Job hunting can be a full-time job in itself. It can also be draining. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart with how you approach the process.
Here are some tips to help with your approach:
By having a structure, you can be far more focused and targeted in how you go about the process.
This could involve disciplining yourself to doing a set number of job-related tasks per day or week. For example, it could mean deciding on how many CVs you plan to send out over a week or how many people you choose to reach out to. It could involve how many hours research each week you commit to. To monitor your progress, you could record your targets in a spreadsheet.
By having a framework, you can be more methodical and are less likely to waste energy on simple distractions.
Even with a structure, it helps to fine-tune your focus. Many people take a scattergun approach to their job search. They essentially send their CV out to every role they see advertised, regardless of their suitability.
You may well get lucky, but you have a better chance of gaining traction if you are more considered in your actions. That means properly researching the positions and organisations in depth, reaching out to individuals at the target companies and tailoring your CV to each application. Although this may appear more demanding, you are far more likely to get a better return on your efforts by being more deliberate.
An often-quoted statistic is that more than 70% of people land jobs through networking. We’ve also known for some time that the vast majority of job openings are never advertised. This offers up a potential goldmine for job seekers.
Rather than wasting time responding to hundreds of job postings you see online, think about ways in which you can use the power of your network.
See whether they can help you get introductions to key decision makers. Companies are keen to employ people that are referred – it saves them the cost of having to use a recruiter and they can hope for a good cultural fit for a candidate endorsed by an existing employee.
Also, reach out to recruitment consultants. They can help do some of the legwork for you. But remember, they are ultimately working on behalf of companies and not for you. So, don’t just sit around waiting to hear back from them.
Job hunting can be a lonely pursuit. It’s very easy to lock yourself away, which isn’t great for satisfying our human need for community. As such, it’s important that you remain connected with others, if only to keep your sanity.
If possible, make the effort to catch up with friends at lunchtime. You could also look for daytime Meetup groups, whether job related or not. At the very least, find different ways to surround yourself with people. If there’s no one to hang out with, you can always go to a coffee shop or the library. You’ve simply got to find ways to stay engaged with the world.
It’s very easy to fall into bad habits if you don’t have the structure that comes from a job. Sleeping in, watching mind-numbing TV, eating badly and lazing at home are easy defaults. So, make sure you build some self-care into your routine.
Try to eat healthily to regulate your mood and energy levels. If you don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, find a park to do your workouts. Or go for a hike. Maintaining good physical and mental fitness is massively overlooked in the job search process.
Job hunting can be a long, hard slog. It can be stressful too. Because of that, it’s important to make sure you make time for things you enjoy in life.
Obviously, there’s got to be balance. You still must keep your search at the forefront. But you’ve also got to make time for yourself to connect with things that excite you. Don’t forget that the mood you are in can have a huge bearing on how well you execute in your quest for a new job.
One of the most common, reoccurring jokes in the job industry today is how an "entry-level position" requires 2+ years of experience.