One thing nearly every job-seeker has in common is the job-hunt. Particularly for graduates, coming straight out of university the process can take some time. After a few weeks (or, yes, even months) of searching from your parents basement, things can start to look a little grim. The process of rewriting cover letters and scouring job boards can be quite draining. And if you get a few nos, having to equate yourself down to a list of skills on a page can challenge even the most optimistic of job seekers.
Looking for a job should not be an overwhelming and unmanageable task. There is a process to searching for the right role that we believe should be followed. It’s always going to be quite a daunting task, but these tips should make you more effective, and your search more rewarding.
Here is The Job Seekers To Do List:
1. Figure out your career goal
You don’t have to keep it, it doesn’t have to be long term, and you don’t have to stick to it, but have a goal – at least one. Keep it simple. It can be as broad and short term as learning 3 new skills in such and such field by next year. Or it can be as specific and long term as becoming CEO of Pepsi on your 30th birthday. Whatever it is, visualise it in your mind. Then use this to orientate the path you want to take now. If you want to have your own advertising firm in ten years time, it can help you make some realistic decisions about the jobs you’re looking for now. Obviously you want to be working in a similar environment, and gaining skills towards your goal, rather than just saying yes to a job because of the pay check!
2. Give yourself a makeover
This includes your CV, a portfolio if you have one, your elevator pitch and your responses to common interview questions. I have a one page CV and have been told many times by recruiters and employers alike that one page is ideal. Two is the ABSOLUTE max. Especially if you’re starting out, it’s highly doubtful you have four pages worth of relevant information to your career. A good thing to do is to tailor your CV to each role that you apply for. So you can include certain information for some, and omit it for others.
Your make over should also include scanning your social media profiles, and making sure a simple Google search of your name/info won’t reveal anything incriminating. Check out the Social Media Examiner’s guide to doing this – they’re pretty thorough at cleaning up your FB privacy.
3. Know your worth
This is more important in the later end of the job acquisition process, but it is something that needs to be considered from the very start. You need to know what kind of salary you’re after – yes even if you’re an intern, you should be getting paid! Unpaid labour in the workforce is a real problem, and for any role worth your time, you should be compensated for all your hard effort. Research the minimum wage, and then the average wage for your sector. Often it will come to the point where a company will either tell you what they’re going to pay you, or ask you what you expect to be paid. And you need to be able to respond to that with a level of delicacy and knowledge.
4. Keep a balance
Applying for a new role can be just as tiring as working full-time. Be sure that you match all your time behind a screen with time spent out doors. Exercise, get fresh air, be social – don’t cave yourself into your room adamant that the more time you spend on your computer, the more likely you are to get employed. Fresh, well-rested eyes, a relaxed mind and a healthy diet will, believe it or not, make for a better voice writing those cover letters and answering preliminary calls. There’s a lot of psychological pressure that can weigh down on you when you’re job hunting, so make sure you get some perspective. Here’s a great list by Idealist Careers on keeping balanced during the hunt.
5. Use the tools available to you
We don’t mean to hoot our own horn too much, but the way you look for jobs has changed a lot in recent years. Don’t make the process harder for yourself then it needs to be. If you’re not using job boards and don’t have a cover letter template, you are wasting valuable time doing unnecessary leg work. Our platform – if you don’t already use it – allows you to quickly create a profile and immediately make you available to hundreds of well-known companies. We also cut out the whole cover-letter-writing-resume-tailoring-job-hunting hoo-ha altogether! Our site uses complex algorithms to match you with the best suited roles according to a range of factors. Take advantage of the free tech out there that is built entirely to help make this process easier.