unturned, should ensure you have a number of options. If you are out of work, you should treat your job search as a full-time role, ensuring you spend as much time identifying suitable opportunities and working on applications as possible.
Identify suitable roles
Focusing on jobs you have a realistic chance of getting, and ensuring your application is tailored to the role criteria, can enhance your chances. You need to consider whether somebody with your level of skill and experience will appeal to the employer in question.
If you are unsure, or doubt you have the CV to back up your ambition, it may be sensible to set your sights a little lower. But at the same time, it is important to be ambitious and to try and stretch yourself during your career. Individuals must dedicate time to professional development, in order to develop the skills and competences needed to move into more senior roles.
Assess the marketplace
When applying for new roles, you need to have some awareness of the level of demand for somebody with your skill set. The more advertised roles there are, the greater the demand for talent among employers. This means they are more likely to invite you to interview, and potentially offer an attractive remuneration package if you impress them.
Speaking to recruiters can offer insight into the state of the jobs market, allowing you to gauge your job search. Agencies are constantly speaking to employers, and have specialist insight which can benefit people who are searching for a new dream job.
Consulting the Robert Half Salary Guide can also help professionals assess the level of market demand.
Speak to your contacts
Networking with other industry professionals can help identify new opportunities, including those which have not been advertised. Gaining access to this 'hidden' jobs market can help you in your job search and increase your chances of receiving an attractive offer.
Former co-workers, mentors, friends and family members can be good people to speak to, along with recruitment agencies, who are in regular contact with organisations looking to hire. When new opportunities emerge, they are often the first people to know about it.
Optimise your CV
Your CV is a great opportunity to promote yourself to potential employers, so make sure it contains all salient information about your skills and experiences in a concise and accessible format.
Hiring managers are busy people, and they need to learn as much about you in as short a time as possible. This means keeping your resume to two pages, and ensuring it is tailored to the role you are applying for.
Improve your interview skills
The interview is all-important - if you fail to make a positive impression with a potential employer, the chances are you aren’t going to get the dream job. Ensure you have answers to key questions you are likely to be asked, but don't over-rehearse as this may make your answers appear forced and unnatural.
Also make sure you fully research the organisation that has invited you to interview, in case you are asked questions about it. You don’t need to crowbar irrelevant facts into interview questions, but should be prepared with a knowledge of the basics, just in case you are tested.
Consider all options for your dream job
Work opportunities can arise at any time, with any organisation in any form. It could be a permanent job, a temporary role or an interim position. Being open to options gives you the best possible chance to develop your career and acquire new skills.
Temporary roles are often made permanent, meaning such positions shouldn't be rejected out of hand - unless of course you have better options.
Ultimately, it depends on each individual, their goals, and the level of professional demand in the industry they are operating in.
This article originally appeared as Maximising your job search - how to secure your dream role on the UK Robert Half blog.