Starting your job search can feel overwhelming and confusing. Often people ask themselves: where is the best place to start my job search? What should I be looking out for when applying for jobs? And what should I expect from the job hunting process?
The Job Hunting Process Can Be Daunting…
It can be a daunting prospect beginning your job search, especially when you don’t know exactly what you want to do (which is most of us if we are being really honest). From creating your CV and searching aimlessly on job sites to writing job applications for the first time; the job hunting process can feel overwhelming and fall victim to time-wasting.
Following these simple steps on the job hunting process will give you an insight into what to expect and how you can best spend your time finding a job right for you.
Step 1: What makes you YOU?
As you may see on most ‘help-me-find-a-job’ type websites, the most helpful thing to do is write down what you enjoy doing. This may sound rather mundane, but figuring out what you actually like doing can be difficult for many people. Having a list of interests and hobbies can help to not only organise your thoughts, but help you decide what type of company you want to work for.
Have a think about your soft skills as well as your interests when starting your job hunt. Are you an excellent communicator? Do you enjoy interacting with people? Or do you prefer number crunching and putting your keen organisational skills to the test? If it is the former, a front of house or client relations role may be best for you. If it is the latter, start with taking a look at administrator positions.
Step 2: Do your research.
Look online and explore the vast number of industry sectors that are available. Look into all of them and see what sort of jobs they offer. You may find that many of them repeat the jobs they offer, so dig further and see what makes them different from each other.
I would also suggest looking into certain companies after you’ve had a look at the industry sectors. You could have a look into different sized companies in different locations.
Another really great tip is to investigate the company culture and to try and work out whether you could see yourself fitting in with it. Take a look on Linkedin at the current employees, have a read through their team pages or check out their blog sections, news stories and company updates. The culture of the company plays a huge role in how much you enjoy your work and how long you will stay in the company for, so this is a really important stage of your job hunting process. This researching task doesn’t have to take long, yet it can be highly effective when done properly.
Step 3: Find roles that excite you!
After you’ve done your research into different industries and made your decision as to where you see yourself ‘fitting in’, take a closer look at what jobs they offer.
Now is the exciting part of the job hunting process: finding roles that excite you. When thinking about the roles you want to apply for, ask yourself if you would enjoy the work and can see yourself working there. But remember, you are most likely not going to enjoy every part of your job. If you can do roughly 60-70% of the role that is described with the skills you have, apply! There will most likely be training at the company you are interested in, so my advice is: don’t apply for jobs where you can do all the requirements already as they will not challenge you enough.
Job hunting can either be done online, through adverts, or with the help of a recruitment agency. Or why not make use of a powerful combination of all three!
You may prefer to use an agency as they are knowledgeable and they can act as a middleman between you and the company you are applying for. If so, choose wisely. Take a look at their websites, reviews and the jobs they have on offer. Of course, I am going to steer you towards Sidekicks and but by using an agency, such as Sidekicks, they can help find jobs that are otherwise unavailable to you. They can also give you very sound advice on creating the perfect CV (check out this post for pointers) and to interview effectively and get the job you really want.
Step 4: Perfect Your CV.
After you have found a handful of jobs that you find interesting, whether you have used an agency or you have found the job yourself, take a look at your CV and then the role you are looking to apply for.
Your CV needs to reflect the skills (and personality) required for the role. Use keywords mentioned in the job advert and slot them into your CV where they fit fluidly. Make sure your dates are accurate and ALWAYS check your spelling and grammar. I advice getting at least two other people to proof your CV before you start sending it out. If you are working with a recruitment agency, they will help you through this process. In the mean time, check out our post on The Art Of Creating The Perfect CV.
Step 5: Finalising your application
Once you have carefully curated your CV, you made need to think about a Cover Letter to send with it. Cover letters are vitally important, so make sure you spend some time writing it. Talk about your soft skills (communication, organisation, problem solving) as well as your hard skills (your actual experience). Show that you have done your research on the company and explain why you would like to apply and why you think you would be a good fit for the role. Ask two or three friends / family members to proof your Covering Letter before you send it. Grammar and spelling mistakes are a big NO NO.
The Job Hunting Process: Final thoughts…
Hopefully, these steps will help you get you started on the job hunting process. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the first job that you apply for. The job hunting process takes time and practice. Which is why, if you are just starting out, it is helpful to have a recruiter supporting you through the process.
Happy job hunting!