No job is for life and whether you are searching for a job internal to your current organisation or something completely different this comprehensive guide to job seeking will deal with all the stages you need to think about and plan for.   Setting an intention is an extremely powerful factor in your success.  To this end, thinking through your strategy and the stages you need to prepare for in advance can only help you. Job seeking can be both exciting and daunting. With the right strategy and mindset, you can optimize your chances of landing your dream job. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the crucial steps to take before applying for a job, preparing for an interview, and starting a new role. By following these steps and incorporating practical examples, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Organize Your Job Search

1. Use Job Search Engines

Utilize websites like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor to find job listings tailored to your skills and interests. Making sure you use the right keywords when job seeking can open up all the job sites relevant to you.

2. Set up Job Alerts

Create customized alerts to receive relevant job openings directly to your email inbox. This saves you the effort of continuously searching.  Make sure you’ve created the right customisation, so you only get the jobs you want to see while making sure you’re not missing out on any unusual opportunities.

3. Track Applications

Once you start looking at multiple jobs it’s easy to lose track of deadlines and opportunities that come your way.  Applying for jobs takes a lot of effort so make sure you don’t lose or forget any key details. Maintain a spreadsheet or use an app to track your applications, follow-ups, and interview schedules.

Headhunter vs recruiter

Is a headhunter different than a recruiter? The answer is yes, a headhunter finds you. If you are headhunted, then the job in question will suit your skills and talents. Some of the best jobs won’t be found online, sometimes you have to wait for them to come to you. You may even be given opportunities that you had never considered.

Even if you have a job you love, it is always good to be open to new things. You never know what could be out there for you. There may be someone willing to pay more money, offer better hours or give you new avenues to explore. But if you are going to be headhunted then you need to be found and when you are found people need to know what you do and why you would be a fantastic employee.

Use social media

Have open social network accounts so that people can find you. The best social network account to be headhunted on is LinkedIn. It is an online CV and will allow you to connect with people in a similar industry to you. However, it is important that you have a strong profile and that you stay active on it. You can find advice on creating a good LinkedIn profile here.

Depending on what you do, you could also make good use of Facebook or Twitter. You could also write blog articles that are relevant to your work and share them across social media as a way to get seen.

But be cautious, employers or headhunters will often search for people before they hire them. Whether you are using your social media for professional reasons or not, don’t post anything which you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.  

Research the Industry

1. Gather Information

Begin by researching the industry and specific companies you’re interested in. Look for news articles, company websites, and social media profiles to learn about their history, products, and services. Use resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed to get a sense of company culture and employee satisfaction. A LinkedIn survey shows that 75% of job seekers research a company’s brand before they apply for a job.  Don’t be afraid to get in touch with the vacancy holder, or people in the company who can tell you more about the job.

2. Network

Statistics show that around 85% of jobs are secured through networks.  That’s a huge number and demonstrates why networking is key.   To leverage the power of networking in your job-seeking journey, you should consider attending industry events, conferences, and meetups to connect with professionals in your field. Leverage LinkedIn to make connections, engage in online forums, and participate in relevant groups.  You can learn a lot from making those connections even just by viewing profiles of people linked to the job you are applying for.

Tailor Your CV and Documents

1. Customize Your CV

I’ve coached many people who simply submit the same CV for different jobs.  But honestly, if you want the job, then you are going to have to customise your CV for each job.  You need to focus on highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences for each position. Use keywords from the job description to ensure your resume aligns with the employer’s expectations.  Don’t write a list of tasks you’ve done, but highlight the outcomes you’ve achieved and where you have made a difference.

2. Write a Compelling Cover Letter

Craft a cover letter that tells your story and explains why you’re the right fit for the role. Show you understand what the organisation is about and how you are a fit.  Address the vacancy holder by name if you know it.   This is your opportunity to address the specific reason with some key examples showing why you are the person for the job.

