Tips for a successful job search
Job hunting is exciting, especially if you are leaving school. It is a chance to start earning some proper money and getting your working life off the ground, but it can have its challenges too.
Here are some top tips to help in your job search.
Identify your career goals
What are you looking for in your career? What motivates you? Is it money, job satisfaction, working outside and getting your ‘hands dirty’? Perhaps you prefer to work in an office, or maybe the chance to work overseas excites you? Are you good with people and think you would make a good manager?
Identifying your career goals will help you understand what kind of job you should start looking for.
Make sure your CV and cover letter is tailored to the job role
You should have an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV), summarising your educational qualifications and work experience. If you are making speculative applications then you should always include a covering letter with your CV, explaining why you think you are a good fit to work for the company in question.
Most people will have a version of their CV and covering letter. The important thing to do is to make sure that both your CV and covering letter are updated and tailored to fit the company or job you are applying for. You don’t have to write a new covering letter every time – unless you want to. Just update it so that a potential employer would have no doubt that it relates to the role they want to fill.
Get some more tips on writing a cover letter for jobs in construction.
Review your social media
When an employer receives a job application, they may do some initial research. They often look at an applicant’s social media profiles, so it is worthwhile reviewing your accounts on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check there is nothing you would not want a prospective employer to see, or to update your settings so that only the most basic information about you is publicly available.
If there are any photographs, videos or posts that you think could create a negative impression of you in the eyes of potential employers, delete them.
Dedicate time to searching for your job
How much time should you spend on your job search?
It will all depend on your personal circumstances, and whether you are already working, in full-time education or unemployed. No one is expecting you to spend all the time you have available making job application after job application. If you are at school or have a full-time job, then try to fit in a couple of hours per night and then maybe the same at the weekends. If you are unemployed, then 20-25 hours a week will probably be more than most of your rivals for job vacancies, without your job search overwhelming you or putting you under too much stress.
Invest time in yourself with training
As we have said, 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week does not have to be spent job hunting. The time you have left can be used in improving your skills through training courses. There are many free courses you can attend online and in person. These will help to demonstrate your commitment to learning more about a certain career or industry, and can be added to your CV and mentioned in any job applications or covering letters.
Decide on the industry you want to work in
One of the first steps to take as part of your job search is to settle on an industry or type of job you want to do or think you would be suited to. This could, obviously, be anything – but try to make sure it is realistic for the qualifications you have or hope to achieve.
Not everyone can be an astronaut, brain surgeon or footballer, but there are many more opportunities than you think may be available to you. If you’re not sure about what you want to do, get some careers advice.