Everybody’s job hunt will be different. Whether you’re successful at catching that dream position or not depends on many things, including your education, your location, your job goals and your networking prowess. When it comes to effective job hunting, though, some things don’t change…
Your CV is never “finished”
It would be nice to have one perfect and complete CV to use for the rest of your life, but a CV is really something that’s flexible, relative and always changing. It’s a good idea to have a master CV template with all the standard information on it, but to tailor the rest to each specific application. Cover letters should be written specifically for each job, too.
Even if you’ve worked hard to create a CV that shines, you and your career are always evolving, so make sure it’s reflected on an updated CV.
Job hunt every day
Likewise, job hunting itself is something that’s better when done regularly and on a fixed routine. Pull out your calendar and block off windows where you plan to attend workshops, network, apply to jobs, interview, do some training or sit down with your CV for an hour. The important thing is to keep up your momentum and make it a habit.
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Have specific goals …and strategies to match
You can’t get what you want if you’re not entirely sure what that is. Ill-defined goals give an aura of desperation and disorganization to potential employers – and they waste everybody’s time, too.
Make some goals big ones (eg. find the perfect job within 6 months) and then make sure to have smaller ones to get you there (eg. send out 5 CVs everyday, complete a refresher course next month, chat to your cousin’s friend who is in the industry etc.) When you have solid goals, you’re able to make more realistic plans to achieve them.
Networking remains one of the most powerful ways to win yourself a new job – but it doesn’t have to be formal network events and meetups. Tell everyone you know about your job hunting goals – word will travel. Keep your ears pricked for opportunities. Become curious about what other people are up to and don’t be shy about asking to be introduced to someone.
Know your brand
Job hunting can be hard on the ego, and in time, you may lose that confident edge. It pays to keep developing your personal brand and making sure that you understand the full package you are offering potential employers. Don’t lose sight of volunteer work, outside hobbies and the exact characteristics that make you unique as an employee.
Mix things up
If something’s not working, stop doing it. It’s easy to get stuck in a job hunting rut, but you’ll be more effective (not to mention keep yourself sane!) if you try new things, apply to jobs that you wouldn’t ordinarily and experiment with different ways to approach potential employers.
Be time conscious
It may seem like when you’re unemployed, you have all the time in the world – but don’t waste it. You should manage your time just the same as if you were employed – get up each day at the same day, devote time to looking for work and don’t forget to make sure you’re making time to relax and recuperate.