If you’re looking for a job, you’ve probably heard the term “acharei hachagim” about a million times already. Well, the time has finally come. My next few posts will be regarding job searching in Israel.
For part one, I would like to present a two pronged job search strategy.
The Cold Search – These are the jobs you look for en masse. When you search places like jobnet and jobmaster, you’re bound to find hundreds of jobs that match your needs. Unfortunately, many of these jobs are (1) not directly advertised from the company looking to hire; rather, from a placement agency, (2) repeats of the same position posted by several recruitment agencies (3) not current. On the other hand, there is the occasional diamond in the raft, so it worth spending up to an hour a day of you jobsearch time responding to these (try to respond to at least 100 jobs in that hour – it is easier than you think). These should be responded to quickly, no cover letter, nothing personal. Because less than 1% of these places will even contact you, spending too much time e-mailing these jobs is a bad return on investment (your time).
The Warm Search – At the same time, you need to network yourself into finding people who can help you find a job. The first thing to do is to think what industry you want to work in – let’s say marketing. Then think which companies have big marketing departments in Israel – consider Proctor and Gamble, Osem and A.C. Nielsen. You’re next step is to contact someone in the company who can give you an in. Ask a friend if they know anyone, ask your school for an alumni directory, or just search for someone who work in the company via LinkedIn. Contact people via LinkedIn sending a message along the following lines:
My name is JOB SEEKER’S NAME. I am an American Oleh looking for a job in Israel. I am trying to get an entry level position in COMPANY NAME and by a LinkedIn search found that you work there. Would you be willing to talk on the phone? If not, could you give me some advice by e-mail? Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
JOB SEEKER’S NAME
JOB SEEKER’S EMAIL ADDRESS
JOB SEEKER’S PHONE NUMBERS
Note: in order to contact someone on LinkedIn, you have to either be connected or members of a shared group. That being said, join groups associated with Israel, where your contacts will likely be members.
When I did this, over half the people I contacted got back to me, some by e-mail, some by phone. I nicely asked these kind people for their help. I asked them how they got started, how I can get started and if they can do anything to help me. People are nice and in Israel we’re all family, so many people are willing to help.
Aim to build your warm network by at least 3 people a week. Make an excel chart and write down your last contact and where you are holding with ever contact. Every three weeks, subtly drop an e-mail and see what’s going on, if there are any new entry level positions in the company and if your contact can assist you in any way.
In the mean time, get ready by preparing your resume. I have made a point of saying thousands of times that your resume isn’t that big of a deal, but it should (1) be written nicely, (2) be in Hebrew as well as English (ask a friend in your neighborhood to sit down with you and translate it) and (3) should have a few variations (ie one for marketing, one for finance etc.) so that you’ll be able to send out the correct resume quickly when running the cold job search.
At the core of your job search is balancing between the cold and warm job search. In my next post, I’ll focus on some other practical uses of time jobsearching and how it can help.
Best of luck