You may have just this minute decided to leave your current position or you may have been looking for a new job for what seems like years. Regardless of where you’re at in your job search, there’s always something more you can do to increase your chances of finding your dream role. We’ve put together a few tips to inspire, motivate and drive you towards where you deserve to be.
1. Look in the Right Places
If you’re finding it hard to identify jobs that match your skills, experience and interests, you may be looking in the wrong place. For example, when we spend hours looking through vacancies on generic online job boards, it may feel like we’re doing something but we’re really using our time inefficiently. Look at more specialist job boards relevant to your niche instead. Go directly to your dream organization’s website to check what vacancies it has. Follow companies that interest you on Twitter and LinkedIn so that you’ll be the first to know when they start hiring.
2. Do Your Research
To really know what you’re talking about on a job application or in an interview, it’s important to thoroughly research the industry, sector, employer and job type of your choice. Use the internet, local libraries, the press and professional publications to research things like the current state of your chosen market segment, how your ideal employer is performing in comparison to its competitors and the people you may end up working for and with.
3. Fill the Gaps
You may need to fill any gaps in your skills set or knowledge if you’re going for the very top jobs or a kind of role you haven’t held before. Consider taking a course at your local further education college or doing workshops related to your niche. Even just borrowing relevant books from the library and reading up on what you need to know is an effective way of expanding your knowledge base and adding to your capabilities.
4. Read All About It
Even if it feels like you’ve already read every book your library has on your career field and on job hunting in general, starting a new book may yet give you fresh inspiration and ideas. Getting new reading material on a regular basis is as easy as downloading an eBook from the internet. It only takes a couple of minutes, if that. Check out career advice sites’ eBook libraries to see if anything takes your fancy.
5. Press Play
If reading isn’t your thing and you respond better to visual stimuli, look online for inspiring videos to watch. There are thousands of short films and news clips detailing how people have bounced back from long-term unemployment or redundancy to land the job of their dreams. Seeing others’ success stories for yourself will hopefully give you the extra motivation you need to keep going in your job search.
6. Take a Break
If you’ve already been job hunting for quite a while and feel like you’re not getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to take some much needed time off from the job hunt. Take a short holiday if you can afford it or simply spend the day in a park, gardens or coffee shop you don’t usually go to. A change of scenery will give you a bit of breathing space, allowing you to slowly get back on top of things and return to your job hunt with a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm.
7. Invest in You
Even if you can’t arrange a change of scenery, you can still treat yourself in order to refresh yourself during the job search. Spend some quality time with a friend or relative who you haven't seen for a while or try to pamper yourself a bit by giving yourself spa treatments at home or cooking your favourite dish. Refreshing and revitalising yourself will help keep your spirits up as you continue to look for work.
8. Get Feedback
Looking for a job can be an isolating, lonely experience. If we spend too much time by ourselves, alone with only our own ideas for company, we can start going stir crazy. Bounce ideas off others by discussing your situation with a friend, former or current colleague, or a professional career guide or coach. Join a career-based online community where you can speak to like-minded individuals at a similar stage in their careers from the comfort of your own home.
9. Craft Your CV
Recruiters get so many CVs sent to them a day that they typically only have time to glance at each one for a few seconds before deciding whether to shortlist it or shred it. Your CV needs to make a good impression on whoever’s skimming it in those short few seconds. Keep it short and sharp, including only the most relevant information.
10. Ace the Interview
The initial job interview is the first chance you get to impress a potential employer in person. If you don’t represent yourself well, it may be your first and last chance. The key to acing a job interview is to prepare well for it. This is not about picking out the “perfect” outfit – appearance isn’t everything, although it is important to look smart and professional.
The majority of your preparation time should actually be spent on crafting the message you’re looking to give out at the interview. Look up common interview questions and think about how you’ll answer them. Think of examples that illustrate each of your skills and qualities. Prepare a few pertinent questions to ask the interviewer.
Nisa Chitakasem is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. She is also the author of How to Get the Job You Want and 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips. Follow her @PosIgnition