The Basics of Job Hunting (Part One)

Estimated reading time: 7 mins

It is that time of the year when a lot of us will be going through annual evaluations at our workplaces. There will possibly be some increments and some disappointments. Most of us tend to reflect on our current situation around the New Year and many of us have “changing jobs” as one of our New Year’s resolutions. Therefore, if this is the case, then you will have to go back to some of the job hunting basics to prepare yourself in landing the job of your dreams.

I know that working on your CV or building an entirely new one can seem to be a tedious and extremely boring task. To be honest, I would rather just browse all those job postings online than take out the time to update my experience in the CV. This effort can seem even more painful if you have been unhappy at your current workplace for a long time and/or have not tried your luck at job hunting in a while. However, not to worry – all you need is to build the right mindset. In this blog, I will be talking about the basics of job hunting and how having the right mindset in all these steps will help you a long way in finding the right professional move for yourself. Recruiters change, employer’s requirements evolve and you just need to make sure that you have what it takes and are the person they want.

Let us start with the attitude that you need to have before you embark on your job hunting adventure. You need to have self-belief – this might sound clichéd but trust me when I say ‘if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will’. We all have some moments when we lack self-belief and our trust in our abilities dwindles by a bad event like not getting a job that we wanted so badly or the fact that our existing employer is not appreciating our efforts and achievements. A bad increment at the end of the year can be the final nail in the coffin, but instead of depressing you, this should motivate you to strive harder and look for a move. With this mentality, let us look at the 10 job searching tips that we all need to follow:

Keep Yourself Prepared – You should have a voicemail system set up and sign up for an email address that sounds professional (I cannot stress enough the importance of not using your teenage nick names in the email address). It is a good idea to use a separate email account just for job searches, helping you to stay organized and not miss any emails. In addition, have a professional Skype or Hangouts account and share that on your resume along with your updated cell phone number. All of this will allow you to achieve a serious mindset and approach towards your job hunt.

Stay Up-to-Date – It is important to keep your resume up-to-date and ready to be sent to recruiters. You can never predict a good opportunity coming your way, so keep yourself prepared. Stay motivated about getting a good job offer and be prepared for the opportunity. I am guessing you’re already on LinkedIn, and if you’re not then please stop reading this blog post and make your profile right now! Next, start connecting with relevant people there.

Get Professional Help – If you are out of creativity, it might be a good idea to check with the professionals. You can find tons of templates for CV on Canva. You can also get in touch with online companies that can prepare a professional looking CV for you. They can also help you in building a good cover letter and a portfolio document (particularly useful for designers and marketers). Do not feel shy about getting help from others. Part of self-belief is realizing your shortcomings and weaknesses and reaching out for help when you need it.

Get Socially Active – If you are an introvert, you will have to get out of your shell and socialize online with your contacts, their contacts, and their contacts. Websites like Facebook and Twitter can be great in finding job listings before they go online on other sites. You will see many of your contacts sharing job posts with close contacts. It is also the right time to clean up your social media profiles. Might be a good idea to delete, hide or change the privacy settings of your weirder photos, videos and posts as recruiters these days have a habit of looking up and stalking candidates on social media.

Be Visible, Be Loud – This is becoming more and more effective these days. Gone are the days of reaching out to recruiters. These days, if you are loud enough and your social media presence is impressive enough, you will be contacted by headhunters.  Try to be more visible by participating in online discussions. Follow relevant influential people online and attend networking events. When you represent yourself at these events, keep an aura of confidence – talk in a composed, controlled fashion (often talking too fast is considered lacking in confidence).

Do Your Research – When job hunting, you need to thoroughly research the companies and the job roles that you want to take. Again, you need to look within to know exactly what you want to do. It is never too late to do what you like, but it is important to know that whatever direction you want to take still connects nicely with your existing experience, education, and something that you are passionate about. Create and maintain a list of companies in an excel sheet and keep marking them as you apply. Sometimes you will only see job posts on a company’s website, so it is a good idea to visit their websites. It can also be very helpful in job interviews to know a bit about the company and their offerings.

Perseverance is the Key – Whatever you do, do not stop! Limiting your job searching to just the big job websites like Monster, Randstad and Reed will just limit your chances. Look everywhere and never give up. From my own personal experience, I have had the most success in things after totally losing hope in them. Ask your friends for referrals and contacts to relevant people. Do all that you can and keep doing it until you hit the jackpot.

Keep Your Spirits High – It is common to see rejections piling up as time passes. Such situations can easily dishearten you to the point that you start thinking about giving up and staying content with your existing job. However, it is being persistent that will really help you in the end. So keep your spirits high and understand that you are destined for bigger things.

Other than the tips above, I suggest that you do practice your confident face in the mirror. We all have a certain look that makes us look more desirable and appealing. Practice interview situations and questions and prepare answers for all situations. Many of us do not share any weakness with recruiters when asked. If you ask me, I would tell my interviewer my weakness and then all the positive steps I took in overcoming the weakness – because life is all about overcoming your fears rather than falsely believing you don’t have any. Another advice that I would give is to avoid resigning from your existing workplace unless you get a signed contract from your new employer. Some of us do the mistake of resigning just based on a job offer, which can put you in a pickle.

As for your CV, try to keep it short and crisp, highlighting on your main strengths and achievements, but not writing a whole novel on how great you are. Always try to show some numbers that you were able to achieve for your teams in the past. If you have a portfolio, you can show some case studies of the projects that you have managed in the past, showing the challenge that you faced, the solution that you provided and the results that were achieved, combined with some pictures, creatives and snapshots.

So there you have it – the basics of job hunting. This is the first part of series of two blog posts, in which we covered all that you need to do before getting that call for interview. The second part will discuss how to tackle the interviews and what to do after that, no matter what the results. A lot of you are great writers as well and I think you will particularly like this blog of on Top 5 Best Money Making Jobs for Writers.

Moreover, I would like to know your real life stories on this topic. Please do share your thoughts on how you achieve that mindset needed before job hunting and if there is a specific routine, you follow while looking for switching your workplace. I would love to feature the best tips on my website.

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