Job search tips: A guide to getting started

The process of looking for a new job isn’t always straightforward. And for that reason, it’s a good idea to read up on key job search tips to help improve your results and ensure you find the right opportunities.

After all, there are a number of steps to take and in some cases, the process of finding a new job can be a job in itself! You’ll need to write a winning CV, use the right platforms to conduct your search on; and keep a positive attitude while you do it!

Hopefully, you should already know exactly what you want to do. And if you’re not 100% sure then don’t worry too much. It just helps to have a vague idea of the sort of role you want to go into; that way, you can narrow down your search and find the most relevant roles.

So, before you get started, think about your existing skillset and the sector, salary and location you want to work in. Do some research online and note down your preferences in a list. That way you can cross-reference this with every job advert you come across.

Just remember though, this could change! Don’t shun other opportunities because they aren’t ticking every box; or because the job title isn’t what you were after. Be sure to read each job description in detail before you decide whether or not to apply.

There are a number of other factors to think about when starting out. So, read on for our comprehensive list of job search tips; you’ll be able to find your ideal role in no time!

Perfect your CV and cover letter

Never underestimate the power of a well-written CV. This is the first insight an employer will have of you. It needs to clearly describe who you are, what experience you have and what you can bring to the role. Plus, once it’s good to go you can register it with online job boards.

At the same time, you need to put together an equally effective cover letter. This should build upon the information you include in your CV. If you get these right at the beginning of your search, you’ll be ready to apply as and when a great opportunity presents itself!

One thing to note is that you should tailor both documents to every single role you apply for. Yes, it might seem like a tedious task, but it can help you to stand out from other applicants.

Master your searching technique

It wouldn’t be a list of job search tips if we didn’t talk about the search itself. Making sure you ‘search smart’ could save you a lot of time, make you feel more organised and ultimately, ensure you achieve the best results.

So what does this involve? Well, refer back to that list of criteria you put together earlier. Online job boards are great tools to use as they advertise thousands of jobs from employers across the nation. Fill in the fields with your preferences and make sure you read each job description carefully.

It can be tempting to apply for every vacancy that vaguely meets your wants and needs; especially if you want to feel productive. But try to avoid doing this; instead, do some research into the company to see if you think you’d enjoy working there.

Alongside this, these platforms also enable you to set up Job Alerts, so you’ll know each time a suitable role goes live; this way you can always be aware of any good opportunities, even when you’re not actively searching.

Use social media

In addition to online job boards, many job search tips will tell you how great social media can. Not only can you find jobs on these platforms, but you can also build and promote your own personal brand. That way, recruiters can also actively look for you.

Many companies use sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to post their vacancies online. So, keep an eye out on what your favourite brands or recruiters are up to. Hopefully, they’ll publish their most recent job posts as soon as they go live.

One thing to note here: it’s important to keep your profiles recruiter friendly. After all, potential employers may do an online search for you before they meet you. Delete any content that someone could deem as inappropriate and if you can, make your profile private.

Network like a pro

New technologies continue to change the way we search and apply for jobs; but don’t neglect the old fashioned way. Networking doesn’t just extend as far as social media sites; talk to people you know and see if they have, or know of, any suitable vacancies for you.

You never know, Uncle Patrick might have a friend whose daughter is working for your dream employer. Or maybe your mum’s cousin is a big dog in the industry you’re hoping to get into.

Put it out there and let people know you’re keen to find a new role. Building a strong network both online and offline is important when looking for a new job. You could even approach companies yourself – why not print off your CV and hand them out in person?!

Keep learning

What other job search tips should you be aware of? Well, if you aren’t currently working, then it’s a good idea to use your free time wisely and continue learning and enhancing your CV.

There are lots of training opportunities that you can take part in, or you could work on strengthening your existing knowledge or skills.

Another helpful task to do if you have time is to find some work experience or volunteer work. This not only enhances your skills, but also reduces any gaps in your CV. Not to mention that it shows recruiters you’re remaining proactive.

If you do gain any qualifications or get any other type of work experience during your job hunt, be sure to update this on your CV. Work experience or learning new skills could also open up new opportunities and ideas. This may even change your original search criteria, opening you up to a new and exciting career path.

Don’t burn out

When it comes to applying for jobs, it can sometimes feel like you should put a rush on your search. There’s certainly pressure to apply for as many roles as you can, as quickly as possible. But don’t fall into this trap.

Dedicate your most productive hours of the day to your job search. And be careful that you don’t burn yourself out by not leaving your computer. Get up, stretch your legs and even get some fresh air; it’ll actually make you more productive.

So, try to keep a good balance. Use the rest of your free time to build your experience or take up a new sport or hobby; these will contribute not just to your CV and job search, but also to your overall wellbeing.

Stay organised

Other job search tips to be aware of include the need to be organised. Make sure you’re keeping track of all the jobs you apply to; keep note of the title, location and maybe even some insights on the exact job spec if you can.

This way, if you hear back about a role, you won’t have to dig through a pile of applications or scour the web trying to find the original post; you’ll have all the information you need ready and waiting.

Another part of staying organised is keeping your CV and cover letter up to date. Plus, if you have followed our advice and have tailored them to each role you apply to, make sure you save every version with a clear name.

Stay positive

Staying positive during your job search can be tough; especially if you’ve been on the hunt for a long time. Try to remain positive even when it does seem slow; focus on other areas such as the interview process to ensure you still feel positive and productive.

It’s also important that you don’t let rejection get you down. If you’ve been for an interview (or possibly a few) and not got the job, use the experience as an opportunity to learn and practise.

The job market can be competitive and although it can be difficult to stand out, try not to take it personally if you’re passed over for a job.

Listen to others

If an employer tells you that your application hasn’t been successful, or you went to an interview but didn’t get the job, be sure to ask for feedback.

Whether it’s your CV, cover letter, or interview techniques that need work (or it could just be that you were up against more qualified candidates) getting feedback means you can begin improving in these weaker areas.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to ask for advice from your friends or family. Why not do a mock interview with one of them? Or get them to look over your CV and cover letter?

When you’ve read and re-read something so many times, it’s easy to become detached from it and end up simply skimming the text; a fresh pair of eyes could be just what you need to make sure your CV and cover letter are perfect!

Take note of these job search tips

The process of finding a new job can be tiring, especially if you don’t feel as if you’re getting anywhere. However, we hope that our job search tips will help you as you look to find a new role.

Try to remain positive and keep organised to maximise your search. Whilst you look, continue learning so you can always be updating your skills, and be sure to make the most of all the tools out there. Good luck!