How To Find The Best Job For You
Last Updated on 8th October 2020 by Freddie Chirgwin-Bell
Finding work is tough. In fact, finding a full-time job is often a full-time job.
We live in a world where that are dozens if not hundreds of people applying for each individual position.
We’re also expected to know how to find a job, without ever actually learning the best way to find a role or how to secure one.
This can leave you repeating unsuccessful methods hoping you’ll break through.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
So if you’re feeling a bit like you’re going round in circles and getting nowhere with it, then it’s time to change tactic.
Take a step back and think about your approach before sending out the job applications.
What if it was easier? What if finding the best job for you doesn’t have to be a chore but a simple process?
These steps show how you can find your next role, your next career and the best job for you.
List Your Skills, Experience & Qualifications
Grab a pen and paper and let’s get started.
Think about all of the experience, skills and qualifications you have and write them all down.
It could be from school, college, university or decades of work experience. Whatever it is write it down.
This way you have everything laid out ready to use.
Think of it like baking a cake. You want to make sure you’ve got all your ingredients ready, weighed out and organised before you start.
Once you’ve written everything out, think about your core skills. The stuff you’re really good at.
These kinds of core skills are usually the ones that look good in every job, rather than a specific job
These are going to be the things that you will want to highlight and put forward when you come to applying.
Recruiters often search for people based on a list of desired skills.
Understanding which ones you have will make you more visible, and more likely to be considered for a job.
Figure Out What You Want To Do
On average you’re going to spend a third of your life at work, you may as well enjoy it.
It should be something you want to do.
Your job should cover your passion, your skills and being something the world needs.
This can be an easy question to answer or it can be a difficult question to answer.
But, figuring this out will help your job search.
Understanding what you want to do and how your skills can help you can target what you want.
This makes success a lot more likely.
We’re after sniper precision, not a shotgun blast going in all directions.
Once you’ve decided it’s now time to compare this to what you listed out in the last step.
You’re looking to see how much overlap there is between what you want to do and what skills and experience you have.
By being specific about what you want to do you can tailor your job search making it a lot better.
Grow and Use Your Network
Most job vacancies aren’t advertised. In fact, they are filled before they even get to that stage.
How? Personal recommendations.
Personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold.
Using your network will provide those opportunities. These people not only provide the introduction but also act as a mark of quality on your behalf.
So it’s always a good idea to invest in your network.
Your network of contacts, colleagues, bosses, friends, family and acquaintances is something that you should always be growing and nurturing. If you haven’t already, start.
Over time you will generate contacts, friends, acquaintances.
They can help you find work, progress your career, break into an industry and more.
One of the best ways to do this in todays modern age is through LinkedIn.
It’s not only one of the greatest job-hunting tools it’s also one of the greatest career development and networking tools.
We’re not going to get into the details of how to best use LinkedIn here. A quick Google search will help answer that for you.
Take the time to build a network. These kinds of professional connections are worth their weight in gold.
They can recommend you, endorse your skills and expertise and make you well known within your industry.
Your network also includes your family. Your family and friends are the best pre-existing networks you can use to help find you a new opportunity.
If any of them work within the industry or role you’re after then talking to them about this can be the easiest way of securing a role.
It’s not guaranteed, but, personal recommendations go a long way to
Focus Your Job Search – Be Precise
Everything we have listed until now has been leading up to this: the actual job search.
But, you can’t go in guns blazing to everything and everywhere.
You aren’t going to get a good response if you take that approach.
So do your research and select the roles and companies that you want to work for.
With the previous steps you’re going to understand your skills, you’re going to know where you want to go into. Now you need to find those companies and positions.
Be specific. Look at their culture, their ethics and whether they match what you want.
This will quickly develop a shortlist of companies that you will want to work for.
This is highly important as you will be checking their careers pages repeatedly for any opportunities.
You can also use their job descriptions to help find other companies or roles that best fit who you are and what you want in your career.
You should now have a clear focused idea of what companies and what roles you want to go for. You should also have a good idea of the kinds of skills, experience, qualifications, key words and attitude you need to have to succeed.
The clearer and more precise the image in your head, the better.
Broaden Your Job Search
Wait? You just said focus your job search and be precise.
However, by having a clear focused approach to your job search, you can broaden where you look and how you look to achieve the best result.
There’s more than just one way to find a job.
In fact, there are dozens of ways.
Now that you have made your search criteria as precise as possible, you have to make sure that message reaches as many opportunities as possible.
Go beyond your normal Google search. Go to career fairs, go to recruitment agencies, go to the companies directly.
Those companies you identified earlier? Regularly check their career pages, set up a google alert or call them regularly to check for vacancies.
Found a specialist recruitment agency that deals in your sector/industry? Contact them and talk to them.
Found a generalist agency that works with the companies you want to be with? Contact them.
Go through LinkedIn jobs for specific keywords that could throw up companies or roles that you hadn’t considered or thought of.
Go through more than just Indeed, got to Reed, CV-Library, TotalJobs, Glassdoor, Adzuna, JobsIn websites etc.
