It’s National Careers Week and we’ve pulled together this guide to help you manage your job search more efficiently. Spring provides the perfect time to get your career back on track and find a job that you really enjoy. Follow these seven steps to help make your job hunt more efficient and keep clarity of mind throughout the process.
Before you dive in head first and fire out applications, you might want to take stock and think about what you’re really looking for. If you’re already in a job, really think about why it is that you’re looking to leave and if there is no way of resolving those issues before resigning. If you’re unemployed, think about what day to day responsibilities and interactions will make you happy at work. Make a list of employers that appeal to you and identify why they appeal to you. Think about your skills and your achievements that provide supporting evidence to those skills. Once you have considered these elements, you can begin your job search.
2. It’s all in the timing
It is an easy pitfall to rush into your job search and fire off lots of applications, especially if you’re not already in work. Don’t waste time by applying for jobs you’re not really interested in or that don’t match your skill set. It’s not only a guarantee for a rejection, but a waste of your own time and the employers.
3. Sell, sell, sell!
Although there is much debate on whether the personal statement is really necessary with a CV, you can however, utilise this space in a clever way by putting across your three key selling messages. This is the information that you want the recruiter or hiring manager to really remember about you. Make it clear what you have to offer and the type of role you would like to have. Emphasise these messages in your social media profiles and what you say when networking. This is the information that can ultimately lead to a potential employer continuing to read your CV and consider your application.
4. Do your homework
You’ll never hear of an employer who is impressed by the lack of knowledge a candidate has about the organisation, so make sure you do your homework. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that research is only really required when you’ve been called to interview, but this just isn’t the case.
Whilst it’s easy to regurgitate the information you find on the website, try and be more in-depth in your application. It reflects far better on your candidacy if you can understand what challenges current market trends might be posing to the business and how you can help tackle those issues.
5. Work on your CV
If you followed step three correctly, you’ve already eliminated working on the more difficult task on your CV. After the personal statement, list out your work history in reverse chronological order (citing the most current place first and working your way back). Highlight your achievements in your previous roles and projects you worked on that led to you acquiring essential skills for the role you’re now applying for.
If you’ve not got lots of experience, that’s OK, everybody has to start somewhere. So think about team projects you worked on during your studies, or any voluntary experience you undertook and showcase your achievements that are relevant to the role.
6. Use an Omni-channel approach
There’s an old sports saying: “The best defence is a good offense”, in this context, let’s think of it more as, you can’t be doing your best, if you’re not covering all your bases. Sending applications online isn’t the only way to go about the job search, you can approach companies that are not currently advertising, build relationships with the right recruitment agencies and tap into your network to see what industries and roles you can gain an understanding of. Let’s not forget as well, the power of social media in assisting with your job search. LinkedIn is the most used channel by recruiters to find candidates for the roles they’re looking to fill.
7. Get Feedback
It’s not uncommon that jobseekers waste real job interviews, by treating them as practice rounds. It’s a difficult task as it is to get an interview, so don’t waste these opportunities by making basic errors. Do practice interviews with a friend and get their honest feedback on first impressions, how well you answer questions (linking your experiences to the role) and how you handle tricky interview questions, such as explaining gaps in your CV or why you’re looking to leave your current role. By getting feedback you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to learn which areas you need to develop and improve, as well as thickening your skin for when you might be faced with rejection.
So there you have it, seven steps to help make you a more efficient job seeker. For more tips to help with your job search, take a look at our other blogs.