Having been in a contract position since May 2012 I began my search for something more permanent just before Christmas and let me tell you…
It has not been easy!
Finding a job nowadays is nothing like it used to be, especially in the corporate world, personally with an employment history that is hospitality based I am used to walking into jobs no problem but in the City it’s a whole different kettle of fish!
I was lucky enough to be given an office role in 2012 but being on a contract has kept me on my toes.
The not knowing is a nightmare!
Will I have a job, won’t I have a job?
And when you are supporting a household this is a daunting premise.
After 5 months of searching, 8 interviews and countless hours trawling through jobs I have been offered a permanent role! Funnily enough within my current company.
I couldn’t be more relieved!
nervous Excited for this new opportunity!
Now I am by NO means saying that I have turned into an expert on job hunting, far from it! But I would like to share with you my experience, hints and tips on how to go about it
So here we go…
The first thing you need to do before you even consider searching for a job is your C.V.
This needs to be up to date and professional!
If you know anyone who is in recruitment or ever interviews as part of their job it may be worth having them check over it as they see high volumes of C.V’s, know what to look out for and what will make yours stand out.
Try and keep it to 1 page, 2 max!
If, like me, you have had a lot of jobs in the same field with the same duties and responsibilities it may be worth cutting these off and keeping the most important/most recent ones.
Make sure you include anything job specific (you can adapt your C.V. per position you apply for) or anything that makes you look good, i.e. charity work.
DO NOT LIE!!
You will get questioned on it and will need to be able to back up anything that is on there.
Learn your C.V. inside out!
Be able to recite in your sleep!
This way you will be more confident when answering questions on it.
Get into a habit of keeping your C.V. up to date, even when you aren’t looking, that way when it comes round to a job change you won’t have to rack your brains to complete it.
Cover letters are an extremely important part of the job application process and should be job specific; you may want to write a master copy which you can adapt for each job you apply for.
Take time on this as it is what will make you stand out against the other applicants.
PROOF READ! SPELL CHECK! GRAMMAR CHECK!
You do not want to make mistakes, you are trying to impress these people, you don’t want to be boasting about your
“eye fr detail”
Then realise you haven’t spotted a simple error.
You can find templates on what should be included in a cover letter online; I used the one from the “Reed” website.
Most of my searching was done online.
Googling names of positions and seeing what came up.
Websites I most frequently used were “Indeed” and “Reed”.
I would say this is now the best way to job search as everything is becoming more technological however you can also look in the local papers or contact job agencies, it all depends on the type of role you are looking for.
Don’t be put off by wage and do not underestimate yourself; apply for everything that catches your eye unless they specifically state that you are not suitable.
The worst anyone can say is no, you won’t get into trouble for applying.
Saying this, keep track of everything you apply for, personally I kept a spreadsheet including:
the date I applied
where I applied i.e. Reed
if I heard back
This way you will not apply for the same job twice and on the other hand if you get a reply you will be more able to decipher which job you are hearing from.
I signed up to various different agencies; I found “Hays” to be the most promising and recently had a friend find a job through them.
For most agencies you will have to go for an initial meeting, some will get you to do tests where others will just want to have a chat, they need to know about you, your experience and abilities to properly refer you to potential employers and put you forward for the most suitable positions.
When applying for a job if they mentioned the recruiters name and email address I would send them a message straight away.
Something like this…
“Dear Joe Bloggs,
I have recently applied for the position of Admin Assisstant through the Reed website (ref number). I would like to express a great interest in this position and welcome any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please find attached mv C.V. for ease of reference.
You can also take this time to add anything you may have missed from your cover letter or use it as a chance to create a cover letter if one was not asked for.
You can also reiterate anything you have previously mentioned.
If you end up getting an interview (which I’m sure you will) make sure you are prepared!!
BUT don’t over think it.
Look your best and stay smart
Keep jewellery make up and nail varnish minimal and neutral
Be yourself and let your personality shine through
Be confident but not cocky!
READ THE JOB SPEC!
Make sure you know the role inside out.
Think of an answer to any question that could possibly come up; personally I find it best to write them down.
Agencies will usually have a list of practice questions they can give you.
Also take examples of your previous work, anything you can think of that relates to the job or shows of your character.
Don’t put yourself down if you do not get the job you go for, chances are you will go through a few before you find something.
Just stay positive and keep motivated.
Remember, everything happens for a reason, if you didn’t get that job you really wanted it’s because you weren’t meant to get it, your job will be waiting for you just round the corner!