Ah, job hunting. It’s a struggle.
When you’re on the job hunt, it can feel like you’re climbing an impossible mountain. Every rejection hurts more than the last, every CV tweak feels more monotonous, and getting ready for an interview feels like second nature when you’re down on your luck in a job search.
As if by magic, too, it’s graduation season once again. One of the busiest times of years in the job-searching calendar (…if such a thing exists).
The truth is no one likes job searching. The endless scrolling on job boards, the networking on LinkedIn, the interview prep. It’s all a bit overwhelming, a little bit daunting and sometimes: way, way too long.
It can also be extremely hard to switch off during this time period, so in addition to the tips below, we really recommend trying out The Relax Capsules (if you haven’t already) to ensure you’re getting rest, staying relaxed, and remaining in control.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably searching for some job search tips – right?
Well, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get yourself through this process. It’s one that nearly every single one of us will have to go through in our lifetime, likely multiple times, so it’s good to be prepared so that when this time comes round again, you know all the tips and tricks to get you well on your way to job success, satisfaction, and celebration.
To prep you for this process, we’ve broken this down into two stages.
These stages are what we like to call, the primary and secondary phase. Phase One: how to job hunt effectively, and Phase Two: how to prepare for a job interview. Nail these two and you’ll be writing your notice and signing your new contract in no time.
Phase one: How to job hunt effectively
The approach you take to job hunting is hugely influential to the outcome of the task.
But, your approach also depends on your currently situation. If you’re currently unemployed: perhaps you got made redundant, decided to leave your previous role without another role lined up, have recently graduated, or have never had a job before, we recommend approaching the job hunt with a 9-5 mindset.
Routine is key. Get up in the morning, make yourself a good breakfast, stick on your favourite playlist and start researching, get organised and begin applying. Give yourself regular breaks, a scheduled lunch break and finish at 5, just like a normal workday, for maximum productivity and balance.
If, on the other hand, you’re searching for a role and are still employed – perhaps on a full-time basis, too, this can get a little bit more tricky. Let’s face it, the last thing you want to do after a long day is get home and start doing more work.
Here, we recommend you set aside an hour every other evening, and then a few hours on the weekend to get these tasks done. It’s important to make progress, but it’s even more important to maintain a work-life balance and prevent burnout. Don’t take on too much at once.
Now that’s taken care of, here are our the first five tips involved in phase one of the process:
- Collect your skills-based evidence
One of the key strategies to show off your skills on your CV is by adding metrics that measure success. Make sure every claim you make is backed up with an achievement, and a unit of measurement that backs up your success.
- Know what you’re looking for
There is no point spending hours scouring job boards and websites just hoping your dream role will come up. Research the keywords around your chosen role, make sure your search is targeted with these and be focused. It’s best to make 1 quality application over 3 rushed ones.
- Network, network, network
Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. Or even, who people that you know, knows. If that makes sense. LinkedIn is great for this.
Use features like the “Open To Work” banner to flag to recruiters that you’re in the process of searching, and engage with posts that have been written by industry individuals that you’d like to work with. Getting your name out there is a great way to make an impression, and of course, get yourself noticed.
- Ask for feedback
Send your CV and cover letter to friends, family, colleagues and anyone else you know that might be able to help. Spending hours starring at your CV will inevitably lead to a spelling error, or a grammatical blunder here and there – so get a second pair of eyes.
It’s a great help.
- Keep track of your applications
Make a spreadsheet, and note down every role you’ve applied for, the date you applied for it, and the date you expect to receive feedback. If two weeks have gone by, or maybe the deadline has passed, and you still haven’t heard anything – follow it up. It’s time to be proactive, people!
Phase two: How to prepare for an interview
So, you’ve cracked it. You’ve bagged that interview for your dream company, and you’re raring to go. But how do you prepare? What are the best interview tips? Well…
- Research the role and the company
This is key. Study the job description, research the company history, and make sure you’re aware of the company’s values.
- Prepare for those pesky, common interview questions
We all know the ones. You know, “tell us about a time you worked as a team effectively” or, “what is your biggest achievement in life?”. It’s pretty likely that one or the other will come up.
- Make sure you have your CV to hand, with key achievements memorised
Boosted sales and increased revenue? Great. By how much, and over how long? Metrics are key.
- Don’t be late, ever
Being punctual is the first way to make a good impression. As the old saying goes, if you’re not early, you’re late. Turning up late to an interview is one sure fire wire to get you remembered – for all the wrong reasons. Plan your transport well in advance and leave yourself more than enough time to commute.
And finally, during the interview…
- Have a glass of water to hand
Not only will this be a real-life saver if you start to get a bit nervous and slip on your words, a great tip is to take a sip of water before answering a question. This gives you time to think about your answer, without perceived hesitation.
Stay positive and happy job hunting, Innermoster’s!