Knowledge Centre for recruitment

Starting Your Job Search

Sometimes finding the right job for you can be simple. An ad in the job section grabs your attention. A friend of a friend knows someone who's hiring. Your CV lands on the right desk at the right time.

Of course, relying on chance to land you that perfect job is probably not the most reliable approach. So, if you are setting out to find the job of your dreams, where do you start?

1. Define what you're looking for

  • You need to be clear about what you are and aren't looking for
    • Type of work, salary, location, industry, prospects etc...
  • Blance the dream job with a dose of reality, what's really out there
  • And, if you're not quite ready for that dream job, what kinds of work can help lead you there
  • With all that in mind it's time to do your homework,
    • Research your chosen roles and industry ....
    • What are they looking for?

2. Take stock - what are your pro's and con's

You're selling yourself and just like any other service you'll have strengths and weaknesses
  • Trick is to maximise your strengths
    • Build your CV around core attributes that your target industry or career path is looking for.
  • And, minimise your weaknesses
    • If there are gaps in your work history can you fill them? Consider part time, charity or voluntary work
    • Do you need to get a specific qualification or professional membership?
    • Fill the holes

3. Prepare the basics

Every job search will need a few basics pieces - think of it as a marketing campaign

  • Your CV - Professional, interesting and in a usable format
    • Never send a standardised CV, make changes to make it relevant to the employer you're applying to
  • Cover letter - Where possible this should be unique to each application BUT you can create something of a template to work from to speed up the process
  • Outline ‘blurb' - Many recruitment websites will allow you to create a short blurb about yourself, keep it short, punchy and memorable
  • References - Written references are great and make sure to prep your referees to expect phone calls, a momentary lapse (i.e. forgetting your name) could spell disaster
  • Email address - might seem like a good fun but it's unlikely to impress potential employers
  • Contact - Apart from email addresses make sure to provide plenty of contact options, if you won't be able to take calls at a certain time of day you may want to make arrangements for someone to take a message or redirect a landline to your mobile phone answering machine

4. Choose your targets and go after them

  • Now that you know what you're looking for, what's needed to achieve it and where you stand you can start creating specific businesses or types of businesses to target
  • Find out everything you can about your targets
  • For specific companies you'll want to know how they normally recruit (where, when, how) and make sure you put yourself on their radar
  • You can also do your best to ensure you begin to get yourself known within the industry or market in which they operate
    • Attend industry events
    • Go to networking functions
  • You can even be more specific and go after your target businesses directly by sending your CV through or even calling the business to enquire about vacancies

5. Get help

To find your perfect job you're going to need some help, here are a few people who might be able to help you

  • Friends & family - Make sure they all know that you're looking - and what you're looking for
  • Industry contacts - If you follow the advice from above you'll start to develop contacts, make them aware that you're looking, what you're looking for and ask them to be on the lookout for you. A bit of networking with the right people might even lead you to a direct interview.
  • Recruitment companies - You'll no doubt want to register with recruitment agencies within your chosen fields. Make their job easy by working with them. Make sure they know exactly the kinds of roles you'll be interested in, keep in regular contact to keep your name fresh in their heads and make sure you do as good a job selling yourself to them as you would in an interview.

A systemised approach will help maximise your potential and help land that dream job.

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