To avoid aimless scrolling and ensure your search is fruitful, it's important to take some time to determine what you truly want in a job. Developing a job search strategy can help guide you through the process.
How to start your job search?
Have you recently decided to search for a new job? If so, you may have turned to Google to find job opportunities that align with your interests. However, you may have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of ads that appeared, with only a few that caught your attention. To avoid aimless scrolling and ensure your search is fruitful, it’s important to take some time to determine what you truly want in a job. Developing a job search strategy can help guide you through the process. Here are some tips to get you started:
Set yourself a realistic target
This is crucial advice. Job searching can be time-consuming, and having a realistic target helps manage expectations and prevents burnout.
Typically, it takes around 3–6 months to find a new job. Setting yourself a target date within this timeframe will give you ample time to find something right for you. In the first couple of weeks, you should focus on getting out around 10-15 applications a week, this can be broken down into 2/3 a day. Doing little and often allows you to focus and ensure that you’re applying for roles that are relevant to you. For each role, taking the time to read up, update your CV and write a cover letter will enhance your success rate.
Within your realistic target, you’ll also need to take into consideration that in the UK the average time for a candidate to be requested for an interview is 2.5 weeks from the job application date. From there if you are successful, the interview process takes an average of 27.5 days.
Identify your skills, goals, and motivators
Understanding one’s skills, goals, and motivators is essential for finding a fulfilling job that aligns with one’s aspirations.
To identify your skills, start by breaking down your current job into its simplest form. Consider past experiences and things you’ve learned in your daily life, as these form part of your transferable soft skills. Additionally, there are hard skills, which are job-specific technical skills and formal qualifications. Creating a list of both soft and hard skills will provide you with a pool of skills to choose from when submitting your CV for a job role.
It’s also important to determine your goals and motivators for this new job. Do you aim to advance your career, gain entry into a desired field, or develop new skills in a particular area? This will help you prioritize your job search and focus on opportunities that align with your objectives. Furthermore, it’s important to consider your sources of motivation. What can inspire and encourage you to keep pushing forward even on challenging days?
Knowing what your goals and motivators are will help in every stage of the interview process and even once you’ve secured your job to help navigate your career.
Determine your target role
Listing out a few job titles and industries of interest is an excellent approach to starting the job search.
When starting your job search, it’s always wise to start by creating a comprehensive list of job titles and industries that pique your interest. Ensure that you research market trends for your chosen industries and the demand for the chosen roles to ensure that they are viable options. This will not only help you narrow down your search, but it will also provide you with a clear direction and focus. By taking the time to carefully consider your options and preferences, you’ll be in a better position to pursue opportunities that align with your career goals and aspirations.
Research companies you’re interested in from your target list
This advice goes beyond relying solely on job boards and LinkedIn, and it encourages candidates to understand the company culture.
There are numerous resources available for you to use during your job search, including review websites, the company’s official website, LinkedIn profiles of employees, and other social media platforms. A study conducted in 2023 revealed that 4 out of 10 employers would decline a candidate who lacks enthusiasm. By gaining some knowledge about the firm you’re interested in before the interview, you’ll be more enthusiastic, and it will reflect positively during the interview.
The job search can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming. So how do you stay motivated? Here are a few tips:
- Instead of viewing the job search as one big task, break it down into smaller, manageable steps.
- Celebrate each milestone you achieve, whether it’s updating your resume, networking, or submitting applications.
- When you’re faced with rejection, and you will, remember it is part of the process and helps you to grow for the next one.
- Surround yourself with supportive people by sharing your job experiences with friends, family, or mentors who can offer encouragement and construct active feedback.
Remember to acknowledge your efforts and your progress, even if you haven’t secured a job yet. The whole process is a chance to enhance your skills and knowledge but also helps to expand your network for future opportunities.