Can you believe that it’s November already? It always feels like it sneaks up on us, and maybe even more so when you’re still on your job hunt. There’s no need to panic though. Here are 11 tips for getting a “YES” on your job hunt in the 11th month.
1. Focus on roles that match your skill set
Employers are far more likely to offer a role to someone who doesn’t need to much training. There’s nothing wrong with applying for a job that you’d like to take on as a challenge, but don’t focus too much on these – especially if you’re looking for something in a hurry. Make sure that most of the jobs you’re applying for match with your current skill set.
2. Don’t overlook internal positions on your job hunt
Is there a role available in your current company? Go for it! Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you’re trying to move to another company. But if you’re happy where you are and are just looking for career growth, why not? First prize for any employer is finding someone who already knows the company culture and systems and who they don’t need to spend valuable time and money searching for.
Reach out to your connections. Know of someone who works in an industry you’re interested in? Drop them a line and express your interest in a role in that industry. Attend networking events to build your network if you don’t feel you know enough people for this. Attend career expos and job fairs too. You would be surprised how often the conversations at these events lead to getting your foot in the door.
4. On your job hunt, don’t put all your eggs in one basket
It’s never a good idea to put all your hopes on one opportunity. Apply for as many roles as you’re excited about. Not only does this increase your probability of being invited for an interview, but it also means that you have multiple options available to you. And don’t settle for the first offer you get. If you know you are waiting to hear back about other opportunities, you have the benefit of waiting for the offer you really want.
5. Tailor your applications
Recruiters and employers can tell the difference between a generic application and someone who genuinely wants the role. Instead of sending the same CV and message with every application, pay attention to the job spec and tailor it accordingly. This doesn’t mean adding things that aren’t true, but rather seeing where your skills and experience line up with what the job spec is asking for and highlighting these. It’s also really important to write a good, customised cover letter. For advice on how to write a winning cover letter, check out this previous blog post: Do I Really Need a Cover Letter?
6. Work with your recruiters on your job hunt
Yes, talking back and forth to supply additional info can be frustrating, but it’s important. Your recruiter is trying their best to market you as best as possible. If they request details, or ask you to complete an assessment or form, it’s only ever to help your chances of getting the job. Respond quickly, and work with them. If you show your recruiter that you’re serious about the role and willing to do your part, they will fight their hardest for you every time.
7. Fine-tune your interviewing skills
It’s always good practice to prepare answers to the most common questions asked in interviews. But what happens if they ask you a question that seems completely out of left field? This is where it’s important to practice thinking on your feet. The beauty of the internet is that there is plenty of information out there on how to do this (try this YouTube playlist for instance) but it could also be a good idea to enroll in a couple of improv classes or even a Toastmasters course. Learning to think on your feet is vital to making sure you communicate and market yourself as effectively as possible.
8. Don’t be shy about your achievements
Your job search is no time to play it safe. If there’s a career achievement that you’re proud of, highlight it! No one is going to advocate for you the way that you can advocate for yourself. Your main task as the job seeker is to market yourself as an opportunity for the employer as much as the role would be an opportunity for you. Don’t sell yourself short by not talking about your achievements.
9. Learn how to turn your weaknesses into strengths
Learning how to spin your weaknesses as positives is a key skill for your job seeking journey. Again, this doesn’t mean lying or pretending that you don’t have struggles, but rather showing how you work around these. Do you struggle with time management? Explain the methods that you’ve found to organise your day and keep yourself on track. Are you quite impulsive? Explain how you’re working on thinking things through, when necessary, but how your impulsivity also means you’re great at taking initiative. Everyone struggles with something in the workplace. Learning how to show that you’re dedicated to working on yours will take away the anxiety of being asked about your weaknesses.
10. Job hunt taking time? Take a job as a starting point
Sometimes your job search doesn’t go the way you planned. Don’t despair! Your dream role is out there! Unfortunately, as things will always cost money, it’s important to have an income. Some cash is always better than no cash. If your job search is taking longer than you thought it would, take a temp role while you search. If you’re passionate about working in a particular industry, you may need to take a role that offers a bit less and build your career from there. It might not be your long-term plan, but with a little compromise you can create a bit of a safety net while you work for the role you really want.
11. Be yourself!
This seems simple, but it becomes very difficult when you’re trying to market yourself. You don’t do yourself any favours by pretending to be someone you’re not. At the end of the day, your potential employer is looking for someone who fits in with the culture and values of their team. If who you really are doesn’t line up with who you were in the application process, it can cause a lot of conflict and stress for you down the line. No one in the world can bring what you bring to a team, so make sure that you’re not hiding that behind something that isn’t real.
Every successful person in the world received a whole load of “NOs” before they got their first “YES”. Don’t be discouraged on your search. Take these tips and keep going until you find the role that’s perfect for you. You’ve got this!