Following these tips will get you off to a good start.
- Carry out a self-assessment. Before you get started, make a list of your skills, experiences and strengths. The better you understand your preferences and abilities, the more likely you are to find a satisfying role.
- Research carefully. Perhaps there is a specific company or industry you want to work in, or a particular position you are looking for. If so, carry out extensive research in these areas, finding out whether there are job openings available, what qualifications you need and which companies offer the best recruitment packages.
- Write/revise your CV. This will be an extremely important job search tool. It should be clearly laid out with your key skills, experience, training, qualifications and accomplishments. Check it for typos and tailor this template CV to each job you apply for.
- Get organised. Make a list of important dates, such as job fairs or interviews, and write down your job search aims for each day. Update this regularly.
- Network effectively. You may wish to attend networking events or to build an online network. Search for relevant events taking place in your area and make the most of online tools such as LinkedIn. Remember that every interaction is a potential networking opportunity, whether formal or informal.
- Don’t do it alone. Job searching can feel lonely and demoralising, so it’s important that you feel supported. Ask friends and family members to help practically or to pray for you. Talk to your pastor or former colleagues. If no one is available to help, consider joining a job club, either in person or online.
- Prepare well for interviews. Consider responses to the most common interview questions and practise your answers. Think of anecdotes that demonstrate your skills and experience well. Research the company and ask questions that show you have done so. If you struggle with nerves, ask a friend or a careers coach for their input.
- Perform well in interviews. Make sure you know how to get to your interview venue and what you’re going to wear well in advance so you are on time and relaxed on arrival. Use positive body language and good eye contact with your interviewers. Take a breath and think before you answer each question and ask pre-prepared questions of your own.
- Respond well. If you are offered the job, accept it graciously! This may be a good time to negotiate terms if you have any. If you are not offered the job, thank the interviewer and ask for feedback. Use this to improve your chances of securing another role.
- Follow up with hiring managers. Maybe you haven’t heard back about a job you applied for, or an interviewer promised to add you to a list for future vacancies. Once a reasonable amount of time has passed, follow it up. Find out what the current situation is and whether there are any new opportunities. Update them with any additional skills, qualifications and experience you have acquired that might strengthen your position.
Whatever you do, stay positive and keep a good search-life balance!