Job hunting Preparation and action is crucial

Searching for a job is a full time job in itself. It can take anything from one day to over a year to find one. Preparation and action is crucial. It is not going to be easy. You may get frustrated, you may feel people are not helping you and you may need to change how you look at things or your initial plans to get onto or back onto the job ladder. One thing is for sure - you need to help yourself and do a lot of it. Other people can support you but they cannot do it for you. This is all about you.

You need to accept and overcome such things as:

  •  too many people chasing too few vacancies
  • lots of better qualified people chasing jobs that you want
  • finding getting an interview impossible
  • jobs going before they are advertised
  • rejection – even though it is demotivating and depressing
  • job searching making you feel like you have no control over your life.

Step one – a system

Develop a system for looking for a job. This way you focus on the process without having to worry yet about the results. Keep track of the calls you make, the CVs you send, the applications you complete and the interviews you get.

Step two – a goal

Decide on the type of job you want to do but don’t discount others as they come along. Have a goal but don’t forget the stepping stones. The administration job may not be what you want ultimately but can it be a stepping stone? The answer should be yes, it will teach you skills that you can use anywhere.

Have a goal job but don’t be above other jobs to get there. Which is the greater pain - working really hard at a number of different jobs or not having a job and not being able to pay your bills?

Remember the job you get today may not be the job you will have forever and it won’t be the job you have forever if you have already set yourself a different goal.

Step three – be ready

Have the following ready, so that you can be quick to respond to an opportunity:

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Skills and attributes descriptive
  • Reference details
  • Interview clothes
  • A positive attitude (even if you don’t feel it inside, you need to portray it from the outside).

Step four – look for a job


There are plenty of jobsites out there for job hunting. Make sure you check them regularly, get the new job alerts and have your CV uploaded to them. Registering with jobsites is a good idea then you are good to go as soon as you see a job you are interested in. They are not always the answer though - don’t use them as your only tool.

Company websites

Have a list of companies that you are interested in working for and check if they have a website. If they do it is highly likely that they advertise any vacancies through their website. Get into the routine of checking them weekly, check out how they expect applicants to apply and be prepared so that you can react as soon as you see an opportunity.

Social media

Is an excellent way to interact with future employers, businesses and job forums. It allows you to network with people you would not otherwise meet and find job positions that employers are only advertising in these spaces. There are lots of types of social media that you can use to find positions including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

You could also start your own blog or website.

If you are using social media to find a job role then you must make sure that any accounts you hold are maintained in a professional manner and they do not show you in a negative light.

Target your social media search. Posting a Facebook status saying, “I want a job. Who can help me?” will get you nowhere. You are being far too vague. Be specific about what sort of job you are looking for, is it full-time or part-time etc.

Personalise your message. Just having profiles on different social networks is not enough to find a job. You need to carefully craft the messages you’re sending. Blasting generic messages is equivalent to walking down a busy street shouting that you are looking for work; you are speaking to nobody in particular and wasting your time.

It’s also worth joining social media groups that are aimed at job searchers or advertise vacancies.

People that you know

Call every person that you know and if they pass you a contact then call them. Don’t be embarrassed - be proud that you are active and working for yourself.

Sending out your CV speculatively

Sending out your CV without following it up with a telephone call is pointless. Always send a cover letter with the CV and advise the employer that you will be ringing and stick to it. Try and get the hirer’s name. It might not always be possible but you should try.

Make telephone calls to companies

You can ring companies to see if they are hiring or to find out who manages their job applications.

Job trial or work experience

You know that ‘x’ company is hiring in a few weeks or hires at the same time every year so if you can, offer your skills for free for a couple of weeks. It is one of the best ways to learn about the company, put yourself in front of those that hire and gain experience. Make yourself invaluable so that they know who you are when you apply for the job and put the experience on your application. A word of caution; make sure that you are not being exploited as a free worker and make sure that the employer insurance covers your unpaid position.

Check the local papers

It is becoming less popular but there are still a few organisations that advertise in the local press.


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