Our invitation to last week’s Job Summit must have gotten lost in the mail. Bit of a shame, really — we had a wonderful job creation scheme that involved trained dolphins, 75,000 extras, a well-known film director from Wellywood and a rather large sum of money deposited into a certain Swiss bank account near and dear to our wallets. Might not have worked but we would have had a heap of very profitable fun trying …
Oh well, let’s instead try and do our bit to help with the issue of jobs by sharing some tips on how to find a job online. We should start by pointing out that your first port of call should be Seek, which is still undeniably the most popular job site in New Zealand. More jobseekers visit there — and consequently more companies list their vacancies on Seek.
That said, however, this blog is about Trade Me so let’s talk about mastering the art of Trade Me Jobs. Here are a few tips to help you in your journey.
MISTER, CAN YOU SPARE A JOB?
On Trade Me Jobs you’ll be given the option of either browsing jobs by category or using the Search function for more fine-tuned selection.
If you’re only vaguely interested in the possibility of a new job, then go ahead and browse. You’ll encounter some fascinating occupations. Unfortunately, because the categories are self-selected by the advertisers, you won’t necessarily find your dream job in the category you’d expect. It’s better to use the search function instead.
Because you’re going to be searching for specific keywords, you’ll first need to consider exactly what you’re hoping to find. To do that effectively, spend some time asking yourself a couple of questions:
- “What do I want to do? What can I do?”
Create a list of your skills, and a list of the occupations that interest you. Don’t worry about job titles. Focus on the tasks that you’d be required to carry out in your ideal job. Then use these various lists as search keywords.
- “What companies and/or industries interest me?”
At this point, you have the freedom to be choosy. Are there any companies or industry sectors where you’ve always wanted to work? If there’s a particular company that appeals, do a little research at that company’s website or at http://www.wises.co.nz. As we’ll see in a little while, each organisation’s culture, vision and values play a major role in determining whether you’ll be happy with your choice.
The answers to these two questions will determine your first list of keywords. Choose from this list first (NB: one keyword at a time).
If you’re having trouble with these questions, beg, buy or borrow a copy of ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ by Richard N. Bolles. It features some great tools to help you figure out the job that’s right for you.
The Trade Me Jobs search box allows you to filter your search by geographic region, occupational category, pay range and/or keyword. We recommend that you start your search by simply specifying your desired region and minimum pay. Then pick a keyword that reflects the type of job you’re seeking (as noted above). Finally, click on the Search Jobs button.
If you’re served too many possibilities as a result, then go ahead and specify a job category as well. But we do advise you against doing so at the start of your quest, simply because your ideal job could be listed in any number of categories, either job or industry specific.
If you’re after a customer service role, for example, you might find the job listed under Customer Service — or it could be featured within a particular industry category (e.g. transport & logistics). Select the wrong category and the job simply won’t appear in your search results.
You’re only presented with two ways to sort your search results: by Latest Listings (results are presented in reverse chronological order, most recent arrivals first) or Oldest Listings. In most cases, you’ll just want to view the Latest Listings.
A small note of caution: because jobs are listed on the site for a month, some of the oldest jobs off ered for your consideration may well have been filled by the time you see the listing. Always check the listing date before applying (and, if in doubt, contact the advertiser).
Some final advice:
- Don’t job-seek at the office.
Not only can it tip off your employer that you’re an unfaithful bunny, it also probably violates your company’s Acceptable Internet Use policy.
- Don’t use a cutesy or weird email return address.
It may amuse your friends to receive emails from your @stupid.com free web address, but it’s not a good look to potential bosses — and your email mightn’t even make it past their spam filters.
- Don’t email applications without virus-checking.
Nothing impresses a future employer less than a disease-riddled email.
- Don’t just apply for any job that looks “interesting”.
If you don’t have the minimum specified requirements (or can’t muster a compelling counter-argument) don’t waste your/their time. You’ll just end up in their digital garbage heap, especially in today’s economy.
For more detailed advice on Trade Me Jobs, check out Chapter Fifteen of Trade Me Success Secrets.