Job hunting tips to help you find your next job
Updated 4 May 2023
Whether you're looking for your first job, changing careers or just exploring new opportunities, job hunting can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are resources available and steps you can take to ensure you are well-informed during your career development. In this article, we discuss tips, advice and steps you can take to successfully find your next job.
Top job hunting tips
Job hunting is an exciting opportunity to discover your next career move. Using a variety of strategies when job hunting allows you to broaden your search and find a new job more quickly. The following tips will help your search. Utilising a combination of the tips and techniques shared below will make your job hunt even more effective. Top tips for job hunting include:
Be clear about what you're looking for
Before beginning the search process, take a moment to consider what type of role you're looking for. If you're considering a career change, take a moment to research different job titles in your desired field so that you know what to look for. Having a shortlist of ideal job titles, industry and salary expectations will help to narrow your search down.
Preparing your CV and cover letter
While a cover letter should be tailored to the role applied for, you can draft a template that's written for your ideal job position then edit it and add personalised details when submitting applications. The same applies to your CV.
If you have an idea of the job roles you'd like to apply for, then you can prepare your CV and be sure to highlight experience and qualifications relevant to your desired role. When applying to more than one role, create two different versions of your CV so that you can be relevant to each role. For example, if you're open to a Logistics Operative or a Logistics Supervisor role, you should create a resume to best suit the requirements of each role.
Take advantage of online job boards
Online job boards are a great place to start your search. Make use of search tools and filters to narrow down your job hunt in order to only see roles that match your needs. For example, you could use the keyword "administrative assistant" in your search and then apply filters for positions within 15 miles of you. If you're checking job boards frequently, it's helpful to sort listings to show the most recent postings first. This way you'll see roles recently posted first and won't risk sending duplicate applications to listings you saw previously.
Related: How to go about finding a new job
Research prospective employers
It can feel like job hunting is all about selling yourself, but you should be seeking employers that fit well with you and your goals. When you've found some job listings that you're interested in, be sure to research the companies to see if their objectives and culture align with yours. This is also a great opportunity to research each company so that you can ask engaging questions during the interview stage.
Reach out to agencies
While you're busy in your job hunt and possibly still working full time, recruitment agencies are a great way to have other people actively assist in your search. Agencies receive a fee from companies for successfully finding candidates, so it's in their best interest to contact you about positions that you qualify for. Take the time to get to know contacts at recruitment agencies within your field or local area. Let them know exactly what roles you're interested in, and they'll be able to contact you should suitable positions arise.
Having others vouch for your credentials can leave a strong impression on prospective employers. Referrals from your network will help you find out about upcoming vacancies. Attend networking events and professional workshops in order to meet professionals in your field. Sign up to the mailing lists of organisations within your industry to find out about upcoming events. There are plenty of online opportunities to connect with industry peers if you're not able to attend an in-person event.
Stop by in person
Stopping by in person allows you to make a memorable first impression on the hiring manager. If they have questions about your application during your job hunt, they can ask you in person, which can speed up the hiring process. This strategy is best suited to retail, hospitality and service jobs that have a shop or restaurant location. For office-based roles, you could reach out to the hiring manager to request an informational interview. This shows prospective employers that you're proactive and will help them remember you when fielding applications.
Clean up your online presence
With social media being prevalent in our day-to-day lives, it's important to remember that most content posted online is public for all to see. Search your name on Google to see what employers might see when researching you. Removing posts that might hinder your application and keeping public posts work-appropriate will ensure you're presenting the best version of yourself to a future employer.
For those searching for their first job or looking to change their career paths, temping can provide the opportunity to gain relevant work experience. If you accept temporary work placements, be sure to treat the role as seriously as you would a permanent placement. Temporary work can lead to permanent jobs. A wide range of industries make use of temporary staff, including hospitality, finance, construction and charities, so you might discover an interest in an industry you had not previously considered.
Expand your skills
Research the skills required for jobs you are interested in and actively work towards developing those skills. You might consider job-shadowing or asking someone you admire who works in the role to be your mentor in order to identify and grow the skills necessary for the position. Developing new skills also shows employers you're proactive about professional development while job hunting. For example, if you would like a career in accounting enrol, find an accredited training program to ensure you have the skills required for the role.
Keep an open mind
Although you should focus on roles you're qualified for while job hunting, feel free to apply to roles that you might not meet every requirement.
If you meet many of the requirements and have the experience, employers may be open to training you in any areas that you don't yet have experience in. For example, a candidate with experience as a manager may be considered for their management skills despite not being familiar with the specific software used at the company. Being a culture fit for the company is also important, so if your qualities and attributes match the company culture, the hiring manager may give you a chance. If you refrain from applying, you won't ever know.
Preparing for interviews
When the time comes that you're asked to interview for a role, ensure to prepare answers for common interview questions. Review the job description provided for the role. Plan a few short anecdotes that show you have the skills or qualities a hiring manager is looking for.
Related: How to prepare for an interview
After your interview, the hiring manager may see many more candidates for the open position, so taking the time to thank them can help them to remember you. Following up with an email or phone call also shows your interest and enthusiasm for an open position.
Keep track of the jobs you apply for
It's easy to lose track of which roles and companies you've applied for. Keeping a spreadsheet or list of the jobs and companies you've applied for while job hunting will keep you organised in your search. This will prevent accidentally submitting duplicate applications. You can even write down reminders to follow up with hiring managers after interviews.
Job hunting can take a while, so try not to feel disheartened if it takes longer than expected to find your next role. Employers are looking for enthusiastic candidates with a desire to perform well. Arriving at interviews with low energy doesn't result in a great first impression. Instead, arrive with confidence. Be prepared to show them why you're the best candidate for the role.
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