Looking for a new job can be time consuming, difficult, stressful, and demoralising. However, if you create a plan for your job search, develop a strategy, and correctly utilise your time, you may find that things start looking up! To help you on your way, here are our 6 steps to any successful job search.

Identify a field you would enjoy working in, and where your experience is applicable

The single most important thing about looking for a new job, is looking for something that you will enjoy doing. For whatever reason you have found yourself currently without employment, rushing into the first position that rears its head, simply to say you have a job, is not the way to go. Identifying a position where you will enjoy the work you do daily is paramount to a happy, healthy, and long lasting work relationship with your employer. Also, don’t pigeon hole yourself when thinking about a position, just because you studied or worked previously in XYZ, doesn’t necessarily mean that the skills and experience you have couldn’t be applicable to something slightly different. Remember, you’re looking for a job you’ll love, not one you can tolerate.

Locate the companies hiring in the field and research them to gain information

Once you have identified the field you want to work in, start researching the companies that are currently hiring in this sector. Not only will this provide you with positions to apply for, but also what you can expect salary wise, and where there is more demand for people in this field. Go deeper than that however, research the companies themselves, see what they are all about, this way you can gain insight into the industry itself, and gain a better understanding of how you could fit in.

Connect with employees of the companies through social media

Once you are done researching the companies, you may think you now know all you need to, but nobody knows more about a company and its culture than someone who already works there. For this reason it would be a good idea to approach current employees, preferably in similar positions to the one you will be applying for, and see if they are open to chat with you about the company culture and what it’s like to work there. LinkedIn is a useful tool for this, so make sure you profile is up to date, and professionally laid out – this will also be beneficial after your application when the hiring manager looks you up – and send a personalised connection to the employees you find stating why you are reaching out and asking for some of their time. This can be a perfect opportunity to learn more about the company from the inside, and understand whether you would truly be the right fit.

Tailor your CVs specifically when applying for each company’s position

One of the worst offences a jobseeker can make is to send out the same exact CV to every position they apply for. Gone are the days where the mentality of ‘one fits all’ was pervasive, tailored CVs are the way forward, and what is expected from candidates. As such, you should make sure you adjust your CV in a way that will appeal to the hiring manager for each specific position you apply for. Leave off any unrelated skills and experience, remember you only have seconds to grab their attention, make them count.

Do the same for your cover letters

Universal cover letters are just as bad, if not worse than universal CVs, remember, this is your chance to sell yourself to the company, and stand out from the other applicants, don’t waste it by using a generic cover letter template. When writing a cover letter don’t just recount the experience listed in your CV either. Instead, briefly tell the company why you want to work for them, show your knowledge, and then tell them how hiring you could benefit them – how can you improve the company, what can you do for them that nobody else can.

When it comes to interviews do more research and formulate some killer questions

Well done, you’ve been invited for an interview! If you followed step 2 then you should already have done research into the company, now it’s time to do more. Delve deeper into how they work, and brush up on the latest industry news regarding the company, that way you will be fully prepared if asked what you know. Also, and this is something that a lot of candidates seem to forget, the interview process isn’t only about whether you are right for the role, but also whether the company is right for you. To that extent, formulate some questions to ask your interviewer about the company, this will show that you did your homework, and actually care about the specific position on offer.

Following these 6 steps should help alleviate some of the stress that comes with looking for a new job, and hopefully put you on the road to some successful applications!

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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