Searching for the right job for you is a full-time job in itself. Tailoring your CV to each job description, researching the company you wish to work in and brushing up on your interviewing skills takes time and energy. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll get exactly what you want every time, but it is important to give yourself the best chance by working hard.
This blog is all about where you should focus your energy when looking for new employment. The pandemic has brought on many challenges for people personally and professionally. Many people who were previously comfortable and satisfied in their job are now left with the huge challenge of finding the next best move for them and their career.
Assess your situation
Before you dive feet-first into your job search, it is important to assess where you are in your career and where you want to be. This could be an opportunity for you to branch out and try a different career path you were always curious about! For example; just because you’ve been an accountant all your working life, doesn’t mean you have to be an accountant forever! If there is something that you’ve always wanted to do but you need an extra qualification, why not take a look at some online or part time courses to help you get on your way?
If you’re sure on which career path you wish to take, use this time to assess your goals, do you want to have a higher position than the one your held previously? What are you looking for in a company? What kind of salary are you looking for? Determining what you want out of your job will help narrow down your search.
Organisation is key!
Now you’ve figured out what you want, it’s time to figure out how you plan on getting there! For many, this is the first time they have been on the job market in years. To prevent you from being overwhelmed, getting organised in advance is important!
Your first port of call should be contacting your references. Ideally, potential employers require 2-3 referees. Double check that they are happy to give you a reference and that their contact information is up to date. We would recommend also creating a spreadsheet so you can keep tabs on the jobs you’ve applied for and which of them got back to you with interview invitations or rejections.
The job-hunting ground, for the most part, has gone digital. Make a list of the online job agencies that you can apply to (have a separate sheet for each one!). Websites such as IrishJobs.ie, indeed.ie and monster.ie are popular platforms for job listings.
If this is the first time you’ve been on the job market in years, chances are you need to update a few things. Your CV and cover letter count as a first impression to your potential employer so make sure to put your best foot forward! There are a variety of free CV and cover templates that you can use to make your application stand out more! Asking a friend or career advisor for help with this can save you time and energy and can also help you find errors you might have missed!
When speaking about job-hunting, the term ‘’one size fits all’’ does not apply. You will need to tailor your CV to each job description to give yourself every chance for success.
Job hunting isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t be writing about it! Having confidence in yourself and your ability to do a job is of paramount importance. If there is a position that you are excited about but you don’t meet all of their requirements, apply for the job anyway! Your other competencies could work in your favor, make sure to highlight them in you CV and cover letter. Employers may be inclined to hire someone who is willing to learn.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Applying for a position is just the tip of the iceberg! Now you’ve been invited for an interview! This is your chance to properly ‘wow’ the hiring manager. Thoroughly research the company you are interviewing. Familiarise yourself with the company’s history and values and come up with a few questions to ask the panel. Take time to research common interview questions and draft answers that highlight your skills. Make sure to tie in your past experience and other qualifications to the job description! Have a practice interview with a friend or family member to help overcome some of your initial nerves.
Don’t lose heart
Hopefully after all of your hard work you will have a job offer at the end of the tunnel. For many however, this isn’t the case. What is important is that you keep applying for jobs! Taking care of your mental health during a job search is important, get regular exercise, and take time for yourself.
What’s not for you, won’t pass you. What’s important is that you keep going!