To get anywhere with your job search you really do have to put it the time and graft. The age-old saying “no pain no gain” – it’s completely true. It’s easy to be lazy when you’re unemployed, but at the end of the day it will get you absolutely nowhere. If you want to get somewhere in life you really do have to put in maximum effort day in and day out with your job search until you eventually find something. Here are three essentials to landing a job:
#1 – Plan what you want to do.
The first step is to sit down for a few hours and just think, think, and think. You need to think about you; forget about what your family wants you to do for the moment (don’t ignore advice), and ask yourself, “What do I want to do? What am I good at?” Draw up mind maps, do whatever you need to do to narrow down your job search into a few career paths. For example, if you’re hobby is photography, look into various photography jobs and career opportunities. Then get on the internet and do some thorough research into those chosen paths, note down any specific qualifications or skills needed, etc. If certain qualifications are required, you need to decide whether you want to steer clear or do what’s necessary to achieve them. You really need to be realistic with yourself here. If you have next to nothing in terms of qualifications, you need to bare that in mind when thinking about what career paths to approach. Don’t put yourself down, just be realistic – it can save you a lot of time.
#2 – Searching for vacancies.
In this day and age the first obvious step for many job seekers is to hop on the internet and browse job search websites. Some of the leading sites are great; over time they’ve developed efficiently and can match you up to suitable vacancies varying from accountancy jobs to tree surgeons. But, it’s not the only way to look for openings.
Another saying that you may hear as a job seeker is, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This is a very true this statement. You really need to get yourself out there and be as social as possible; having a big group of friends will without doubt increase your chances of finding a job. Being a social person increases you confidence and interpersonal skills, this helps you meet new people and make new friendship bonds. Friends will always want to help you out when you’re unemployed. You need to ask everyone you know, having a big family helps, but not everyone is that fortunate.
Lastly, “get on your bike” and go. Go to job centers and CV posting. Employers will look at you in a new light when they realize you’re making an effort and will brand you as a “get up and go person.” Plan where you want to go and think outside the box. Don’t just go to the shopping center, there are loads of places you can go. Go back to your initial research and look into various companies that are accessible to you. Spend a week going round to these companies and you’ll increase your chances dramatically. By handing a CV over personally you have a much greater chance that someone who’s posted it online; you know they have it and have probably read it, whereas when you post it online you don’t know if they’ve even received it.
#3 – Work on self-improvement.
This is a huge factor. Although it’s wrong to judge someone on appearance, a lot of employers do. Regarding appearance: It’s your ability to brush up and look professional and presentable. Here are some examples:
- It’s important you have tidy suit. Suits aren’t cheap, but a well-fitted suit will impress any interviewee. Even if an interview requires you to wear casual wear, it’s still advised you turn up in a suit in order to sell yourself to the maximum.
- As well as a suit, it’s important to take pride in your hair. Learn how to wear your hair in a professional manner. You don’t need to strip yourself of your personality, but try to keep yourself looking tidy and clean cut. Being scruffy will get you nowhere, unless you’re a genius.
Work on you vocabulary and interpersonal skills, too (i.e. your conversation ability, telephone manner and e-mail structure). Here are some examples:
- Get used to answering your phone promptly and avoid missing calls. You never know who it could be on the other end, if you’re applying for jobs regularly online you should have companies calling you at least three times a week. It’s important to have a pen and pad ready at all times to write down notes, for example addresses and interview times.
- Practice speaking in a professional manner and try and make yourself sound happy, characteristic and professional. Being sharp is good, if you mumble and stutter on the phone you’ll get nowhere. A tip that always works it to smile while you’re on the phone, this will increase your confidence and although the person on the other end cannot see you they will know you’re smiling and conversation will be a lot easier and free flowing. If you’re not too confident as a person and you struggle with conversation, be as social as possible. Meet up with friends in your spare time and talk on the phone as much as possible.
Your e-mails are of great importance. It’s important to do some research to ensure you’re e-mails are structured correctly and formal. Always read over you message before you send it to ensure you don’t come across rude and to spot any silly spelling mistakes. With CV’s, take the same approach and get family/friends to check it and suggest improvements.
In recent times, it’s common employers will try and check you out on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. So keep a clean profile, don’t have any rude or offensive text or imagery, you could be creating a stereotype of yourself.
Follow these tips and you will lay the groundwork for a successful job search.
CAREEREALISM-Approved Business Partner, TotalJobs.com is a leading job search and career advice site. They currently have over 100,000 vacancies available across a huge variety of industries.