What are the key ingredients for a successful job search?

Posted on Posted in Ask Alison

To celebrate the return of Great British Bake Off I thought I’d talk about the key ingredients you need for a successful job search.

Ingredient One – Career assessment

Whether you’re at the very beginning of your working life or have a few years’ experience under your belt but fancy a change, you need to start by thinking about the skills you have and the things you enjoy doing. This will give you an idea of what you can offer employers and also what sort of work you should be considering. Think as well about the way you like to work – are you happy to be left to your own devices or do you need to be part of a team?

Ingredient Two – a strong CV and cover letter

Now that you have an idea of what you want to do you need to get your CV ready, making sure that it’s tailored to suit the type of role you’re going for.

Employers have limited time when it comes to reviewing CVs so, to make sure your CV doesn’t end up in the bin, you need to be aware of what you should, and definitely shouldn’t, do when writing your CV.

Many recruiters believe that a cover letter is just as important as the actual CV so don’t limit your chances by not including one. As long as it’s tailored to the role (as with your CV) then it’s another opportunity for you to sell yourself to a potential employer.

Key Ingredients for Successful Job Search

Ingredient Three – Networking

Make sure that you tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a new opportunity – you never know who your family and friends have in their network. The more people who know about your job search the better.

Don’t forget about social media as a networking tool either. For professionals looking for work you can’t beat LinkedIn, so build a profile that highlights all your skills and experience. You can start it privately and make the details public once you are happy that it showcases your strengths to their best advantage. The details posted online should match your CV and cover letters as employers often check up on candidates online.

Ingredient Four – Interview skills

The good news is that you’ve got an interview. To help you clinch the deal at this stage it’s important to be prepared.

Interviews normally follow a tried and tested format with similar questions cropping up regularly so do a bit of research into the most popular interview questions and practice the answers to them.

Don’t forget to be professional when you’re going for an interview so make sure that you’re dressed appropriately, are on time, and are courteous to everyone you meet.

Ingredient Five – Follow up

Interview over you might choose to send a brief thank you letter (or e-mail). It’s not compulsory but can keep you at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.

Some of these steps might seem daunting at first but, if you’ve got all the right ingredients, you will get the job that’s perfect for you so don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t happen straight away.

If you want more information, sign up for my free e-book, 5 Steps to Job Search Success.

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