How you go about starting your job search depends greatly on your situation. Someone who is looking for a role in the same industry that they currently work in will have a very different job-hunting experience from someone who is about to embark upon a career change in a new industry. Furthermore, an individual who is looking to take the next step in their career will have a different experience from someone who has recently lost their job and is looking for a short-term role before they secure a more permanent position.
However, there are some tips that all jobseekers will find useful as they start looking for jobs. In this article, we will discuss some of our top tips for starting your job search.
Once you have reviewed our top tips below, be sure to check out our common interview questions and answers article.
Figure out what it is that you need - From a step-up to a full career change, it’s important that you know what you are looking for prior to starting your job search. It can be helpful to think about what you like and dislike in your current role as this can help you to consider what you should be looking for in your job search.
Search the jobs that are out there - Next, it’s important to do your research by trawling the job market for the jobs that are already out there. If you are desperately in need of a new role there’s no point in holding out for a job that 100% ticks all your boxes - you need to be realistic and work with the current job market. If there is really nothing suitable for you out there remember that the job market is in a constant state of flux, so keep an eye out for new opportunities being added daily. Sign up with recruiters and make sure you register for job alerts to be in the know about new opportunities.
Consider upskilling - There are so many courses out there that can help your career to take shape. Nowadays you don’t need to go to university or college and can skill up with distance learning and eLearning courses from the comfort of your home without accruing student debt. Have a look at the range of qualifications currently offered by e-Careers, which you can study from home.
If you're looking to change careers in your 40's be sure to read our article 'Changing Careers at 40'.
Stick to a job search routine - It might be a cliché but it really does help to stick to a ‘9 to 5’ schedule when job hunting. If you view the job search as a job in its own right, you will stay motivated to meet your objective of finding a new job. Keeping regular hours will also help to support good mental health.
Get your CV up to scratch - Now you know about the sort of jobs you will be applying for it’s time to give your CV a makeover. This is especially important if you haven’t been in the job market for a few years and your CV needs a boost. At e-Careers we have some great tips for improving your CV.
Remember to customise your CV - When you are applying for dozens of different roles it can be tempting to send out a generic CV in order to save time, but you shouldn’t be tempted to do this. Customising your CV to fit the person specification of individual roles is one of the most valuable things you can do and will significantly increase your chances of being asked to interview.
Don’t forget the cover letter - You should view your cover letter as a chance to further rationalise why you are the right person for the job. However, take care to be concise; a cover letter should ideally take up no more than one side of A4 paper.
Make sure you are easy to get in touch with- It should go without saying that you must be easily contactable when job searching, especially for roles that require you to fill the position at short notice. Check your emails, phone, and voicemail regularly to ensure that you do not miss out on potential opportunities.
Start networking - Both online and in-person networking can be a highly valuable part of your job search. If you know anyone in your chosen field who would be willing to provide you with some useful insight, ask to pick their brain over a coffee. Sign up to sites like LinkedIn which will enable you to connect directly with professionals in your chosen area.
Stay motivated - Job hunting can take a lot of time and energy and can be really demotivating especially when you are turned down for jobs or hear nothing back from recruiters. Find ways to motivate yourself, take regular breaks, and find things to do to relax after a hard day of job searching.
Get interview-ready - If you have been asked to interview for a position congratulationsyour hard work has nearly paid off! Make sure that you impress potential employers at the interview by doing all you can to prepare for the interview and make a fantastic impression. View our interview top tips here.
Best luck with starting your job search, we hope that you will find our tips for starting your job search very helpful!