Looking for a job needn’t be a daunting prospect. Whether you’re a school leaver, a new graduate or a seasoned professional, there are some easy-to-follow methods to help you get on track and stay focused throughout the process.
Here are our eight top tips to finding a job.
Get clear straight away that finding, applying for and getting a job requires skill and a process.
That’s why you have to treat job hunting like… a job. And like any job, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
It might surprise you to learn that securing a job has very little to do with being good at your job. By the same logic, the frustrations of job hunting have nothing to do with how valuable you would be to an employer.
So accept the process for what it is and don’t get disheartened. Put in some time and effort. Keep it simple but get organised, make a plan, and don’t get sidetracked if at first you don’t succeed.
Imagine you step into the lift with the hiring manager of your ideal company. You’ve got about 60 seconds to tell them who you are, what you can do, and what you want – to grab their attention and make them remember you.
That’s your elevator pitch. Creating your pitch is a great way to focus your mind. If you can’t make a quick, watertight case for why an employer should give you your dream job, chances are you’re not clear about one or more of the basics, such as:
If you don’t have a pitch, take some time to create one because as a jobseeker, it’s your calling card.
More importantly, the details of your pitch should feed into your CV, your cover letter and even the interview process. Being clear about who you are and what you want will make you stand out as a focused, motivated individual.
Be realistic. You only want to apply for jobs that work for you and help you create the life you want.
While job hunting, it can be easy to start applying for anything that looks vaguely interesting. Instead, focus on jobs that match your skills, qualifications and interests. Start with the job title and don’t get distracted.
If you want to work for a small company, don’t apply to huge corporations. If you don’t already have plans to move to the big city, don’t assume you can figure it out if you get the city job.
Remember that recruiters are interested in what you can offer them. Keep it simple and highlight the key skills you feel are required in the role. An extensive list of everything you’ve ever done is only useful if it demonstrates the experience and skills you could bring to the job.
A great way to illustrate this is in your CV. Don’t just indicate where you’ve been – instead, highlight what you’ve done. List your skills and experience and match them to the list of required / desired skills and experience in the job description.
It’s also a good idea to use numbers, dates and outcomes – be as specific as possible.
Many industries have their own set of expressions, technologies and trends. It’s a good idea to know what they are for the industry you’re interested in entering.
Look at the websites of leading companies. Talk to people who work in the industry. Find out as much as you can.
You might be new to the industry but being informed and using the language will impress a recruiter.
Your search did not match any jobs
According to LinkedIn, 70% of jobs are never publicly advertised. Instead, they are filled internally or by word-of-mouth and networking.
Networking simply means making connections. Chances are you already have an extensive network – former classmates and colleagues, family members, teammates, neighbours. Everyone you know is a potential source of information about a job opening.
And because everyone you know has their own network, any of your relationships might lead to a job opportunity.
Make a list of who you know and grow your network through social media sites or industry events. Let everyone know you’re looking for a job – and what you’re looking for. (Remember your elevator pitch?)
There are several different ways to put yourself directly in the path of recruiters. Here are some suggestions:
Following up on leads and applications might seem unnecessary, but it’s an important part of job-hunting and can keep you uppermost in the recruiter’s mind.
If you haven’t heard back after submitting an application, send a polite enquiry. Follow up interviews in the same way. Send a thank-you email after any meetings and follow up a week later if you haven’t heard back.
You won’t always get a response back, but at least you’ll have peace of mind and the knowledge that you haven’t overlooked an opportunity.
Finding a job is a serious business but it needn’t be a challenge or a chore.
By using the right approach and giving your job hunt the time and focus it deserves, you’re sure to land the perfect role for you. Good luck!
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