Finding a new job can be time-consuming and frustrating. It is sometimes hard to know what you are doing wrong, or even know where to start. You can make your job search more streamlined and painless if you get on the front foot and use proactive strategies to find a new job.
No matter what stage you are in your career, here are some of my best tips for finding a new job.
1. Get clear on what you want
Before you start your job search, take the time to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, drivers, constraints and the type of work you enjoy doing. This will help you target your efforts.
2. Tailor your resume to each job
Your resume is one of the most important tools of your job search. Ensuring your resume showcases your skills, experiences and attributes is critical. Even more important is illustrating the impact you have in your roles. Include quantifiable achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
"Illustrating the impact you have in your roles is what will make you stand out from other candidates. Consider what makes you great at your job and learn how to articulate those things. They are what make you uniquely you."
3. Create your online career brand
Having a LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume (for most jobs). Having an optimised profile that is compelling is important so recruiters can find you and quickly ascertain your suitability for a role.
4. Have a plan
Being disciplined and directed will help ensure you are putting your efforts in the right place. Start to track the jobs you have applied for and what stage you are up to for each of them. This will not only give you clear actions to follow-up, but will also track what stage you are for each job.
5. Build, nurture and tap-into your network
60-80% jobs are found through networks. Tapping into your network will help uncover job leads, some that won't even have been advertised. Your network can't help you if they don't know you are looking for a new job or if they don't know what sort of job you are looking for. Ideally you should be spending 60+% of your job search efforts networking.
"Networking doesn't need to be scary. Think about a time you moved house and asked your new neighbour where the best doctor is in the area? That is networking! It is time to start reaching out to your contacts and letting them know you are in the job market."
6. Prepare & practice for your job interviews
Prepare responses to commonly asked interview questions and then start practicing your answers out loud. The saying "practice makes perfect" definitely applies here. The more prepared you are for an interview, the more likely you are to succeed.
"You don't get to make a first impression twice! Make your interview count by preparing answers to common questions and thinking about how are you are positioning your answers. Make your first impression a memorable one."
7. Write thank-you notes after your interviews
Write a short email to each of the people who interviewed you post your interview
to illustrate your professionalism and also your level of interest in the role. This can leave a lasting impression on interviewers and position you in a positive light.
Hopefully these tips help you in ensuring your job search is targeted and efficient. Having a more proactive approach to your job hunt will help you stay focussed and concentrating on the important things.