3. Take Care With Your Statement

Sometimes you will be asked to submit a cover letter and a personal statement, and sometimes one or the other.  Your statement MUST address the key or essential criteria outlined in the job advert.  If there is a word limit then stick to it.  This is no time to write opinions or generalise.  You must demonstrate for each criterion that you have what the job holder is looking for. Don’t make it difficult for whoever is reading your application.  A good strategy is to make a heading for each criterion and then write a sentence or two which demonstrates why you have met it.   You don’t need to go into too much detail as your assertions will be tested at the interview, but if you follow this advice then you will likely be invited to interview.

Preparing for an Interview

1. Do Your Homework

You are going to be asked questions about yourself, and not what you know about the company. However, having good knowledge about the company’s mission and values, and their current aims and priorities means you can refer to them in your response to questions if it’s appropriate.   Look at their company website and follow their social media accounts which will give you some great insights.

2. Prepare For the interviewer’s questions

Look carefully at the job application form.  Usually, you get a clue about what the interview will focus on.  Certainly, if you are invited to the interview, there should be some simple indications of what the company want to test at the interview.   At the very least you should expect to be questioned on your application and any essential criteria asked for.

    • Formulate a set of examples using the star method.  This is where you are.
      • Set out the situation you are going to talk about
      • Describe what you saw as your task and why it was important.
      • Relate the action you took and why.
      • Report on the result, i.e… what difference did you make?
    • Practice answering common interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Why do you want this job?
    • Consider the strengths the job might require and be prepared to be asked Strength-based questions.   Not every interviewer will use these, but it’s good to be aware in case they do.
    • Make eye contact with the interviewers.
    • Do not take notes in the interview. You should know your examples by heart.   If you must take a prompt, simply take a card with some bullets.  What’s powerful is if you can visualise your bullet points before you go into the interview.

3. Have Questions for Them Too

    • Ask About Company Culture. Find out about the work environment, team dynamics, and management style.  This will help you to know if it aligns with your values and needs.
    • Discern their approach to your growth. Show interest in professional development by asking about training programmes and potential career paths.

Starting A New Job

1. Get Ready for Day One

Your job seeking is over, and you can now celebrate your new job.  So now is the time to prepare to make a great start.  Make sure you know exactly where you are going and if necessary, practice the commute.  If based at home or hybrid working, make sure you understand how you are going to source your kit.  The company will likely have a comprehensive induction programme.  However, don’t assume it will and take a list of the information you will need to know.  For example, employee handbook, policies and information about your role.  What company materials might you need and who should you be meeting early on?

2. First Impressions Matter

    • Take some time to find out if there is a formal or informal dress code.  Equally, what will make you feel comfortable at work?  You will make a positive impression if you’re carefree and comfortable and your clothes are a part of this.
    • Arrive early on your first day and maintain punctuality throughout your tenure at the company.  It’s surprisingly a good impression, but also good practice for you to maintain a discipline of being on time.
    • Introduce yourself to your new coworkers and engage in conversations to build rapport. A positive attitude goes a long way in creating a solid first impression.

3.Find a Mentor

    • Identify experienced colleagues who can offer guidance and support as you navigate your new role.
    • Connect with potential mentors and express your interest in learning from them. Cultivate a mutually beneficial professional relationship.

4. Set Goals and Tackle Tasks

    • Discuss expectations and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your role with your manager.
    • Break down your goals into manageable tasks with deadlines to stay on track.
    • Utilize to-do lists, calendars, and project management tools to prioritize tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

5. Get Feedback and Keep Learning

    • Seek constructive feedback from your manager regarding your performance and areas for improvement.
    • Participate in training or professional development opportunities provided by your company to enhance your skills and grow within the organization.
    • Remain updated on industry trends by reading publications, attending conferences, and engaging in online forums.

Intend For Success

Embarking on a job-seeking journey requires dedication, organization, and strategic planning. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to research and apply for jobs, ace your interviews, and make a successful start in your new role. Remember, the key to a successful job search is perseverance and adaptability. Stay open to learning from your experiences and adjusting as needed to secure the opportunity that’s right for you.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.