No matter when you’re hunting for jobs, the market can feel pretty brutal. Opportunities can often seem few and far between, and it can feel like weeks between sending off a CV and hearing back for an interview. While a lot of the job hunting process isn’t up to you, there are things you can do in the interim to stand you in better stead with employers and make you better-equipped for interviews. Here are 10 job hunting tips for landing your next opportunity.
1. Keep yourself funded
Looking for jobs can be time-consuming, and in the meantime, you’ll need to find a way to keep yourself afloat financially. This isn’t always easy, but there is help available. “Ah,” we hear you cry, “but my credit rating isn’t good.” That won’t be a problem; there are lots of bad credit personal loans you can apply for that have great rates and friendly staff to talk to if you need help. Naturally, these should only be used in the short term, but they’re a great way to keep yourself going between job interviews.
2. Work on your CV
Do you know what ATS is? If you’ve never heard of this software, it stands for “Applicant Tracking System”, and it’s often used by employers to browse through CVs quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, this also means that if your CV isn’t up to the right standard, ATS bots will simply toss it away and not give it a second thought. You need to optimize your CV to make sure that these systems don’t ignore it, and to do so, your CV must be precise, clear, and devoid of pointless information or diversions.
3. Brush up your interview technique
If you’ve been in long-term employment for a while, you may not be as well-versed in interviews as you’d like to be. Job interviews are an art form; you need to sell yourself and your skills, of course, but you can’t be too self-aggrandizing or too meek. If you can, enlist the help of a friend or family member to play the part of an interviewer, and draft a list of potential questions you might be asked during a job interview. Answer them to the best of your ability, then work on your answers and see where they need improvement.
4. Think outside the box
Your job search may not be going so well because you’re only considering opportunities with which you’re already familiar. It’s also worth taking into account positions that may not traditionally be what you’d apply for. Read through job specifications and see if they ask for any skills that you possess. If they do, you never know; you may just have found your new calling! The worst thing that can happen is that the job doesn’t appeal to you, so it’s always worth looking that little bit harder at the listings each day.
5. Write several template cover letters
The cover letter is arguably the most important part of your application. It’s what demonstrates that you’re willing to go above and beyond simply sending a CV and hoping for the best. As such, you’re going to be writing a lot of cover letters, so we’d advocate creating templates and using them for different kinds of jobs. Of course, you will need to heavily customize the templates based on the jobs you’re applying for, but by using them as a base, you’re saving yourself a lot of work.
6. Don’t rely on online boards
A lot of people will tell you those job listings have moved exclusively online, but this simply isn’t true, even in an era when many are working from home. The fact is that you’ll still be able to spot plenty of job listings “in the wild”, and many of those listings won’t be posted online, so make sure to always have a hard copy of your CV with you to hand out to employers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the jobs that aren’t posted online are inferior, either; they’re often some of the best positions you can apply for.
7. Ask prospective employers for feedback
Many of your job applications will turn out to be unsuccessful. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve written a bad CV or that you conducted yourself poorly at the interview, but it never hurts to ask your interviewer for feedback if they’re willing to provide it. You might learn some valuable lessons as to how you could comport yourself better in an interview next time, or where your CV is lacking and needs to be refined a little. Even if the lesson is simply “you weren’t the right candidate”, at least you know you’re on the right track.
8. Ask friends to look for opportunities
A pretty staggering percentage of jobs are handed to people who are friends or acquaintances of existing employees. Networking is one of the most effective ways you can secure yourself a new job, so ask your friends to be on the lookout for opportunities for you. At worst, you simply won’t find any new positions as a result of doing this, but at best, you could snag yourself a job you’d never consider applying for otherwise, so it’s a win-win situation.
9. Set yourself a daily application goal
While it’s certainly true that you should be applying for jobs on a quality-not-quantity basis, the fact remains that the more jobs you apply for, the better a chance you have of progressing to the interview stage. As such, it’s a good idea to set yourself a realistic target for how many jobs you’re going to apply for each day. The application process should be fairly demanding, but it shouldn’t be so exacting that you can’t apply for multiple positions in a few hours.
10. Don’t give up
Sometimes, job opportunities can come when you least expect them. The worst thing you can do when applying for jobs is simply to give up and assume you’re never going to land your dream position. While you may need to think about compromising to a certain extent, you never know when you’re going to be exactly the person an employer needs, and that application you never thought could be successful might yield unexpected results.