Previously published in the online ‘Brite Future’ magazine: May 2016.
“Whenever I’ve been unemployed, I’ve always treated job searching as my current job. I make sure I job search every day.”
We all know that job searching, whilst exciting in the beginning, can become very tiresome. It takes lots of applications and interviews to actually get a job, and so it’s easy to slip into bad habits that render your job search unproductive. To get out of this, try my five tips below to motivate yourself again and start seeing results.
1. Use multiple job searching methods
The internet has made job searching a lot easier than it could be. Rather than trawl round every potential employment in the area, it only takes a couple of clicks to find what’s going nearby.
However, this doesn’t mean that skimming over Indeed for 5 minutes a day is sufficient. If you really want a job, then you need to be exploring as many job searching avenues as you can – don’t just use job searching sites, but browse the websites of companies you’d like to work for. Look on noticeboards and social media for postings. And every once in a while, do trawl round town looking for vacancies, because that’s where you’ll often find them. Plus, handing your CV over to the manager is a lot easier than the 15 page application online!
2. Create a schedule – and stick to it!
Whenever I’ve been unemployed, I’ve always treated job searching as my current job. I make sure I job search every day, and I always set aside some time to do it. Doing this can help to avoid the issues in the previous point, and also makes you feel more organised and aware. Having that time to job search without distractions gives you a much better focus, and so you’ll be less likely to slip up on an application form, or start with the “I’ll look at that properly tomorrow” approach.
Sadly, there is no ‘one CV fits all’, and this is especially relevant if you’re searching for different kinds of job. To save spending time altering your CV with each application (or not bothering to alter it and so not getting a response), create a CV for each job sector you’re moving into. You don’t have to write them all up from scratch – make one generic one and then create tailored copies of it. It saves you time, and feels like a lot less effort in the long run!
4. Create your own application form templates
People always tell me that they hate job searching because of the lengthy application forms they have to fill in. They tell me “it’s just the same questions again and again,” and “it takes me a good hour to fill one form in, so of course I’m not applying for multiple jobs each day”.
They are right – job applications really do take a lot of time, as they need to get a lot of information out of you. It doesn’t have to take hours though. Each time you get asked a question in an application form, answer it usual and then copy and paste that answer onto a document, with the question as the title. Whenever you’re job searching, you can refer to this – I guarantee there’s only a finite amount of questions you’ll get asked. You may have to tweak them every so often (the answer must always directly link to the question!) but it’ll save you loads of time overall.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know”
5. Network whenever you can
“It’s not what you know, but who you know” is a really common mantra within the world of work, and it’s quite true. Although having qualifications and experience is really important, sometimes having contacts can prove very useful. When you’re unemployed or actively job searching then make sure people know about your situation. If you find out about someone that could potentially offer you an opportunity, then get in contact with them. You won’t ever lose anything from actively networking with a wide range of people, and you may just end up with a new opportunity ahead of you!