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Jobseeker Career Advice

Starting your Job Search

Before you even begin the hunt for a new job, there are some things you can do now to better your chances of securing the role you crave. Firstly, it’s a good idea to start with a clean slate, so put any bad experiences behind you – this is day one in the search for your dream job! Whether you feel stuck in your current position, you’ve been unemployed for as long as you can remember, or you’ve been a recent casualty of company redundancies, now is the time to kick-start your next move and turn a negative into a positive. So, how can you commence the process of writing your next chapter?

 

1. A Clear Plan of Action

Searching for a job can be an overwhelming process – it’s hard to know where to look, from scouring websites to attending job fairs, and the feeling of rejection can be sometimes hard to swallow. It’s difficult not to lose focus, which is why it’s absolutely essential that you have a clear plan of action from the start. Put pen to paper and figure out what you really want. Start by answering the simple questions, ‘what am I looking for?’ and ‘why do I want this type of work?’ For example, if you’ve previously worked in a sales role but didn’t enjoy the constant interaction with clients, you might be better suited to a role that isn’t heavily customer-facing. Think about what you enjoy most and where your skills lie, as well as factoring in the work environment, workload and salary that best suit your requirements. Once you’ve nailed down the type of role and company you wish to work for, you’ll have more motivation to make your move. 

 

2. Get Organised

An organised job search is more likely to achieve success than a chaotic one, so keep a record of all the applications you are making, as this will help you to track your progress and follow up on any jobs you are interested in. A good starting point for any job application is a solid CV, so make sure it’s in order, with your most recent workplace at the top, and draft a covering letter that can be modified accordingly for each position you wish to apply for. You can find top tips for writing your CV and covering letter on various job search websites. 

 

3. Research & Network

Research your target companies and look for openings, applying for any jobs that tick your boxes. If there are not any vacancies, there is no harm in sending an email to human resources, as this shows initiative and a real interest in the company in question. Besides online networking, it is also important to take advantage of in-person opportunities. Attending job fairs is a great way of meeting key decision makers, but you can also strike up conversations with contacts you might already have. This could include colleagues at previous workplaces or members of sports clubs you are involved with. You’ll be surprised how often the people you know can assist you in your job search.

 

4. Update your Social Media 

In this day and age, social media offers a fantastic way to network with prospective employers. But, before you even send that first tweet, you must ensure your profiles do not show you in a bad light. Remove any unsavoury posts and review your privacy settings, as the first thing anyone who is thinking of hiring you will do is check out your online activities.  You might also want to create a professional LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one. This is a great way to make new contacts, as well as presenting yourself as someone who is serious about what you are doing. 

 

5. Contact Recruitment Agencies

Recruiters are often among the first to know about openings at various companies, as they are responsible for filling the positions. It therefore makes sense to touch base with local agencies to discuss your ideal job and give them a copy of your CV. 

 

6. Let the Search Begin

You have tested the water, so you’re now ready to conduct a more thorough search. This will involve checking job boards, websites, newspapers and social media. Set yourself a couple of hours in the morning when you are fresh to do some job hunting, as it can be a fairly laborious process. You don’t want to sicken yourself off the whole idea in the first day! Remember to keep your spirits up, even when faced with rejection letters, as prospective employers will want to hire someone who is positive and confident. If you feel like playing a round of golf in the afternoon, do it… It will help get those endorphins following! And finally, all good things come to those who wait, so be patient. You might not land your dream job in the first few weeks of trying, but if you stick with your search, you’ll certainly increase your chances. Good luck!