How To Find A Job

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If you read my last blog post, and followed all of my top CV writing tips, you should be sitting there with a really amazeballs CV in front of you. Looking for a new job is horrible because of all the crappy rejection you are going to inevitably face. If only you could just sit there, and great job offers come flying in without having to do any scary things. If only you could just click your heels together and *poof!* – you have a new job.

Motivation.

What ever you do, don’t let yourself become a lazy, lethargic, depressed, unemployed loser. It’s so, so easy to just sit there in your jogging bottoms and watch episode after episode of The Big Bang Theory while the sun is shining outside because you have dug yourself into a great big demotivated hole, but just don’t go there. You’ve got to take responsibility for the situation you are in, which is great, because that means you are responsible for getting yourself out of it.

Motivation Rule Number One: Don’t get overwhelmed! Telling yourself to find a job and then freaking out about it won’t get you anywhere. Break it down into stages. The first stage to focus on is just finding vacancies to apply for – easy peasy. Anyone can click ‘send’ on an email. Just focus on doing that, don’t worry about the other stages just now.

Motivation Rule Number Two: Gradual building. If you are waking up at three in the afternoon and only managing to stare at Monster.com for about 20 minutes before switching on Man vs. Food on the TV, then you need to get yourself back into a working pattern gradually. The next day, wake up at 2pm. Then 1pm, the next day. Then 12, then 11, then 10am. Before you know it, you will have sorted our your sleeping pattern and your body clock won’t  have even noticed. The next trick I always do, is to set a goal for 1 hour of job hunting one day, then two hours the next day, then three. When you are working, set your timer on your phone for 20 minutes. For those 20 minutes, you don’t have your phone on, you sit and you stay focused on what you are doing without any distractions. After 20 mins, have a little break, then do another 20 minutes. This will keep you focused for a longer period of time collectively, rather than doing a solid hour of work but not really focusing for half of it.

Generally, keep active, eat healthy and keep seeing your mates around your job hunting sessions – your well being is really important at this time.

It’s A Numbers Game.

On average, it takes four interviews to get a job. Those were our targets when I worked in recruitment – if we booked in four interviews then it was more than likely one of our candidates would get a job. To get an interview, I would say you need to make 5 or 6 good, targeted job applications. So technically you can do the maths and work out how many applications you need to make. It’s not going to happen if you just apply for a couple here and there every few days.

Organise Like You Life Depends On It.


Organisers and planners and notebooks make me go all gooey inside, so naturally I have to go out and buy a ‘Job Hunting Note Pad’ when I’m looking for a new job. On the first page, I’ll write down my log-in details for all the job websites I’m signed up to. Then going forward, I write the date at the top of the page, log the amount of time I spent looking for jobs, and where I looked. e.g. 20 min session on Monster, 45 min session on Job Site, 10 mins looking through the local paper. Keeping a record of where you are looking means that you can fully utilise all the different resources out there equally – if you notice you are spending a lot of time on Monster over the week, you can change it up a bit the next week and put more focus on Jobsite.

The second absolutely VITAL thing that needs setting up is an Application tracker. It’s simply a spreadsheet on Excel, where you make note of everything you are applying for. I log the job title, where the job was advertised, how I applied (by email, by post, through a recruiter), the date and the name of the person I sent the application to if possible. I leave a column for ‘follow -up calls’  which is really important. When I apply for a job, I put a date in the follow up column for about 4-5 days so that I can make contact with them again if I haven’t had a response. If I get a rejection, I highlight the job in red so that I know I don’t have to follow up. The end result is that I am following up on every job I apply for, and I only have to worry about doing a few calls every day. I always feel that calling the employer a few days after you sent them a CV is so important, because you will stand out from the other applicants as being enthusiastic and confident. I always ask if they received my application OK, because then they have to go and look to check for you, and your name sticks in their mind a little more. While they are looking through the applicants for me, I’ll usually ask them questions about the job and just by chatting for a few minutes, they remember me. Obviously you want to come across as being bright and interested over the phone – you get bonus points if you can make them laugh.

Look Everywhere.


