Job hunters are easily lost. Photo: Picpedia.org

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By Ziyad Khan

Some 90% of job hunters in Australia do not know how to effectively look for a job, according to a recently released report.

The report found that most Australians are not completing their job searches, with nine out of ten job hunters admitting to being unaware of the all the opportunities that are available to them.

Ruby Lee is a recruiter with ten years in the recruitment industry; she says, “Looking for a job is tough. It’s often a full-time job to look for your full-time job. It’s often an anxious time, and it’s hard to know where to even start looking. This might be the reason why 90% of Australian job hunters admit to not being aware of all the opportunities when they are back in the market”.

Jay Munro is an Indeed’s Employer Insights Strategist says the problem can be easily solved.

“Expanding your search to include multiple job sites, friends, family and your professional networks will help job hunters in Australia complete their search. Sometimes speaking to various friends or contacts working in different industries can also help give a job hunter a better idea of what’s out there,” he says.

Keeping an open mind

He also believes that job hunters in Australia can increase their chances of finding employment by keeping an open mind.

“One thing the report found was that two-thirds of Australians prefer progressing their career within a single industry, which was particularly interesting because almost 9 in 10 Australian job hunters believe their skills are transferable to an industry other than one they have worked in.”

A job seeker well versed with navigating the difficulties of employment process is Taha Ahmed. Despite finding that web-based recruitment tools made the process easier, he still found the process difficult to navigate.

“I have had many experiences with finding a job, with some taking a long time while others were very short and easy. I found that using online recruitment sites like indeed or seek made the process less stressful and easier, but even though I applied for many jobs, I didn’t get many responses back. In the end, I managed to secure a job through networking with one of my old friends in a position related to my field,” he says.

A spokesperson from seek.com.au states that it is important for job hunters to be constantly updating their details, qualifications, resume and salary expectations.

“On SEEK we currently have over 180,000 jobs available for candidates. With a third of working Australians actively searching for work at any given time, the advice we give candidates is to ensure they create or update their profiles and include their skills, career history, qualifications, and salary expectations.

“Our data shows that candidates who provide their salary expectations and skills are 50% more likely to be contacted by hirers and those who upload their resume are three times more likely to be contacted. Dream jobs aren’t always advertised when candidates are looking either, which means it’s vital those not actively looking also create or update online profiles,” says the SEEK spokesperson.

Waiting times between starting a job search and actually attaining a job was another key finding of the report. It was found that on average a job hunter waited 82 days before securing a position, with generation Y averaging 67 days, generation X 98 days and baby boomers waiting 100 days.

A good old-fashioned letter

Kenji Sato is a twenty-four-year-old job hunter who is experienced in the wait times associated with job hunting, having waited eight months before securing a position in his industry.

“I spent about eight months sending job applications to everyone that I could. I handcrafted each one, personalised each one, basically I did everything that I could. I even went to guidance counselors, and interned at dozens of places, but I received rejection after rejection. I doubted myself and considered giving up everything. After months of cold calling, searching websites, and emailing employers, I was able to get a job after sending a physical letter to an employer,” he says.

Kenji’s experience is shared by many job hunters, but according to Ruby Lee, it is an issue that can be fixed by going beyond conventional job searching measures.

“It comes back to using more than one online job site. By simply using more than one job site you are likely to decrease the average number of days on the job hunt from 82 days to less than a month. So my advice is for job hunters to broaden their search and cut your job search time considerably. Receiving recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, and professions in your network is a great avenue to find a job, especially the offline ones.”