3 Rules for a Successful Job Search

Catherine Human Resources, Job Search, Recruiting

No one’s ever excited about a job search. Not only is it hard work, the constant cycle of built-up expectations and rejection can be emotionally taxing too. Thankfully, there are ways to make it easier for yourself. Here are 3 rules that will help you make your job search a success.

1. Don’t apply for every role you see

When applying for jobs, it might seem like more is more, but it’s just not the case. Clicking apply on every role you see that even vaguely fits what you’re looking for is a great way to get yourself into a sticky situation. Not only are you creating way more work for yourself than is needed by having to keep track of all your different applications, but you’re also potentially wasting the recruiter’s time by applying for roles you’re not a fit for, and your own time by applying for roles that you know aren’t what you want.

Carefully consider every application. Ask yourself: Are you able to do the role? Are you willing to take on the challenge of learning something new? Are you excited by the company or industry? Would you be happy with the salary on offer? Do you know what you could bring to the role? Make sure that when you’re clicking apply, it’s because can see yourself thriving in the role.

2. Your application message and CV are your best weapons on your job search

It’s your chance to get a foot in the door. Your chance to stand out among hundreds of other applicants. An opportunity to show the recruiter why you’re the perfect fit for the role. You shouldn’t throw it away by sending the same CV and same generic message for each vacancy. At best the recruiter might glance right past your CV, at worst you may create the impression that you’re not that enthusiastic about the role

At the same time, you should also make sure that your grammar and spelling are professional. No, recruiters probably aren’t going to throw away your application after spotting a typo or two. But sending an application that’s full of mistakes – especially if the mistakes should be easy to catch – may create an incorrect impression. The recruiter initially only has whatever you send them to go on, so you should be aiming to impress as much as possible. The last thing you want is to hurt your chances of getting shortlisted for something that can be easily fixed.

Always check your messages before sending. Download a grammar and spelling checker like Grammarly if you know you’re not great at picking up on typos yourself. Get someone you trust to read through your CV and cover letter. Make sure that you understand the specifics of the job you’re applying for and tailor your CV, cover letter, and application message accordingly. Always make sure that you’re presenting the best version of yourself. Your job search is all about marketing yourself so make sure that you’re giving yourself the best possible chance.

3. Want to ace the interview? PREPARE.

If you’ve made it all the way to the point of being invited for an interview, don’t throw the opportunity away by going in without the proper research. About 47% of candidates are rejected after the first interview due to only having a vague idea about the company and role. When going into your interview, make sure that you know your stuff. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Here are some important things to know and have ready when it comes to your interview:

  • Do you have all the information available on the role?
  • Do you understand the job spec and what would be expected of you?
  • Are you confident that you know what the company does and how your role fits into it?
  • Are you certain about the interview details (time, date, location, etc.)?
  • Do you have an idea of who will be on the interview panel?
  • Have you prepared answers to some of the most commonly asked interview questions?
  • Do you know what unique qualities you could bring to the team?
  • Do you have an idea of ways the company could help you achieve your goals in return?
  • Have you prepared questions to ask the interview panel?

The more prepared you are, the calmer you will be going into your interview. By ensuring that you are confident in your knowledge, you can focus instead on marketing yourself effectively and making sure that you’re properly engaging in the conversation.

Remember: It’s your job search

When job searching, quality is more important than quantity. Rather than sending out hundreds and hundreds of bland applications, focus instead on sending in a handful of really compelling applications for roles that excite you. Apply to companies that you want to learn more about. Career moves are big decisions, so always make sure that you’re making them intentionally and with plenty of research.

You’ve got this!

Want more job seeking tips? Check out these articles:

Will a degree get me a (better) job?

Your Job Search: 3 Ways AI is Making it Easier

Job Seekers: How to avoid a “Tinder Swindler” Scenario

Your Job Hunt – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Your job search: what’s the first step?