5 things I wish I knew before: Starting my job hunt
I am sure you would not be surprised if I told you that searching for a job in today’s job market can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience. If you are about to enter the job hunting arena, the bitter truth is that the road towards landing a job will often be a rocky one. Mistakes, lost opportunities, rejections and disappointments are unfortunately part of the game. The good news however, is that “we’ve been there – done that” and are happy to pass our wisdom on to you. Here are five tips that can help you prepare for your job search, in the hope that they might save you some time and frustration.
There’s no time to lose
As with all the important things in our lives, the same applies here: there is no such thing as an ideal time. There is good timing, of course, but the sooner you begin your job search the better. Looking for a job should be an active process. Stay ahead of the game and avoid any chances of missing a great opportunity.
Create a weekly schedule
No matter how much time you have on your hands ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. So make sure to create a feasible weekly plan and stick to it. If you are still studying or working, find which days are less busy in the week and use each one for a different activity (search – research – application). In case you are unemployed, I’d suggest you consider the job hunt as your full-time job. Trust me, this way you can enjoy your weekends without feeling stressed and guilty.
Organize your research
Simply googling job key terms will not do the trick. You need to build a research strategy! Start off by defining your criteria and standards (location, sector, title, skill-set & interests, future goals, values, flexibility etc.) Then start making lists of companies and organisations you would like to work for or find interesting. Follow and explore their social media. Take notice of every job portal, jobsite and association website that match your criteria and sign-up to their job alerts. Finally, keep record of your activities in a ‘job hunting’ file on your desktop – it does come in handy.
Polish up your online presence
There is no need to tell you how important your online presence is in your job hunt process. Use digital/social media to your full advantage and make sure to capture the attention of employers (with quality content not drunken photos). See more information on how to market yourself online blog series and how to use LinkedIn on your job search.
Networking is key!
By networking, we do not only mean going to events, meeting people and having small talk. Well, of course you should be doing this too, but networking is also about leveraging whom you know and spreading the word around about your ongoing job hunt. (Re-)connect with people you already know and share your career goals, passions and why not your resume too. A good reference can be a hundred times more effective than the most awesome CV or cover letter.
It is important to remember that searching for a job is not only about nailing a great job position. It is also about getting to know yourself, realizing your strengths and exploring your limits. It might be hard, but enjoy the ride and make the best of it!
Tip! Always keep in mind that a significant number of job openings are not published online, so networking and sending open applications are both very much advised.
 Awesome quote by Benjamin Franklin
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