- Be realistic and remain positive – perseverance is critical and accepting rejection is an important part of the process. Employers hire people who are confident, show enthusiasm and demonstrate a positive attitude;
- Accept any temporary or entry-level work to get a foot in the door and present an opportunity to develop existing skills that can enhance a CV;
- Identify a sector that is of particular interest to work in and do some market research on it. Target individuals within the sector to meet and don’t be afraid to ask for help;
- Plan ways of expanding a ‘professional network’ by joining a professional association or volunteering for community projects;
- Tell everyone that you are looking for opportunities and explain to them your skills;
- Be aware of the companies that are expanding by keeping an eye on the local business news. That way, contact can be made with them before any new jobs are even advertised;
- Keep in touch with people who have previously given good career advice or job assistance;
- Get familiar with key figures within the sector, through trade association websites or directories, professional journals or industry training organisations.
The important thing is to get on the front foot, be proactive and explore all the options. The current market is tough, with the large number of people looking for work locally meaning that there is extreme competition for jobs. Acting smart and using some initiative, and not just waiting to apply for jobs that are advertised, can help in finding career openings that others, who might not be quite so proactive, may not find.