Looking for a job can be a stressful experience and a bit of a minefield, especially if you have never searched before, are young with limited experience and skills or have been out of the job market for an extended period of time.
Whether you are looking for your very first job, switching careers, looking for a new challenge or just re-entering the job arena, finding the right job can be a daunting prospect.
So how do you go about finding a company who you would like to work for? And once you have found them, how do you convince them that you are the candidate they are looking for? Employment isn’t just a one way street – you need to want to work for a company just as much as they need to want to employ you!
Here we offer you some tips to set you on the right path:
Revise your CV.
We all know it is important to present a concise, well written and up-to-date CV – it will be the first impression that a potential employer or recruitment agency will have of you. It describes what sets you aside from other applicants and what makes your application special and relevant to that specific job vacancy. Your CV needs to work hard for you and hopefully secure you an interview so make sure that you spend the time on it that it deserves in order to create a document that you can be proud of.
You should tailor your CV for each job that you are applying for. Emphasize details of your skills and attributes relevant to each unique job advert rather than just sending the same CV to multiple employers. The more closely your skills match the requirement of a specific position, the more likely you are to be invited for an interview.
And don’t forget your covering letter! Your CV and covering letter is your chance to show an employer the best of what you’ve got. It’s about selling your skills and experience, and showing them you’re the right person for the job. How you write your CV and covering letter is up to you, but there are some basic rules to follow if you want to create the best impression.
You will find more tips on writing a good CV and covering letter in our Candidates section.
Do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? This is an important and interesting exercise to do. Use the internet and research any companies you think you might like to work for to discover more about them and see if they have an employment section on their site – maybe they have an open position that would suit you. It doesn’t matter if the companies in your sights are local, national or even global, the process is the same – learn something about them. Professional associations or University career pages could help you find local companies in your career field and/or industry or just make Google your friend. If you do get as far as an interview, it is very important to go with some former knowledge about the company so that you can ask pertinent questions of your own and demonstrate that you have done some research and are genuinely interested in the company.
Many job vacancies are never advertised to the public so how do you get to hear about them? Many people get such jobs through networking and recommendations. Talk to your relatives, friends and their families or members of clubs that you may belong to. Talk to them about what they do and where they work. When you meet someone who has similar interests or is working in the type of job that you would like to have, make sure you connect with them on social media and stay in touch with them to ensure you remain in their mind when work opportunities come up.
Recruitment agencies and job websites.
Recruitment agencies and job websites have become major players in today’s job industry. More and more companies are relying on the expertise of a recruitment agency for filling vacant positions. Recruitment agencies search for suitable candidates who might suit positions with one or more companies on their books. Based on a job and requirement description they search for suitable candidates through their own website, network, job fairs, job sites and increasingly on social media. So make sure your profiles are up to date and follow local recruitment companies on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here at Better Prospects, we encourage job seekers to register with us and send us your CV. We will then, wherever possible, invite you in to meet you face to face to find out more about you and the role that you are looking for. If we don’t have any current vacancies that match your needs, by getting to know you and your wishes, you will be the first to hear about any opportunities that come up. Often, roles are filled this way before they even make it on to the website!
Build your online personal brand.
As a job seeker, you need to have a professional online presence that can easily be found by companies or recruiters. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is current and demonstrates any skills that you have as well as your career history – think of it as an online CV. And don’t discount Facebook and Twitter as tools in your search. Follow, like and engage with any prospective companies where you would like to work as well as with recruitment companies. Many recruitment companies, including Better Prospects, are using social media as a tool to find good candidates as well as to connect with existing and prospective clients.
Prepare for interviews.
After all that hard work, you’ve secured yourself an interview – congratulations. It’s normal to feel nervous when you have an interview because you want to do your best. With preparation and practice you can get the better of your nerves and give yourself the best chance of getting the job. Read our top tips – dos and don’ts – and see how you may be able to improve your performance. And there is some interesting advice on our blog about how your body language tells its own story.
And finally – good luck in your job search!