Job hunting is not generally something people want to do on a regular basis. It is time consuming, uncertain and can be highly stressful – particularly if you’ve suddenly found yourself out of a job.
The good news is that you can maximise your chances of a successful and timely job hunt with three very simple steps.
1. Know What You Want
It sounds so simple, but having a thorough understanding of what you are looking for in your next role will streamline your search and prevent you from potentially wasting time on roles that don’t match your criteria. Consider:
Salary – what is your current salary and what are you looking for. Are you hoping for a pay rise and if so, how are you justifying this? Whilst no one wants to go backwards in salary, also consider what is your absolute bottom line / what you might be willing to trade off for areas like new skills development, 5 weeks leave, a company car etc.
Company – what type of company are you hoping to sign on with? Are they big, small or you don’t mind about size? Consider what is important within the company, such as culture, ambitions, mission statements etc.
Job Particulars – what type of role are you looking for and does your experience match it? Most people look to diversify their skills but if you have potentially applicable skills but have never actually worked in that industry, you are unlikely to get a call back and will have wasted time applying. If you’re interested but unsure, a quick call to the hiring manager on the ad is a good idea to check your suitability.
For your own role, it’s a good idea to think about what aspects of your job you love and what you’d like to do less of if possible. It may not be possible, but it’s worth knowing your own working preferences.
Professional Development / Career Goals – consider where you would like to be in 5 years’ time and if the job you’re applying for adds value to that plan. It’s well worth keeping in mind any skills development you are hoping to gain access to and if the role can provide them. If you’re ambitious to climb that ladder, will the company be able to provide adequate promotional opportunities?
Location – when you’re in a pickle, it’s easy to compromise on your preferred location for the security of a regular pay check. Don’t however discount the importance of where you are working / commute times and ease of access. The role may be perfect, but if you’re spending two hours commuting there and back every day, it also may be short lived.
Non-Negotiable vs. Areas of Compromise – once you’ve gone through and determined what’s important to you, also have a think about what from this list is completely non-negotiable and what areas may be open to compromise. This will help you to narrow down your list of potential options.
2. Stay Organised
So now that you know what you want, it’s time to make a plan to put yourself out there and get it in a way that maximises your opportunities in the least amount of time (let’s face it, you’re busy enough!). Strategies we recommend:
Find a Good Recruiter – we know what you’re thinking, of course we’re going to say this, we’re recruiters! But even if you don’t want to speak to ALRA, we are still going to tell you to find a good recruiter who specialises in your area of expertise. Statistically, only around 20% of roles available in the market are advertised at any given time. This means that if you are only looking at job boards, you are going to miss out on a lot of potential job opportunities.
A good recruiter will have access to roles that aren’t widely known and speaks daily to a variety of people within your industry. They can therefore provide a lot of information that won’t be on a website or job advertisement and help guide you through the best options for your needs.
They can also manage the organisation of interviews and paperwork for you, taking a lot of time out of the process.
Know Where You’ve Applied – one of the biggest turn-offs for a hiring manager is seeing the same CV sent multiple times (either by the applicant, through multiple recruiters or both). It looks disorganised, desperate and raises questions about your memory and attention to detail.
To stay on top of the process, but together a spreadsheet or table of where your CV has been sent, the date sent, any responses received, interviews scheduled and any particular standout titbits that you liked about the role. This will help you stay completely in control.
Calendarise your Meetings – add any meetings to your calendar immediately (with 1-2 alerts designed to help you remember). If you are in the lucky position of being courted by multiple companies, an up to date calendar is a must to help you balance your current work commitments and interview schedule.
Electronic CV Copy (on all devices) – try to keep an electronic copy of your CV on all your devices. This way, when a good role pops up, no matter where you are, you’ll be able to jump in quick.
3. Stay Positive!
Finally, any job hunt will have its ups and downs. You may be lucky enough to receive an offer for every position you apply for but more likely (and for most people), you will receive knock-backs along the way. If you use these setbacks as a learning experience for your next interviews, then you are absolutely going to be successful.
Want to hear more about what might be out there for your job hunt? Get in touch via the form below for a confidential chat with one of the ALRA consultants.
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