In a tough job market good preparation is important. Here we offer guidance on optimising your job search, creating a winning CV and how to interview with confidence.
Before beginning your search
Ask yourself these questions:
- What type of job are you looking for?
- Can you do the job and do you really want it?
- What will an employer look for and what does the role require?
- Do your skills and experience meet those needs and can you sell them?
Confident of what you want and what you have to offer, you are ready to start your job search
Combining a number of methods will improve your chances of finding a new position:
- Search advertised vacancies in newspapers and trade publications, on online job boards and recruitment agency websites
- Research employers offering the right type of position and send a speculative approach to the appropriate individual
- Network at events within your industry
Advertised vacancies are likely to attract many applicants. Whereas speculative approaches can be effective if the timing is right and you are an attractive candidate. Identify the right individual to send your CV and cover letter to, and follow up with an email or call.
Internet research will identify publications, job boards and recruitment agencies specific to your industry. It will also provide background on potential employers and the markets they operate in to enable you to tailor your speculative approach.
Recruitment consultants offer comprehensive knowledge of their specific industry sector. They can advise on roles that suit yours skills and experience, and have access to opportunities through their industry networks.
Approximately 75% of vacancies are filled through networking channels rather than being advertised, so this is a powerful tool to include in your search. Network online through discussion forums and LinkedIn, and make face to face contact at industry events.
Building a network of contacts will help keep you up to date with industry developments. It is likely to inspire you and put you in the best position to hear of job opportunities. Be prepared to discuss relevant topics with participants and take the opportunity to understand their job role and organisation – they might be the source of your next position!
LinkedIn is a useful tool for affirming new contacts. You can see how your respective networks connect and reveal additional networking opportunities. And LinkedIn makes it easy to stay in touch with your network through sharing updates, commenting and sending personal messages.
It’s important to be structured in your job search; treat it as a job in itself. Reserve regular time for your search. Be organised. Diarise actions such as follow up emails to speculative approaches, good-to-meet-you notes to new contacts, phone calls and interviews.