Whether you’re beginning the job hunt for the first time or the hundredth time, the process can be equally daunting. To give this turbulent time some stability and order, you’ll want to do some careful planning and research. With the hundreds of vacancies out there, it can feel overwhelming on where to find and apply for the best ones. Taking the process step by step will help you to break down this seemingly mammoth task into smaller more manageable objectives.
Before you start firing out your CV to whoever has an opening, consider what type of role you’d like and what you’re best suited for. Ask yourself, what industry would I fit well in? Which sector should I focus my attention on?
Doing your research on the various sectors also offers you the opportunity to see which companies are less stable in terms of revenue and employment. It’s advised to focus your attention on companies who may have just received funding, as it’s highly likely that these organisations are looking to onboard new employees to support their expansion plans. In addition, undertaking research like this will weed out any sectors or industries that could be in decline and therefore be less likely to offer sustainable and stable employment possibilities.
Once you have discovered where to focus your attention, you’ll want to identify businesses that work within your industry.
Tip: Don’t get trapped looking only at large well-known companies. SMEs have just as valuable opportunities for experience where you can learn from the ground up. It can often be easier to get your foot in the door as there is more of a chance to let your professionalism shine.
Make a note of the organisations in your chosen industry sector as this will come in handy for you later.
There are a multitude of avenues you can take to find open vacancies. The most common way to search for a new job is through online jobsites (Indeed, Reed, Total Jobs, etc.). Many of these sites require you to simply upload your CV and start applying for jobs, which although is quick and easy, can result in a less tailored CV and cover letter for the roles you’re applying to – this is something we’ll touch on later. The various jobsites are ideal for showing you what kind of vacancies are available to apply to and can help you reflect on what transferrable skills you have to offer your next employer and role.
Alternatively, you may discover vacancies on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For sites such as LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure your profile reads as close as possible to the content you present on your CV. Try and keep this as up to date and fresh as possible if you wish to use the quick apply function on LinkedIn’s job page. This will give you the best chance to make yourself stand out to potential new employers and be a good reference for when it comes to updating your physical CV again.
Another great place to find jobs is by looking at company career pages. The list of organisations and companies you wrote down earlier will be useful here. Try looking at the company sites and locating their careers page. This will show you active vacancies that could be a possible fit for you. This also means that it’s likely you’ll be applying directly to the hiring manager which gives you a more direct interaction.
Tip: If you see a recruitment company advertising a role for an employer, it’s often better to apply through the recruitment company’s advert as they will be the one responsible for filling the vacancy.
Another great way to find out about vacancies is from other people in your industry. Word-of-mouth is ideal for getting yourself ahead in the job-hunting scene. It’s no secret that networking gets you further, as you are usually the first to know about a hot new vacancy and you already have a character reference.
The best way to find a job is to broaden our horizons and do a wide scan for openings, however when does broad become too broad? You may find yourself out of luck if you’re sending a generic CV and cover letter to 200 different companies. The best thing you can do when applying for a job is to consider what is required of you on the job advert and recognise if you match the skills and experience. Tailor your CV to the individual role and be sure to offer evidence and examples of how you exercise the necessary skills. The same rule applies to your cover letter. You’ll want to focus your letter on the experience you’ve earned and how this helps make you more suitable for the role in question.
The research you conducted on the companies you apply to will also be useful here as you’ll be able to draw upon discussion points such as the company’s competitors, areas where they excel, and where there’s been controversies. This shows that you’ve taken an interest in the company and conveys a degree of dedication to the role prior to interview.
Tip: Avoid sending a generic cover letter that is non-specific to the role you’re applying to. Hiring managers will notice this immediately and your application will make its way to the bottom of the pile.
Once you have successfully passed the application process, you’ll almost definitely be invited for an interview. This section of the recruitment process can be very intimidating as you’re expected to do some self-reflection to know all about your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and experience. No matter how good your CV is, you should aim to try and ace your interview to seal the deal.
You may find it helpful to anticipate the sorts of questions the interviewer might ask. Prepare short answers to these after taking a moment to think about what you have to offer and why you are a suitable candidate for the role. If you find that interviews are not your strong point, preparation is crucial. Try improving the delivery of your answers by practicing a mock interview with friends and family members. Practice eye contact, good posture, breathing techniques, and a comfortable way for you in which to express your answers calmly and clearly.
You can also find workshops online that help with interview prep, alongside training courses you can undertake to improve your interview skills. It’s important to just take deep breaths and ease into it.
It can feel like a long-drawn-out process when searching for your next job, but keep your head held high and acknowledge your strengths and areas for improvements. Identify the industry sectors you want to apply to, search for vacancies online, and in your network, focus your CV and cover letters on the company and role you are applying to, and always strive to improve your skills, experience, and professional mannerisms.
Disclaimer: All our articles and guides express the views of FINTEC recruit and do not constitute legal advice. Our articles provide general information and any third-party website links used are for the convenience of the reader, user or browser and we do not endorse content of third party sites.