Eight steps to successful job hunting

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Job hunting can be a daunting process, especially if you’re contemplating leaving a company where you’ve worked for a significant amount of time.

For some, job hunting is an art form that they’ve carefully mastered, and for others, it can be overwhelming. If you’re struggling to get started or you want a handy guide to help you succeed, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s our eight-step guide to get you started:

1.  Identify what you want

Before you even begin looking for a job, take some time to think about what it is that you’re looking for. Many of us forget this important first step and rush into job hunting without proper consideration for what we truly want. Are you looking for a job where you’re part of a team or one that’s more autonomous? Do you need to consider location and commute time? And what about a company’s culture? Noting down what you do and don’t want at the beginning of your job search will help keep you focused on the right opportunities.

2. Have a good strategy

It’s easy to get lost when you are job hunting which is why having a clearly defined strategy is so important. This is all about the how. For example, what recruitment agencies will you register with? What online jobsites will you monitor and how often? Do you have existing connections that you can utilise and if so, what’s the best approach? Write down your plan and refer to it regularly to make sure you’re on track.

3. Refresh your personal marketing tools

Investing time in your own marketing is one of the most valuable things you can do when it comes to job hunting. Think about yourself as a brand and make sure all your marketing tools are up to date. Revisit your resume, tidy up your LinkedIn profile, and identify your referees. If relevant, make sure you have an up-to-date work portfolio and don’t forget to check with your referees if they’re happy to be contacted.

4. Adapt your resume for each job

Imagine you are recruiting for the job you’re applying for. What would you want to see on a resume that would make it worth your time following up? Relevant information that’s job specific can help a potential employer find the right fit, so it’s worth taking time to modify your resume. Use the information you already have but highlight projects, roles and achievements that align specifically with the job description.

5. Have a strong cover letter

Your cover letter is a chance to pitch yourself and engage a potential employer, so it’s important to spend some time on technique. Make sure that your letter isn’t a rehash of your resume; it should highlight the reasons why you’re the ideal candidate and summarise your skills and experience. Keep it short, no more than one A4 page if possible, and don’t forget to thoroughly check all spelling and grammar.  Whilst there’s no one size fits all cover letter, there will be sections that you can use for all your job applications.

6. Have a good attitude

Job hunting can be tiring and it’s natural to feel slightly drained, but if you feel like your normally optimistic attitude is nosediving, take some time out from the search to regroup and refresh. A positive approach is critical to any job search and even though we’re not always aware of it, attitude manifests in all our communications.  Whether it’s an email to a potential employer or an in-person interview, a negative demeanour can seriously jeopardise your chance of success.

7. Follow through on every opportunity

In the process of job hunting, you’ll be dealing with a range of people, from your own networking efforts to recruiters and referees. There may even be opportunities that you decide aren’t for you. It’s important to follow through on everything, and to do so with professionalism. Remember that what you do and how you act can positively or negatively impact your chance of success. Word of mouth is a powerful tool so make the very best impression you can, every step of the way.

8. Got the interview but didn’t get the job

It can be quite crushing when you felt you had a great interview, but you didn’t get the role. Instead of getting annoyed be proactive. The company might have said ‘no’ today but that doesn’t mean ‘never’. The best thing to do is either pick up the phone or email the interviewer. Thank them for the chance to have met and to learn more about the company.  Ask if there is anything you can improve on and what you can do to stay in touch in case there is an opportunity in the future.

Successful job hunting doesn’t mean you’ll get the first job you apply for. You can learn from every opportunity no matter how frustrating it gets. The challenge is maintaining your motivation and pushing through when you feel like giving up. Keep networking, keep putting yourself out there, and focus on aligning your qualifications and achievements with each role you apply for. It may not happen today, but it will happen.

Our recruitment team would be happy to meet you. Please get in touch with them today.


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Filed under: Career Advice Resources
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