Leiden University Career Zone
How do I find a job?
You may already have thought about your personal profile through the 'know yourself' section, may already have mapped out your wishes on the labour market through 'explore the labour market' and how you can best profile yourself through 'develop your skills'.
A next step towards the labour market and ultimately a job is the actual search for vacancies. In order to be able to tackle this properly, it is useful to gain insight into how the labour market, and especially recruitment, works.
In most cases, when an organisation takes on a new employee, it is actually looking for one. A job has become vacant because someone has left, there is a growing organisation or department or there is a project for which extra hands are needed. At that moment, the employer is in a position to fill this vacancy (as soon as possible).
Vacancies / networking
Drawing up a vacancy is a logical consequence, but in many cases, before a vacancy has actually been drawn up and can be found (online), many people are already aware of the fact that someone is wanted. Think for example of the network of the person who has left, the network of that person's team, the people in that person's new organisation, etc, etc.
It can be advantageous for the employer to find a match with one of the interested persons before a vacancy is published (online). Why? The work has to be done, so the longer the vacancy is unfulfilled, the more annoying it gets. A search for the employer costs time and money (placing vacancies, etc.) which is preferably kept to a minimum. And an application procedure often involves unknowns, while a process in which interested parties knock on the door "via via" also involves the factor "reliability, because known or recommended".
The figures vary, but all the experts agree that this method of looking for work has become indispensable in today's labour market. It is therefore important to learn to network well besides the more traditional ways of looking for work via vacancies and/or open applications.
For your search, this means that there are several ways to look for a job:
- Getting as close as possible to a vacancy, i.e. networking with people at organisations and/or in interesting positions.
- Share your (specific) wishes via LinkedIn (and/or other channels) and everyone you know and speak to.
- Keep a close eye on organisations (and similar organisations) that may be of interest to you. Where do they post their vacancies? Via their own website, job portal or LinkedIn? Follow these actively and, if possible, let vacancies come to you automatically.
- Search via job websites (a non-exhaustive list on the Career Zone) including LinkedIn.
- With LinkedIn (Jobs) and Google (Jobs) it is also possible to create targeted "job alerts" and automatic search profiles.
- Work from narrow to broad, so first check whether there are specific job boards for the type of work field or organisation you want to work for, use LinkedIn, etc.
- Only when you notice that all channels are drying up, mass channels such as Indeed or Monsterboard can also be useful to use your limited time as effectively as possible.
- Are there specific agencies that recruit for the sectors, organisations or functions that are of interest to you? They are called intermediaries, recruitment agencies or otherwise and try to take over part of the work for the employer. It can be a very good addition to other channels that you can control yourself, but always be aware of the role that an intermediary has in the process (is often paid per (qualitative) match).
- Send an open application. This is a variant in which the employer is not openly looking for a new employee, but you actively offer yourself. This may have been preceded by a (network) contact in which you have already explored whether the organisation is open to this possibility and what the chances are of such an approach. In any case, this approach is always an option, but of course has less chance of success as there is no concrete vacancy in return. However... if you are able to stimulate the interest of the employer, you also have no or few competitors! The working method of an open application is similar to that of a traditional application, only in this case you will have to propose a (ideal) vacancy at this organisation based on all the information you have.
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