Sometimes, you have the luxury of spending months looking for a new job, especially if you are lucky enough to be in a stable position already. At other times, however, you may be under pressure to find a new job fast.
Job hunting is never easy. It can be stressful and time-consuming to go through career websites and job descriptions in the hope of finding the right one for you. There are resumes, cover letters and often lengthy online applications to send - and that’s only when you’ve found a job you actually want to apply for.
What’s more, most of us have rent, mortgages and bills to pay, which adds to the anxiety. So is there a way to make the process go more smoothly?
Write down the essentials
Make sure you have a list of what is essential in your new job, whether it is being in a certain city or flexible working. The list should include everything you ideally want in a job, including the title, money, the chance of a promotion, location, company culture and of course, the work. This template gives you something to compare a job offer against, so you aren’t tempted to take the first thing that lands in your lap.
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It’s also important to consider what is an added perk, rather than a dealbreaker. “When it comes to the role you want, think about what’s essential and what’s a ‘nice to have’. Make sure that you’re being realistic with yourself,” says Ellie Green, job expert at Totaljobs. “For example, are you really prepared to commute over a certain distance? Does the job offer flexible hours you need to match your lifestyle?”
Match your skills
Try not to apply for anything and everything, even if you are worried about finding a new job. “Match your skill sets and experience with what the job description asks you for – it might sound obvious but take steps to echo the language and skills included in the job advert,” Green says. “If you’re unsure of where to start, Totaljobs has plenty of advice for helping you identify the skills you may not be aware you possess.”
“Keep an ongoing log of cover letters, CVs and detailed answers to online competency questions and to which roles and companies you sent them to,” Green adds. “This will not only help you keep track but will also speed up your process going forward.”
If it is taking a while to find the right job, try not to despair. Sometimes, it can take a while to find the right position. If money is tight and you are under pressure, it might be worth considering temporary work or a short-term gig.
You can also work with a staffing agency to find a job as a temp worker or contractor within the field that you’re actually interested in, but you may have to make some compromises. Don’t be shy about asking any friends or family for contacts, too.
Spend time on your CV
You might be pressed for time, but it’s important to resist the urge to click ‘apply’ for every position going without updating your CV and LinkedIn first. Before you start applying, give your resume a once over and make sure all your skills, abilities and recent achievements are included and highlighted.
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Make sure your CV is adapted to fit the roles you are applying for - and don’t send the same cover letter to each employer. “Tailor your CV to the role – it may take time but it is worth doing. Make sure your most relevant experience and skills are easy for a recruiter to spot,” Green says.