You should have accounts with all of the big Job websites – don’t stick to just signing up to a couple, because companies have to pay to advertise their jobs on the websites and they might only pay for a couple and you’ll miss out. Absolutely make sure that your CV can be viewed by recruiters – this is about employers being able to find you, not just you finding employers. Make sure you complete all the sections if you are required to fill out forms.
Actively look on companie’s websites – they will often post job vacancies so if you have a list of favourite companies you would like to work for, check through all their websites once every few weeks and follow them on social media as they are likely to post there too.

You should regularly look through local papers and magazines, as some businesses might think that is the best place to advertise for good people.

Networking is a really key thing to use to your advantage. You would be amazed how things can just happen by chance on Facebook and Twitter. My amazing friend Lexi from Those Words She Wrote put all of her skills and experiences onto a pretty card/image and shared it far and wide on social media – she got her friends sharing it and we even started a #FindLexiAJob campaign. Of course the shared posts got spotted by someone and she was given some fantastic freelance writing projects. You will find that Facebook groups are also a great resource – in Hastings there are loads of great community pages and people regularly post asking if there are jobs going anywhere and people are very quick to help and make suggestions. If you are in Marketing, there might be some great Marketing groups or twitter chats you can get involved with.

Recruitment agencies are the final suggestion – send your CV out to loads of them, make sure they know what kinds of jobs you are looking for, and let them do the work. If they have any available jobs going, they will give you a call. They get paid by companies to fill vacancies, so if they think you are a great candidate for the job they will work hard to make sure you get the job so they can get their fee.

Applications – QUALITY over QUANTITY.

I remember listening to a feature on the radio, about how difficult it is for young people to find employment at the moment. One guy they interviewed said ‘yea, like I’ve applied for over 350 jobs and I haven’t been able to find anything, what’s the government going to do about it’? Well, quite frankly, it’s got nothing to do with the government, I thought. It’s your responsibility to find a job. You’ve probably got a rubbish CV that you’re just sending out randomly in the hope that something sticks. I know in my previous point, that I said it’s a numbers game, but that becomes irrelevent if you are just applying to everything and anything. Apply to realistic jobs and you are more likely to get somewhere.

Match Your CV to Each Job.


When you find a vacancy advertised that you want to apply for, the first thing you need to do is pick out the key skills, experiences and attributes that the employer is looking for. Write them down in bullet points in your Job Hunting Note Pad. The secret to making a quality application is to give 100% focus to those bullet points. You need to show the employer that you have all of those skills, experiences and attributes and to do that, you need to tailor your CV to the job. I send a different CV out to each job I apply for; tweaking it, adding things and moving things around. I save each CV version in a file on my computer to keep if I come across similar jobs.

Let me give you an example. Here’s an advert I’ve just found on a local jobs page:

We are looking for an enthusiastic, confident person with a bubbly personality to join the UK marketing and admissions team. The post involves dealing with telephone enquiries, admissions administration, exhibition stands (including some Saturdays) and meet and greet with school visitors. This is a customer facing role and some marketing or sales experience would be an advantage. Must be computer literate and have a good telephone manner. Possibility of Full Time position.

Let’s highlight the key points:

We are looking for an enthusiastic, confident person with a bubbly personality to join the UK marketing and admissions team. The post involves dealing with telephone enquiries, admissions administration, exhibition stands (including some Saturdays) and meet and greet with school visitors. This is a customer facing role and some marketing or sales experience would be an advantage. Must be computer literate and have a good telephone manner. Possibility of Full Time position.

So everything in your CV should demonstrate examples of you being or doing all of these highlighted points. At the top of your CV and in your covering letter, you should write something like: ‘An enthusiastic, confident and bubbly person, with a strong work ethic and excellent telephone manner.’ Any experiences you have of dealing with telephone enquiries, dealing with admin and using a computer should be made really dominant and clear on your CV. Don’t have any experience in sales? That’s OK – they’ve said it would be an advantage but it’s not necessary. If they like everything else on your CV then they might think about training you up. It might be worth just quickly mentioning the time you did a few weeks work experience in a call centre, that you didn’t have on your CV before. If you send them the same general CV you send to every job, and you’ve missed out details of how you would answer phones in your previous job because to you it seems like a small detail and you didn’t really think to add it, you probably won’t be considered for interviews.

Hopefully this has helped in some way, I really do know how horrible Job Hunting can be but always remember that you deserve a great job, and you have so much to offer. If you have any questions, send them my way and I’ll be happy to help!

Be happy, be bright, be you. xx

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