Top 10 tips for your Job Search
We know it can sometimes be tough and daunting when you start looking for a new job. Especially if you've not had to do it for a while! Things have changed and we've put together some of our top tips to help you on the journey.
1. Start with taking a good look at yourself
Before starting your job search, take time to reflect on your strengths and areas for improvement and the type of work you like accomplishing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you'll find a new job that provides you with greater satisfaction.
2. Write, edit, and revise your CV – and not just one CV
Your CV is still the most critical tool of a job-search. Start with creating/revising a resume that focuses on your key accomplishments, skills, experience, and education/training. Once you have a top-notch CV, the key is tailoring it to each job, each employer – using keywords and phrases specific to the opportunity you seek. This way you are showing the employer you are suited to this role and have required experience.
Remember - Take the time to prepare your application. It may be one of many to you but you are one of many to the recruiter – you need to stand out from the crowd.
4. It's not what you know, it's who you know
Being in the workforce for a long time, you will have built up an extensive network of people. This is probably larger than you realise so make a list, think about the people you know from both work and your personal life and let them know you're looking for work. You'd be surprised what leads you may uncover. Networking – in person and online – is essential to your job-search success. Continually seek out new people to add to your network and never be afraid to share that you're on the hunt for work.
6. Attempt to complete several job-related goals daily
It’s a bit of a cliche now, but in all cliches there is truth – and that truth is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job-search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.
7. Don’t do it alone
Job-hunting is also a lonely enterprise, and if you’re unemployed and living alone, the search can seem frustrating and endless. Instead, try to keep in touch with people in your circle who are also job-hunting — or by joining a course, where people maybe in the same boat. There are often courses run by your local library to help you up-skill while you're looking. Besides the camaraderie, sharing job-hunting ideas and strategies with others can help you focus and improve your job-hunting methods.
8. Prepare for your job interview
Before you get called for your first interview, develop responses for common interview questions, and then practice them — ideally using the mock-interviewing technique with a friend, network contact, or recruitment consultant. The more prepared you are for the interview, the more comfortable you’ll be – and the more likely you’ll succeed.
9. Excel in the job interview
Research the employer and know the way there! Dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.
10. Expect the job-search to take much longer than you imagine
You can hope to have a new job within a short period, but the likely reality is that it can take months to find the right opportunity and get offered the position. You should mentally prepare yourself for a long battle — and then you can be happily surprised if you are one of the lucky few whose job search is short.
Final Thoughts on Job Search Success
Here a few other points to ponder if your job-search situation does not fit the typical model – if conditions are such that finding employment will be unusually hard. It's important to remember you're not the only one in this position and have you looked at all the options and support available to you.
First, having both a positive attitude and outlook are extremely important. Employers can sense desperation and despair; organisations want to hire positive and competent people. If you’ve been unemployed for an extended period and depressed or recently downsized and angry, find a way to shrug it off when job hunting or you will only be hurting yourself.
Second, when you’re an older worker trying to find a job, you may face age discrimination. Among the ways to proactively counter any issues about your age are to limit the number of years of experience, you list on your CV (by keeping to the last 10-15 years), eliminate dates in the education section of your resume, and focus on adaptability and flexibility in the interview.
Third, you may need to consider temping or volunteering for a short period to gain experience and build network contacts that can lead to a full-time position.