5 job search tips that are so basic, most people forget them

Are you looking for job search tips that will help you land an exciting new role?

Check out these five job search tips that are so basic and necessary, most people forget them.

1. Decide on your goals

The very first step to job searching is much like in any other field in life: it must be carefully thought out. Some would consider this the hardest step, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing is to ensure you do not fall at the first hurdle. The key to avoiding this is preparation.

Asking yourself ‘what can I do and where can I do it?’ is a very basic question but people often neglect it. This can cause them to lose focus on their aims right at the start of the process. Take the time to make a list of what you want to do (regarding jobs) and where you wish to work (regarding location).

Knowing that you wish to work in office administration at your local city or town is far more helpful than having a vague notion of wanting just an office job nearby-ish. Having a focus will give you a better idea of the sorts of advertisements to look for.

Work out also which methods of jobs hunting you’d like to adopt. Do you want to apply online? Visit workplaces? Respond to newspaper adverts over the phone? All methods of finding a job are valid, but working out what is practical for you is an essential first step.

Once you have all of these things written down and understood, you’re in a good place to start the more practical side of the job search.

2. Tidy up your CV, cover letters and LinkedIn profile

Now you know which jobs and locations to look at, it’s time to work on your first impressions.

For most jobs these days first impressions are often obtained via your CV, cover letter and occasionally your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn Profile, it’s advisable that you set up an account.

It’s time to spruce up your CV and prepare it for 2018. Make sure it’s concise, professional and free of spelling and grammatical errors. Your CV should be customised too, which is essential for highlighting specific relevant aspects of your working past to potential employers.

Your cover letter is another important tool in your job-hunting arsenal. Each one should be tailored to the role you’re applying for, and maintain a brief but professional tone that sells you well.

Finally, your LinkedIn profile should be treated like an online CV. Make sure it is up to date, you have a professional, formal profile picture and that you have an actively growing network of people. This is a great way to look professional and show potential employers you take yourself and your work seriously.

3. Cast a wide net

When looking for jobs, it can be very easy to see one or two suitable possible applications, make them and sit back and relax as if your work is completed.

This is not the case. Employment is very competitive. In order to have the best chance at getting the jobs you want, you must apply for as many as you can manage – but make sure they are the right fit for you. While this does mean a lot of CV and cover letter rewording, it also means you may get 10 chances rather than two at a job you’d be perfect for.

In our world, where finding employment is a mixture of skills, experience, qualifications and chance, it’s certainly not harmful to have as many of those chances as possible. The wider your net, the better your chances and, eventually, the wider your options.

4. Look in unconventional places

When searching for jobs, as a part of casting a wide net, you should consider unconventional places to search for work.

Job boards can be helpful in making sure your CV is seen by the right people – all you need to do is register your CV, and you’re ready. Social media is also a good place to look. Some businesses advertise vacancies on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Ask friends and family too, as they may know things.

All of these methods are useful for ensuring you have the best possible chance of finding the employer willing to give you that sought-after interview and eventual position.

5. Make sure to follow things up

One of the worst parts of job searching is being ghosted by an application. Put simply, being ‘ghosted’ is being cut off from communication unexpectedly and without explanation.

Say, for example, that you’ve been doing well with an application, you’ve had an interview, and you think it went well. The recruiter says they will be in touch within 14 days. Four weeks down the line, you’ve heard nothing, and they haven’t responded to your email or your numerous phone calls. Frustrating and demoralising doesn’t cover it, especially when it happens regularly.

This is an increasingly common problem and a shoddy business practice. You don’t necessarily have to just accept it. In some cases, it is simply a bit of bad luck. The company may have lost you in paperwork or been occupied by extenuating circumstances. In these cases, it can actually get your application back on track as you pick up where you left off!

In the other case, though, it can be helpful to follow up just to find out where you went wrong, or if anything could be done to change the situation. This is a win-win situation for you.

If the company responds, you can learn what to improve upon and make your next application process even better. Potentially this gets you that next job. If the company doesn’t respond, you know that it’s a company that you wouldn’t work well with. This helps you avoid them – and their policy on ghosting – in the future.

Make note of these job search tips

There’s ultimately no guaranteed way to ensure you succeed in your job hunt, but putting in the right determination and effort will go a long way. Following these rules can certainly help you to maximise your chances of landing a job that meets your needs.

About the author: James Thorp is a postgraduate at the University of Birmingham. He is studying an MA in Creative Writing and hopes to move onto a career in Higher education or copywriting. In his spare time, he curates his own blog Wandering Like Water, writes poetry, maintains a garden diligently and can be found on LinkedIn.

Image: Pexels

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