Tips on how to manage your job search

Whether you are job searching for the first time, or searching after a long period of employment, these tips will help make your job hunting process more effective.

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To be successful and effective in your job search for a great position, you must first ask yourself the right questions, use the right tools, and conduct yourself professionally in the interview stages. Below is some advice on how to manage your job search like a pro and find the best opportunities to match your skills. 

Create a career plan – what do you want to achieve

It is important to create a career plan - what do you want to do, who do you want to work for (or not work for) and in which industry? Narrowing down your selection will help focus your job search and eliminate organisations that do not share your values or meet your expectations. 

Creating a career plan will also enable you to assess your own skills and understand what you may need to develop to further your career goals. Take this opportunity to take stock of your various strengths and weaknesses (languages, technical skills, etc.) and align these with the sort of skills that the roles you like require. This will also help you sell yourself with more confidence in an interview. 

Where to look for jobs

Looking for a job can be broadly split into 3 areas:

  • Job boards
  • Companies direct
  • Networks

Job boards

There are a multitude of online job boards which are either specialist or generalist. Specialist job boards such as CIPD PM Jobs just advertise jobs in a specific industry such as HR. Make sure you sign up to specialist job boards as companies like them as they know it attracts a specific calibre of job seekers with the skills they are looking for. And job seekers like them because it attracts companies looking for the skills that they have. 

Generalist job boards such as Adecco are also good to sign up to because many companies will advertise vacancies with them because of their size and the expertise that their recruiters have in matching talented job seekers with their role. 

LinkedIn is also a good source for current vacancies. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that it clearly communicates your career aspirations, achievements and fit for the role as applications through LinkedIn are often linked to your profile as well as your CV. 

Most job boards will ask you to create a profile so make sure you fill out all the details they ask as many recruiters use this information to proactively look for job seekers. If you miss out any fields or write the bare minimum, you could be missing out on being spotted by a hirer. 

Make your life easier by signing up to their job alert emails. These daily/weekly alerts will save you a lot of time when job hunting. 

Approach companies direct

If there is a specific company you want to work for, search out their latest vacancies on their website (or LinkedIn page in many cases). Many companies often post new vacancies on their website first before advertising on job boards. If they have a jobs portal, create a profile, submit your CV and sign up to their job alerts. 

If you really want to work for a particular organisation and there are no obvious vacancies, proactively reach out to their hiring team and tell them why you want to work for them and what you can bring to the business. Even if there are still no vacancies, hopefully you may have put your name on their radar so when something does come up, they will contact you. LinkedIn is a good channel to reach out to a business’s hiring team. 

Network

Many vacancies are not advertised via job boards immediately. This gives some job seekers the opportunity to apply for jobs before others know about it. Use your network to reach out and ask if they know if there are any vacancies going? If you don’t have a large network, work on expanding it (LinkedIn is the best place to do this) by connecting with hirers, recruiters and HR people in companies you want to work for. If you network successfully (see our guide on networking), you can meet the right people working in interesting positions, who can inform you about your industry and the skills needed, or better still, help you find a job.

To find out what is going on with professionals in your field of interest or activity, follow the trade press or any specialised media. In addition to getting valuable information about the field you are interested in, they may also host events which will allow you to network and learn. 

Keep track on what you have applied for

Making a note of every job you have applied for will save you a lot of time in the long run. Many hirers advertise the same job on multiple platforms and if you have your CV and covering letter already set up, it can be easy to apply for something and then forget. 

Applying for a specific role can take a while. Many application forms have additional questions and to give the best answer it is not something you can easily copy and paste answers from other applications. There is nothing worse than spending an hour carefully completing the application and various questions to discover that you had applied for the role the previous week. 

Keeping track of what you have applied for also helps when you get a call from a recruiter who wants to talk about the role and you don’t know which vacancy they are talking about!

Don’t be put off by rejections

It is a competitive market out there and there are many other people looking for the same jobs as you. Searching for a job is not an easy task and may take a little longer than you initially expect. Getting no response from the employer is something that you’re likely to encounter on occasion, so don’t let it get your hopes down, 70% of applicants never hear back from recruiters after applying for a job. Keep searching, and your determination and your motivation will eventually pay off.

Good luck!

 

LHH career support

LHH is the UK's largest provider of outplacement services and we have been helping candidates for over 50 years successfully transition in their careers. For more information on how LHH can help you please contact us.

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