For many reasons, working locally in the ‘burbs can be a satisfying career move. However, the usual job search strategies don’t always apply if you are looking for a job that is in your local suburban area and here’s a few reasons why:
· The majority of employers in your local area are likely to be small businesses with less than 20 employees, sometimes less than 10! They generally don’t want to be burdened with advertising for staff on online job platforms. There are too many applications to wade through when they often need to be able to start a new person quickly.
· Relationships and a positive attitude are key for small business – that means not only having great customer service skills but also the capacity to fit in with the rest of the team. So being able to quickly assess whether someone is a good fit and willing to learn is sometimes more important than having the skills already to do the job.
· Running a business with a small team means that everyone has to pull their weight and support each other – there’s no room for poor time keeping and so candidates who live locally and are just a short drive away often tick that box for a start.
So, what is the best way to find that local opportunity you are looking for? Here are 6 key tips from some of the candidates I’ve worked with who have made that move:
1. Look on social media – most local businesses have Facebook or Instagram pages as do some local community areas, and they will often reach out to the local network by posting their job vacancies on their page and encourage their followers to share amongst their connections. There are also many Groups on Facebook for advertising employment. Do a search on Facebook for ‘jobs near me’ to see what pages pop up. For instance, the Group page ‘Jobs on Brisbane’s Northside’ has 14 new posts and 21.596 active members at the time of me writing this blog! This is often the best first place to look and monitor.
2. Gumtree is another platform that has a very local flavour and businesses will use it to often advertise opportunities as well as advertising their services or products
3. Walk in and drop off your resume – don’t dismiss this obvious strategy! Making a positive personal connection with whoever is on the ‘front reception desk’ can often work in your favour, and employers like people who show initiative. Just make sure your resume highlights the skills you have that match the type of work that you would likely be doing there if they hired you. You just might be solving an employer’s problem before they have to start asking around
4. Register with local job agencies or recruiters. They will know the local business scene well and often have vacancies on their books that do not get advertised. Make an appointment to speak to one of the recruiters is always best rather than registering with them online.
5. Let the local people in your network know you are looking for some local work and what your skills are and particularly tap into those people who are not a strong connection but that you might see from time to time – your local hairdresser, the vet, the checkout operator that regularly serves you, or the people you see regularly at the dog park! Local businesses often put the word out through their staff and customers when they are looking for someone. You would be amazed how often opportunities come through these not-so-strong connections.
6. Make sure your resume is targeted towards the type of work you are looking for – you made need to review and amend it so that it highlights just the essential skills and doesn’t overwhelm the reader.