Talk to your network and see what’s available, most jobs have become vacant and then filled before they’re ever advertised through simple networking.
Another tactic you can use is broadening your search to include roles just underneath your key role.
You are more likely to be accepted but this role can act as a gateway or transition into the role you want. If anything this can also allow you to generate paid experience and further develop your skills.
Write, Update & Tailor Your CV
Now that you’ve found the jobs, you’ve made your shortlist, you’ve got the knowledge, now it’s time to apply.
Like with the vast theme of this post thus far, you need to be precise.
With that you need to tailor your CV carefully, ensuring that all the key points from the job description are matched in your work.
Writing your CV is a process that you should be familiar with, however, make sure you’re following all the latest guidelines and advice.
You should get your general CV ready (already written beautifully of course) and then you need to look at how to best tailor it.
Tailoring your CV is vitally important. Remember we’re after precision.
You take a copy of your base CV and adjust it to best suit that particular job, role, description and company.
By doing this you stack the odds of getting an interview MASSIVELY in your favour!
You should also take the time to update your LinkedIn profile to match your CV.
That way you can quickly apply for jobs on the platform, but also recruiters looking for you have all the best and up to date information.
Prepare for the Interview
We use the phrase “Your CV doesn’t get you the job. Your CV gets you the interview. The interview gets you the job.”
The interview is what seals the deal and gets you your job.
Your CV has made them curious, they’re thinking about hiring you. You now just have to prove it.
So here’s the best piece of advice you’re ever going to get: Plan.
Before an interview always do your research and plan, plan, plan.
Lets start with the basics. You need to answer to the following questions:
- Where is the interview taking place?
- When is the interview taking place?
- How are you getting there?
- Who are you being interviewed by?
- How are you going to present yourself?
- What are you being interviewed about?
- What questions are they going to ask?
- What does the company do?
DO NOT WING IT ON THE DAY!
If you haven’t prepared for this then you could lose the job before you walk in.
The point of these interviews is simple, they want to confirm that you’re a perfect fit for their business. That’s why preparing for your interview is so important.
That first impression is your chance to secure that dream job.
The main thing you want to practice is what questions they are most likely going to ask.
This is obviously difficult but by knowing the most common interview questions you can prepare how you’re going to answer them.
Rejection: Learn & Adapt
The uncomfortable truth about job hunting is rejection.
If you’ve followed the above advice to the letter, then you have stacked the odds in your favour.
It doesn’t mean it’s 100% certain though.
That’s why we often say that as soon as you have sent an application, make a note of what day you sent it and also the date 7 days after your application. Then move on to your next application.
As soon as that 7 day mark has passed, if you haven’t heard anything from the employer or recruiter, assume it’s a rejection and keep on applying.
However, if you do get a rejection email, notice or letter don’t be afraid to follow up with them. Thank them for their time and ask for feedback.
You might not get a further response but if you do get feedback then you at least know what holes to address in your application making your next time stronger.
With every application, with every rejection, you should learn and adapt to be better than the last time.
Staying positive and adapting your CV and your interview technique is the best way to get closer to that elusive yes.
At the end of the day, remember the worst that can happen is they say No.
You should always look to learn more and improve your skills.
To progress in any career, you need to foster an attitude of continuous improvement.
Some jobs need specific skill sets or qualifications to prove that you can do them.
So look at what will help you move forward in your career or gain that job you really want.
Then go find a way to learn and upskill yourself.
We live in an age of internet courses and information overload. People have learnt entire trades and skillsets by watching YouTube.
So with that, keep that continuous improvement mindset in your head.
- University of York offers free short courses in fields such as cognitive psychology.
- University of Oxford has a free course on economic development.
- Open University offers many free courses too.
- Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare and more are available to gain new skills or brush up your knowledge.
However, you may find your experience is lacking, especially if you’re looking for a career change.
Getting fresh relevant experience can take many forms:
- They last anywhere from a few weeks to 12 months. Aimed at students and graduates, they provide relevant experience in their field.
- Interns are workers and are paid at least the National Living Wage.
- It may be a drastic pay cut, but could open the door to a huge career.
- If you’ve got the time to spare, develop your skills by giving your time.
- There are volunteer opportunities in almost every sector.
- Work placements.
- A work placement can be a compulsory element of your degree.
- You will be assessed through completing tasks and projects.
- If not compulsory, arrange your own by contacting employers to enquire about your options.
- Work shadowing.
- Shadowing a professional even for a day or two, you will gain valuable insight into what their work involves.
Upskilling is a process that you should take regularly throughout your career. It keeps your knowledge fresh, your skills sharp and your prospects open and varied.
So when it comes to job searching, if you’re having a lot of rejections all around a lack of experience or skills, then rapidly look to upskill yourself to help give your application that key boost.
You’ve finally gotten that all important confirmation!
Now you can enjoy the result of all that hard work, your brand new job.
There are few feelings quite as satisfying as knowing you’ve got a new job to go to, people to meet and a career that you love.