Like choosing a life partner or a favourite brand of crisps, it’s not really possible to become an expert at finding a job. If you’re good at it, you are unlikely to do it often enough to become an expert.
Thankfully, we work with, and learn from, job seekers every day and have used that knowledge to compile a list of tips to help you search for a job like an expert, even if it’s your first time.
- Think about synonyms, don’t just search for a single job title.
- Search multiple locations, you never know where your perfect job will be advertised.
- Find the name of the person you would like to work for within a business and apply directly to them.
- Sign up for regular job alerts so some jobs come to you.
- Use your network, ask friends, contacts and family about job opportunities.
- Don’t apply to multiple roles with the same employer.
- Follow companies you would like to work for on social media to find out about jobs first.
- Give time to your job search every single day.
- Apply early, don’t wait for a deadline.
- Don’t apply for roles you think you might be able to get, apply for jobs you want to do.
- Don’t rely on spellcheck, read your CV to check for errors.
- Keep it under 800 words.
- Tailor your CV to every job application; match your language to the job spec.
- Think about the keywords a recruiter is likely to use to review your CV.
- Start with the most relevant information to the job you are applying for.
- You only need to include your most recent and most relevant experience.
- Stick to Microsoft Word docs unless you’re a designer or have a specific reason for being creative.
- Make sure your CV is well laid out and easy to read, with a clear structure.
- Avoid jargon, the first person to read your CV may not understand it.
- Double-check for errors, spelling mistakes and typos before sending.
- Never arrive late for an interview.
- Make sure you know where you are going and who you are meeting before you leave the house.
- Dress appropriately – when in doubt, dress up.
- Avoid distractions like flashy jewellery, heavy perfume or extravagant clothing.
- Remember to smile, have a firm handshake and make eye contact.
- Prepare your answers beforehand; you should have a good idea of what you will be asked.
- Practice in a mirror, with a friend or on camera to help with nerves and delivery.
- Focus your answers on your successes and give specific examples.
- Make sure your phone is off or on silent (not vibrate) and never answer it in an interview.
- Be yourself; don’t try to be what you think the interviewer wants you to be.
- Don’t be afraid to say no, you don’t have to take a job just because it’s offered.
- Let your current manager know as soon as you decide to take a job.
- Don’t let your work suffer by daydreaming about a new job, just in case the offer never comes.
- If your current employer makes a counter-offer, think about it but don’t try to start a bidding war.
- If you aren’t happy with an offer explain why and outline what you are looking for.
- Be realistic in your expectations.
- If you don’t get the job, ask for feedback.
- Take your time and make sure you make the right choice for you.
- Consider every single factor – location, hours, benefits, environment and salary.
- Don’t be downhearted if you don’t get the job – keep working at it and you will get the next one.