Looking for a job can be all time consuming and requires a lot of dedication and discipline to keep at it. Here are some tips to help you use your time wisely and to perform a smart job search rather than letting the time slip away from you:
1. Be Smart not Fast
When I say that smart doesn’t necessarily mean fast, I mean that the frantic activity of ringing up recruitment agencies, filling in endless job applications and scanning dozens of job boards won’t automatically lead you to your target career. Taking time to plan, research and to tailor each individual application will be a lot more effective.
2. Don’t Depend on Recruiters
Although it may be tempting to use recruitment agencies or headhunters, you can’t rely on them to magic up a job for you. Your CV is just one of hundreds to them. Given that they have so many candidates to choose from, you cannot depend on this as your only route to finding a new career.
3. Target your CV
When job hunting, many of us believe it’s necessary to throw our CV out to as many people as possible. This isn’t the case. Just as you should be selective about how many different careers you target, you should be selective about how many employers or contacts you target with your CV.
4. Update your CV
Speaking of CVs, it may be time to revamp yours. Whether career changing or just job searching, be sure your CV is relevant and targeted to the roles you’re going for. Don’t forget to update it with the details of your current or most recent position, including the new skills and competencies you’ve picked up in that role.
5. Research the Company
Each time you secure an interview, research the organisation. Even if you already researched the company when planning and preparing your application to it, research it again. I cannot stress enough the importance of really knowing about the business before you go to the interview. Look at the company’s website, its LinkedIn profile and any recent press on it.
6. Prepare for Interviews
Prepare for the actual process of being interviewed by running through a few mock interview sessions with a career guide, friend or current/old colleague. Alternatively, practice answering possible questions whilst looking in the mirror (how to present yourself at interviews). Correct your tone of voice, use of vocabulary and your body language as you go along, running through a list of questions several times.
During the interview, remember that it is a two-way conversation. Don’t give monosyllabic answers but don’t go to the other extreme by talking at the interviewer(s) and dominating the conversation excessively.
7. Say Thank You
Sending a thank you note after an interview is a nice touch. It shows you appreciated the opportunity given to you to explain why this is the right career for you and it indicates that you’re not complacent or blasé about just walking into this new career.
8. Stay positive
Even if you don’t get job offers straight away, try to stay positive about it. Try to remember that just because opportunities aren’t instantly flooding in, it doesn’t mean you’ve made the wrong career choice, or that no one out there believes you can shift to this particular career. Be patient and know that any kind of search for the right job can take time.