Looking for new employment can be stressful but there are some secrets to job hunting successfully. The main advice I can give is to remain positive. It is normal to feel apprehensive or demotivated when looking for a new job but remember everyone is in the same boat, and although the process may be slow and painful, it could lead to your dream job and then all the late night form filling will have been worth it. Be excited, this could be the start of something really great. If you are starting to look for a new job or are already up to over your head in application forms, here are my 7 secrets to job hunting successfully.
1. Fine Tune Your CV
It may seem obvious but so many people fail to give the love and attention to detail required for their CV. Your CV needs to be clear and concise, highlighting your work strengths and relevant experience. Your CV is the first thing employers see of your work – so show them your best side and make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle. A well-presented and articulated CV is the first of my secrets to job hunting successfully.
2. A Strong Covering Letter
Generic covering letters are boring to read. Rather than copying and pasting a draft letter to all your potential jobs, take the time to tailor your letter and writing style. Remember to clearly show why you want the job and how you meet the job criteria by checking the job specification and then redrafting your letter to include all the skills in demand. Often if you tick all the minimum requirements for a role you will automatically be invited to an interview – so make sure you carefully unpick what they are looking for.
3. Widen Your Net
Be prepared to widen your net, and apply for a greater range of jobs. Although you may have your heart set on one specific role, sometimes you need to take side steps or change direction en route to reach your destination. Apply for similar roles in the same industry or jobs that would grow and develop your existing skills set.
4. A Numbers Game
Applying for jobs is a numbers game. The more applications you complete the greater your chance of success. Don’t look at failed interviews as a waste of time but as practice in fine tuning your interview technique. Be positive and believe that with each completed application form you are one step closer to a job offer.
Some people simply hate networking, but the evidence can’t be denied – networking works! Spread the word around to friends and acquaintances that you are seeking employment; and don’t be embarrassed to ask if the company a friend works for has any vacancies. It is quite possible that a simple friendly email to an old colleague could lead to a serious job offer.
6. Be Presentable
Dress smartly, smile, don’t swear and don’t be late. The truth is that first impressions really count in a job interview. Your CV may illustrate that you are efficient and hard-working but employers also want to see that you will fit well into the team and company values. Research the company you want to work for and prep answers to interview questions. Failing to prepare for your interview is preparing to fail.
7. Take a Chance
Finally I think it is important to see the value in all the opportunities open to you. Consider Internships, work experience or additional study courses as indirect routes to where you want to be. You might also want to consider if your hobbies can link into employment opportunities; perhaps if you are an avid baker you could start a small cupcake business and see where it leads. By taking the time to explore less obvious career avenues you may in fact find your niche. Trust your instincts and be brave; take chances on new career options that could perhaps lead to better things.
In summary, job hunting is a lottery and whilst I can’t predict how long it will take for you to get your dream job, I can guarantee that if you consistently pursue job opportunities it will lead you into the right direction. Forging a career can take time and patience, so as you make your way up the career ladder just remember to take a breath and look how far you've come already before taking your next step up. What tips can you give our readers hungry to find career success?