Job seeking is tough. Everyone knows that. It’s time consuming and it can be gut-wrenchingly disappointing. Armed with that knowledge we do our very best to avoid it even whilst telling our nearest and dearest that we are “currently looking for a job”. So the first thing to be aware of, if you’re serious about finding a job, is your tendency to procrastinate – just because you’re sitting at a computer doesn’t mean you’re any closer to your dream role. You need to be doing the right things.
Find somewhere to conduct your job search that is free from distractions and then do the following, roughly in this order:
1. Make yourself a realistic job hunting schedule and stick to it
A routine will stop you wasting your day and make your job search as efficient as possible.
2. Sort your CV out
Rework the format so that pertinent skills leap out at you ; create different versions for different roles; use key words often that are in the job descriptions.
3. Create a cover letter template
Convey your fit for the role and how much you want the job; make different versions with wording relevant to each role/employer.
4. Search both large and niche job boards
It’ll give you the biggest variety of job listings. Take advantage of alerts to find out about jobs as soon as they are posted.
5. Organise and professionalise
Ensure your voicemail message and email address are professional; get a list ready of references with relevant details and contact information; create folders for all your files and emails.
6. Use Social Media
Follow specific companies to find out about job openings and the culture of the company; try to track down your interviewers.
7. Check your online presence
Google yourself and check for any inappropriate or inaccurate information; remove or correct anything that would be difficult to explain in an interview.
8. Make good use of LinkedIn
Check for inconsistencies between your CV and your profile; join professional groups; ask for recommendations from your managers; check to see if you’re connected to someone in the industry or the organisations you’re applying to.
9. Prepare for your interview
Research the industry and company; find out about the type of interview you’ll be facing; be able to talk about your skills and back them up with evidence; practise answers to all types of interview questions.
There will be challenges so don’t give up, think positively and manage your own expectations.