If you have just finished school or university, or you are thinking about a change of scenery, and you are bound to embark on a job hunt, it is important to be prepared. The process can be a bit overwhelming and daunting, especially if you have never searched for a job before, but there is no need to worry. Read on to discover some important steps you should take before job hunting.
Check in with references – One of the first things you need to do is review your list of potential references. You will need to ensure that they are relevant to the jobs you are going to be searching for. If they are, get in touch with them to find out if they would be willing to provide a reference. You want to ensure that you are going to get a good reference after all, otherwise you’d be better off removing them from your reference contact list and replacing them with someone else. You can’t risk something bad being said about you.
Get your documents in order – This may be boring, but it is a critical part of your job hunt. If you don’t get your documents in order now, it could hold up your search and result in you missing out on a position you thought was perfect for you. First of all, take the time to assess your current CV. Make sure it is relevant and professional. Plus, check that there are not any typos. It’s also important to gather anything else you may need, such as a National Insurance card.
Learn to drive – If you can’t drive, now would be a good time to think about learning. After all, you are going to have a much bigger selection of jobs available to you if you learn how to drive. Of course, for some careers, signing up to a driving school and learning how to drive is a necessity, especially if you are going to be meeting clients and going to various appointments all day. If this doesn’t apply to you, and your role is office-based or in the same location all of the time, you may assume that you don’t need to drive. However, some businesses are situated in places that are very difficult or impossible to get to via public transport. By learning to drive, you will ensure that no vacancy is off limits.
Keep an open mind – Going into the job hunt with the right mindset is of paramount importance. The truth is that you aren’t always going to land the perfect job, and so you may need to be flexible. This could be in regards to your salary, your working hours, or your job role. However, holding out for a job that is 100% suited to you could result in a disaster – you may find that you are without work for months and even years if you do this. It is important to see every job as an opportunity, even if it wasn’t exactly what you were hoping for. You will meet new people and make good contacts, and you never know where this could lead.
Clean up your act on social media – There is nothing worse than going for a job interview, only for them to bring up the comment you posted on social media complaining about your old boss. Before you begin your job hunt, it is important to review all of your social media accounts. Don’t have anything on there that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. A lot of people think it is wrong that interviewers check up on their social media accounts, but the fact of the matter is, a lot of them are going to do so. In today’s digital age, with everything so public, it is all too tempting to do a bit of research regarding the person you are thinking about employing at your business. So, make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and alike are a help rather than a hindrance. Of course, the other option is to make your profiles private, but having a clean, public profile is usually the most effective.
Learn how to target your search – One of the biggest mistakes people make when job hunting is failing to narrow down their search. Casting a wide net may be tempting, as you may assume that this will give you a greater chance of getting a few interviews. However, this is not always the case. Having multiple skills in different areas can make it appear like you are a jack-of-all-trades rather than being a master of one, and this is rarely what interviewers are looking for. They are searching for someone that has specific skills in a certain area. So it is important to target your search to find a job that is right for you, and a job where you are perfect for them.
Gain more experience – If this is your first job hunt, and you do not have a lot of experience, now would be a good time to start. Nowadays, having a degree or qualifications is not enough. Employers want experience. They want someone who is going to walk into the job and have an idea of what they are doing. If you don’t have this experience, look for ways to gain it, whether this means taking on a part time internship or offering to do some work for free. Yes, it can be a bit frustrating when all you want to do is start your dream job, but it will benefit you in the long run, as it means you will have a much greater selection of jobs to choose from when the time does come to find the right one for you.
Develop your skills – Perhaps it’s not experience you are lacking in, but you feel there are a few skills you could brush up on. Perhaps you are not that confident with computers? Plugging gaps now will save you a lot of hassle later on, and it will make you more confident once you go into a job interview, and ultimately when you secure a new job. If you are unsure whether you have any skills gaps, the best thing to do is spend some time online looking at job vacancy postings for the sort of jobs you are interested in. This will give you a good idea regarding the skills and qualifications they are looking for. Most job postings will have ‘must have’ skills and ‘nice to have’ skills. If you only have the essentials, then it is going to be extremely like that someone boasting the ‘nice to have’ skills will secure the job over you. Therefore, it is a good idea to try and acquire as many of the qualifications and skills stated as possible. This will ensure you don’t get beat by the competition because of your lack of training.
Research, research and research some more – Last but not least, there is no such thing as too much research when it comes to finding the right job for you. Spend some time looking online to find out about the various companies in your target industry, as well as reading reviews from people that were once in the same position as you.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for your job hunt. Follow the steps that have been mentioned above, and you will not only have a much better chance of securing a job, but a job that is right for you.