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Job Hunting Is A Job

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Having worked in the recruitment industry for many years, I’ve helped find new roles for hundreds of candidates and I understand it can be time consuming spending time researching vacancies and companies.

A very good candidate who I was fortunate enough to help secure a new role told me that when he decided that he was going to look for a new career job, he treated it like having another part time job and I believe that his approach to job hunting is first class. I believe that his approach was first class and by preparing and allocating time, I am confident that you will find the whole process a lot more rewarding. In this article I explain the 8 key stages to job searching:

1. Get your CV up to date (Click Here) and make sure that you have included your career highlights and achievements as well as your keys skills. Don’t try to be “everything to everyone” and instead focus on what your main job is and not your job description then play to your strengths. Don’t include what you believe are the most sought after skills as unless you have this experience, you’ll be wasting your own time as well as that of the interviewer. Check for spelling and make sure that your CV is consistent. Also, make sure that you have contact details on your CV which should include a professional email address and not something made up when you were 15 years old (Click Here) and a contact telephone number. Your contact telephone number should have a recorded message on it from you so that potential employers know that they have reached the right person. There should also be the facility for a voice mail message to be left since many potential employers won’t call you back if they can’t leave you a message.

2. If you are on social media sites such as LinkedIn, please make sure that your profile is also up-to-date and consistent with your CV. Remember a good photograph can also make a huge difference instead of a silhouette. Not only do recruiters search on LinkedIn but so do companies who are looking to hire talent. Be sure to use words which highlight your skills or else add these to your “top skills”. These skills will register in specific searches that potential employers may be carrying out.

3. Decide on your “elevator pitch” and write it down. Be clear about your strengths and also about your career aspiration. Be confident about how you articulate this both to recruiters who might be helping you and be practiced for an interview.

4. Now you’re ready to start applying for great career opportunities. Make sure that you have decided which recruiters you want to help you and which job boards you wish to register with. Set up alerts for the types of vacancy that you are interested in and please make sure that you read the advert fully. If there is space for a cover letter then use it, however, DO NOT use the same standard cover letter for every role. Otherwise, you are back to trying to be “everything to everyone” and it will be clear that you have no attention to detail. Just recently, we received an application for a job paying £90,000 and someone applied with a cover letter stating that they were looking for an entry level opportunity!

5. So, you’ve applied for a job, you’ve been invited to interview. The first stage, be flexible and try to get your interview set up as early as possible. It’s not just you applying for this role and as well as other applicants due to attend the interview, there will potentially be more than one interviewer. If you become too inflexible such as making your interview outside of working hours and only at certain times, you may well end up losing the chance of a meeting. It is a good idea to make sure that you haven’t used up all your holiday allowance so that you can take time off to attend an interview.

6. Preparing for the interview (Click Here) or (Here) could mean preparation for a telephone interview or preparation for the full meeting. You’ve probably read loads of articles / books on interviews and competencies and recent posts from Zed about the hardest questions (refer link) and much of this may seem really basic however remember, you committed to turning your job hunting activities into a part-time job, you’re investing time with this. You’ve done all the preparatory work with your CV, your LinkedIn profile, your research into employers, recruiters and job boards, so don’t let all of this go to waste.

7. Be prepared and make sure at least, you have covered the following:

  • How much research have you done on the company? Have you looked at their website? Do you know anyone who works there?

  • How much research have you done on the interviewers? Have you looked at them on LinkedIn? Have you Googled them?

  • Have you read and re-read the job description?

  • Have you read and re-read your CV?

  • Have you double checked the time and place of your interview? Will you get there on time?

  • What questions do you think you will be asked?

  • Are you ready for questions about competencies? Questions about why you are leaving your current role? Questions about why you are interested in this role? Can you do the job? Why this company?

  • While salary expectations might not be spoken about at this stage, are you clear about them and can you JUSTIFY them?

  • What questions do you have for the interviewer?

8. After the interview, it’s worth taking the time to sit somewhere quiet like a nearby café and note down how you felt about the job and the people that you met. You can also include your initial thoughts about the company and their offices and how you felt being there. You should note any questions which you later felt that you should have asked and you should also include any points about you or your experience that you should have added. If you are invited back for a further meeting, you can ensure that these points and questions are covered. You should really do this as soon as you can after your interview since your initial reaction is important so write it down while the adrenalin is still flowing.

By following these tips, you will have a better chance to secure your next career opportunity and you’ll realise that treating your job hunt as a part time job was well worth it!

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