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What You Need to Do When Looking for Your Next Job – Part 1: Laying the Right Foundations

Whether you’ve decided it’s time to look for a new job or you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, follow this list at the start of your job search to help you land your dream job! From the right mindset to getting clear on what you want, these tips provide a great foundation for your job search process.

Expect it to take time and effort

Some job applicants become frustrated when we tell them we’ll need a response to Key Selection Criteria, or ask them re-write sections of their CV for a particular job application.  Getting a great job requires your continued effort.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. You’ve put in a great amount of effort crafting your Position Description and visualising your dream hire. When you receive 100+ applications, the first thing you want to do is reduce that down to a reasonable number. So you reject everyone who isn’t an immediate close match to your requirements.

A good recruiter will work hard to present you in a way that most closely matches the hiring organisation’s needs. This means tweaking, enhancing, and sometimes completely re-writing parts of your CV. If a recruiter accepts your CV as is, and sends you out to multiple companies, and you’re not getting anywhere with your applications, this may be a big factor. So be prepared to do the work in order to get the work.

Getting clear on what you want and why

When it comes to job hunting, it is critical to be clear on what you want from your next role and why. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the market again in 6-12 months’ time. Or worse: stuck in a role that fills your every Sunday night with dread, and gets worse as the week progresses. Getting clear with what you are looking for will also help you focus your job search activities, prioritise opportunities and make informed, rather than reactive, compromises.

You might think your ‘why’ is already evident. However, taking time to reflect on your ‘why’ may provide insights into what’s really important to you. This creates an opportunity to reassess and reframe your current situation.

What do we mean by reframing?

Say you have a job you don’t mind, but a manager you can’t stand. You’ll likely have a negative mindset about going to work that can impact you on a number of fronts. If you reframe this job, you may decide that it’s a job which provides security to you and your family. This should help you to become more engaged and motivated at work. From there you can put a plan in place to move internally, leave or transition careers, in a timeframe that works for you.

Sign up for job alerts

Whether you decide to look now or later, sign up for job alerts directly with organisations you’d like to work for and via job boards. The key thing to do is to brainstorm all possible position titles for the types of roles you are looking for. As position titles can vary depending on the organisation, you should do some research and sign up for a variety of position titles that appeal to you. You can always cull the list later if you are finding some position titles are returning better job matches than others.

Remember to sign up to niche job boards as well! Especially if you work in a creative, specialised field or you are targeting a specific sector (such as not-for-profit).

Having job notifications centrally in your inbox allows you to see trends in demand and sectors that are hiring. If there is a drop off in demand from week to week or growth in a particular sector, you can pivot and focus your approach appropriately to secure your next role.

Manage your Wellbeing

Looking for work can be tough! Remember to be kind to yourself. Engage in activities that make you feel positive about yourself and the job search process, so you can project this energy. For further tips on wellbeing, why not sign up to our #wellnessmatters blog or take a look at our previous advice on remaining confident when looking for work.

More tips

In our next job seeker blog, we’ll provide practical tips and advice that will further assist your job search process. Subscribe to our job seeker blog to ensure you don’t miss it!

For advice on other job seeking topics, check out the resources we’ve put together to help you land your next role.



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