So you’re looking for a new job. Maybe it’s been a little while now and you’ve signed up to so many job board websites, your e-mail inbox is starting to become bloated with updates from sites you can’t even remember visiting, advertising jobs that are entirely wrong for you. What can you do? Here are six tips to help you in your search for professional fulfilment. Because people like lists.
Take a good look at yourself.
Not a long hard look in the mirror, you already look great. But consider your strengths and weaknesses to help you refine what jobs you look for. What are you passionate about? What experience and skills do you have? It doesn’t always have to be professional experience either, if it demonstrates a relevant skill such as leadership or creativity it’s still important.
From there you can refine which job board websites you sign up for. Look for more niche ones that list jobs in the sectors that you are looking for, and some larger more general ones to balance things out. Make sure to check any e-mails you get from these websites as well, as they will suggest recently posted jobs that may be relevant to you.
Ask yourself what you want to get from a job to help you refine your searching. What salary are you looking for? What kind of hours? Will you need training? Remember these when you’re looking to apply for a job.
Organise your time effectively.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a daily schedule. It’s what you’ll have at work, anyway, so why not get used to it now? Set yourself daily targets and meet them each day. How many jobs are you going to apply for each day? Are there any improvements and refinements you can make to your CV or covering letter?
If you can’t find any jobs that match your skills and interests, you can always spend time researching the areas that interest you to track down relevant vacancies. Maybe there are more specialised job-boards hidden away on the web, or magazines geared towards your skills and experiences that are currently advertising jobs. And don’t forget to keep track of where you’ve applied for jobs and when, so you know when to follow up applications.
Personalise your CV and covering letter for each application.
For every application you make, spend a bit of time adjusting your CV to match the criteria the employers are looking for. This doesn’t mean writing a new CV, that would be mad. Unless being mad is directly beneficial to your job search. But if they are particularly emphasising excellent team-working skills and that applies to you, you can bump that up your CV a little. Take a look at the job listing, look for the things they’re looking for, and emphasise these attributes in your CV and covering letter. And make sure to trim any excess flab from your CV, if things aren’t particularly relevant to the position.
You can even adjust your interests & hobbies to highlight relevant past-times you participate in that might impress employers or add activities you’ve done in the past, search as performing a play or coaching a football team that might not necessarily impress every employer but could give you that extra personal edge if it matches skills you might want to demonstrate that are needed for the job.
Follow up applications with a phone call.
You’ve sent your CV, you’re really excited about the job, why not call them and put a voice to your application? Employers can get a lot of applicants, and hundreds of CV’s, and they may not even get round to looking at yours. Even if it is fantastic and beautifully formatted (and if it isn’t, spend some time making sure it is!). Don’t be afraid of being too pushy either. You can wait 24-48 hours and call them up, let them know you’re really excited about the opportunity and ask them if they have received your application. This way you can be sure that they have taken a look at your CV, rather than sitting around twiddling your thumbs and hoping that they have.
You can also e-mail them an article you’ve read that is interesting and in some way relevant to the job you’ve applied for. This can spark a debate, and show that you have really been thinking about the current vacancies.
Utilise the social networking sites.
There are all sorts of websites you can use to help you in your job hunting. If you don’t already, get yourself a Linked.in account and start to network. Join any relevant groups you can, start discussions. You can get your name out there, and impress potential employers. You may also talk to others on the site that can point you in helpful directions to assist you in your search.
Social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook can be fantastic for building up an online presence. Stand out. Approach employers and relevant companies, ask them about vacancies, show them that you’re incredibly keen and it’s more likely they’ll remember you when you apply for anything.
Don’t give up!
It’s difficult to find a job, particularly with the economy the way it is, but keep trying and don’t get disheartened. You can do it!