As a fundamental rule, shipping is a relationship based market! It is probably one of the most extrovert and interactive markets to engage yourself with. Especially, the process of looking for a job in this industry, can be sometimes stressful, as it requires compact, competitive and unique profiles, that can meet the demanding nature and challenges of the job.
No matter if it is your first job or if you have several years of experience, the fact is that your status is changing and to adapt, you have to face the phase of uncertainty… the job search.
Remember, while you are looking for a job, somebody else is looking to hire. You need to be patient and not give up. Once the match is done and you have your first positive response for an interview, it is up to you to make it happen.
Looking for a job is all about timing.
Where to look
Keep your eyes open when you are looking for a job. There is not only one way to find a job. You need to be always alerted and follow the market. Some possible sources are:
- Shipping companies’ websites
- Recruitment agencies – i.e. CareerStream
- Social media – i.e. LinkedIn
- Your network – i.e. friends and relatives working in other companies
- Shipping press and media
Read the shipping news and understand where the market goes. You might find valuable information hidden in articles for companies that are expanding their business and might need more staff.
The power of networking
People are more likely to do business with people they know. So often, getting a job isn’t about what you know, it’s about who you know. That’s why building a professional network is essential.
Play the long game, as networking doesn’t necessarily always provide instant gratification. In fact, it’s most useful when long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are formed. Make your networking moves in ways that are consistent with your long-term goals and dreams.
These tips will get you started on the right track.
- Make yourself visible. It’s a big world; go explore it!
- Don’t be afraid to talk to people; that’s what networking’s all about.
- Don’t just collect business cards and shake hands; focus your conversations and efforts on the people who can eventually help you.
- Don’t look for favors too early, as this can turn your contacts off and risk damaging any goodwill you’ve created.
- Offer something of value to your network, such as introductions to other professionals.
- Follow up and keep in touch. People are busy, but if you stay top-of-mind, your chances of success will rise.
- Communicate via email, blogging and, of course, social networking events.
When applying for a job, make sure you have your CV up to date. Send separate emails for each job and adjust your cover letter accordingly. Spend time in creating a contact list and update it regularly.
If you don’t hear back from the employer/recruiter make sure you follow up after a couple of weeks and kindly ask for an update.
Prefer to apply for a job during the morning hours, where is the most productive hours for both yourself and the employers. Avoid late applications as no one is in the office and also shows that you are not taking this process seriously.
Push yourself to it. In order to improve any aspect of your life, you need to set goals. Whether you’re working, in school or unemployed, the goals you set for your job search will vary.
For example, someone who is working full-time while job searching might set the following daily goals:
- Apply to at least one job per day
- Spend 30 minutes researching a prospective employer per day
- Spend 30 minutes researching job tips or career advice per day
- Spend 30 minutes reviewing your skills and experience
A good idea in order to optimize your job hunt and make the most of it, is to keep records.
Write down the job opening, the source, the pic, the company, when did you send the application and the feedback.
This will also help you from applying twice for the same job.
Dimitris Mavrikos, Career Development Manager, CareerStream