Caroline Hauser Slapak
Try | Make Mistakes | Learn | Succeed

6 Practical Tips on How to Organize Yourself for the Job Hunt

Welcome to Israel! You’ve decided to make the big move to live in the Holy land! The Start-up Nation, the Silicon Wadi. But, since you’re new in the country, you don’t know anyone – no friends / connections from school, army, university, previous jobs, family friends… yes, life is tough! Nobody said it was easy. There is a wealth of information out there, and it can all seem a bit overwhelming. The goal of this post is to summarize my experience, and make your path to employment a little easier. Below are 6 tips that will help you organize yourself for the job hunt. Enjoy!

Tip #1: contact Gvahim, an NGO that helps qualified olim chadashim. Here is a list of more or less what they offer:

  • A structured “course” with several interesting lectures and lecturers.
  • An HR professional who is responsible for reviewing your CV, LinkedIn profile, conducting interview simulations and giving you feedback, teaching you interview strategies, etc.
  • A mentor, who is a volunteer and is there to listen to you. He / she will help you with the job seeking process in Israel. Usually, the person is well connected in the Israeli job market and can forward your CV to members of their professional network.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I found my first job through Gvahim’s professional services. No, this is not a sponsored post… I highly recommend their services. You pay a small, one-time fee for their services, and it is worth every penny! For more information on what they offer, visit their website. I would also like to share a friend’s post that I had read when I first arrived (he’s a mentor in Gvahim for olim that live in the North); make sure you read through it a few times to get a good understanding of the job finding process here in Israel.

So now it’s time to look for open positions (or start your own business, but then, here everything is totally different). Usually, you have 2 options:

  • Go for a more simple and easy to get job – if you need money to pay the bills, this is the best way to go. People say it’s also good for practicing your Hebrew, because you’ll be talking to Israelis on a regular basis. You can also choose “this way” as temporary, but here in Israel, you can earn a decent living even with a simple job!
  • Look only for those opportunities that require your professional skill set and experience; however, this may take time! So be ready financially to pay the bills – and set a budget based on your savings. I chose this way, so I’ll elaborate more on this.

Tip #2: ANALYZE and PLAN. Ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. What is my dream job? Examine how your skills lineup with the requirements in the open positions you see online / newletters you subscribed to, etc.
  2. Where can I find my dream job? Please, refer to tip #3.
  3. Who can I connect with to get me closer to my dream job? Networking! I will cover this in a future post.
  4. How long am I willing to wait for my dream job? This is when you balance your budget with your goal; don’t forget that you might need a plan B, C or D, so allocate enough time and money in the case that A fails.
  5. How will I find my dream job? This is your action plan. Which activities do you need to execute to reach your goal? Prioritize the actions according to those that need to be accomplished first, or those that will gain you the most leverage. Be sure you acknowledge every dependency relationship between the activities.

By answering these questions, you have just created your ‘plan A’ – now you have to execute it!

Tip #3: this tip is more of a tool – I’ve gathered, organized, and listed information on placement agencies, job search websites and meet ups / bar talks in this link (there are 3 tabs – navigate through them). If I’ve missed any, please feel free to add them! I found it more useful to go to meet ups / bar talks, instead of only looking online. Attending live events allows you to meet lots of new people, expand your network, and make your “elevator pitch”. Be ready to talk, to listen, and to offer help! Why not?

Another good way to meet people is to go to job fairs. At the last job fair I attended, I met a CEO of a start-up. I approached him with my “elevator speech,” which opened the door to potential opportunities: he told me to e-mail him my CV as he would like to forward to a relevant contact. I hope to share good news with you as a result of this connection in my next post!

Tip #4: this too, is another tool rather than a tip, and is the cherry on top of the sundae! Keep track of every CV that you send. Sometimes, companies contact you about a position that you applied for quite a while ago! You need to be focused and to direct your answers to suit the job description. So, what I do is, I keep a list of all the positions I applied for and update it with the maximum amount of information that I have. You can get a copy of the template here. Don’t forget to make a copy for yourself!

If you aren’t so good with technology, do it on paper – but do it! You’ll see that to keep track of your job search will help you a lot: to follow up, to analyze your performance, and to gain other insights. It’s even helpful when deciding which version of your CV you should use to tailor for another similar position – it’ll save you a lot of time. I like to keep everything digital because I can have access to it at any time, I’m only 2 clicks away (from the phone or from the computer).

As a business consultant, I have learned that if you spend more time planning, you’ll reach your goals faster and with greater accuracy – because you know very clearly what the expected outcomes are. Using a tracking system makes it easy to monitor your achievements and failures, and to learn from all them.

A great example from Alice in the Wonderland is when Alice gets lost and approaches a fork in the road. Please, read the dialog in the image below – the point I want to drive home is that knowing where you are heading makes all the difference!

Tip #5 and #6 are for Gmail users! There are some add-ons that have been very useful to me lately. They are:

  • Boomerang – you can schedule an e-mail to be sent later, set reminders, and request read receipts. These features are missing from Gmail, and are now available by Boomerang!
  • Clearbit connect – you can find almost any e-mail very quickly. You name it, you have his / her direct professional e-mail, and, you can ask for a read receipt (using Boomerang). Good, no?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and now you have 6 tips and tricks that will help you plan, execute, monitor your plan A, and plans B, C, and D, if necessary… until you get to your dream job!

Best of luck!

The original blog post can be found here: https://goo.gl/5MabaX

About the Author
Caroline made Aliyah from Brazil in 2015. She has a BA in Business and MBA in Finance. Most of her experience in Brazil was working for business consulting firms (locals and globals). After she made Aliyah, she was "lucky" to find her first job very quickly. The second time she was looking for a job, she had encountered some differences in the hiring process. In an attempt to expand her network, she was constantly meeting new people and exchanging experiences. From these discussions, she understood that the differences are not only specific to the Brazilian job market, but they are very peculiar to Israel. As everybody else, she had to make mistakes and learn with her own failures; some important information she had to dig deep to find them. As a business consultant, she have learned a lot about organization & methods and this is how she's able to summarize them as "lessons learned". In this blog, she'll share her knowledge and practical tools to help all the other job seekers. "Happy is that one who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches." - Cora Coralina (Brazilian writer)
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