Since the economic down turn in 2007, people all over the world have lost their jobs. Yes we are in a recession and yes it is harder to find a job but that does not mean there are no jobs out there.
You wouldn’t go into an exam unprepared so why go job hunting unprepared? Here are 9 simple steps to getting you the job you’ll love:
1) Decide on the job:
Firstly decide what type job you would like to apply for and research the job you want before you start anything else! It’s important to know what you are trying to get.
2) Create skills audit:
Secondly conduct a skills audit – it is a great way to clearly lay out all the skills you currently have and how advanced those skills are. It will also document what skills you need for your dream job, where the gaps are in your skill set and how you gain the skills you need.
As time goes on you will learn more skills, this means that your skills audit will be different year from year, and it is recommended that you redo your skills audit twice annually. Here are the steps to conducting a skills audit:
- Write down all the skills you have gained, that you would be able to refer back to and use: including your education (school, college, university), work history (make sure you look at the small detailed tasks as well as the bigger picture) and personal experiences (travelling, countries you have lived in, major events).
- Critically rate each skill, from 1 (low) – 10 (high), in terms of your experience level.
- Write down all the jobs you would like to have.
- Write down all the skills needed for those jobs (look at real job descriptions).
- Write down any skills you need to gain or improve to land those jobs.
- Write down how you can develop the skills in question (you may need to take on other jobs to develop particular skills before you can land that dream one).
- There are a few optional extras depending on what you want and on your circumstances: time frame needed to develop skills, companies that would be particularly good in nurturing those skills and countries where you can develop further (particularly in relation to language skills).
- Add all of these details into a spread sheet, adding your plan and best route into that dream job.
- Make the plan visible (print and stick on your wall) and implement!
3) Create a CV:
Your skills audit is now complete, from here you will know if you currently have the right skills to proceed in applying for your dream job or do you need to further your education and experience. You can now begin writing your CV. Below are comprehensive CV guidelines, which remove the unnecessary information from a CV and strengthen the essential information that employers look for on a CV:
- Personal information: Name & address and contact information (email and phone number)
- Brief profile description: Talk about your past skills & experience and what you want to do next.
- Work experience: Newest to oldest, employer name, the company name & address, your position, dates of employment, include any achievements. Use key words from the advertisement.
- Education: Use a brief overview of your results history (e.g Leaving Certificate – 450 points).
- Skills & qualifications: Use key words from the job ad to answer the questions the employer is asking. Highlight specific skills and qualifications starting with the most relevant to the particular job application. This also involves career goals achieved.
- Hobbies, interests & other skills: This includes your interests and other skills you have achieved (such as committee memberships, intern experiences, relevant volunteer work).
- References: Name, number, position and address (you MUST ask this person can you place this information on your CV)
4) Shortlist companies:
Then shortlist all of the jobs you would like to apply for. This is where your skills audit will help you, you now know the skills you have and if they are required for the jobs in your list.
5) Tailor your CV:
Your CV must be now rewritten for the jobs you are applying for. Always, always, always tailor your CV to the job that you are applying for. This is a big must. Use key words from the job advert in your CV; this helps the employer identify the good candidates from the great.
6) Put extra info into your cover letter:
At this point you will now write your cover letter for the job you are applying for, again tailoring it to each job you apply for and here you will add in any extra information. This letter should be personally addressed to the recruiter of the company (if you don’t know who that is try researching online using tools like LinkedIn). Use information that will grab their attention – it should be again different for every job you are applying for. Key words and key phrases are important here, show the company what they will gain if they hire you and what you can offer them. Be positive and knowledgeable. Give a date that you are available to start on.
7) Apply for the job:
You are now ready to apply for the job, you have a great strong CV that the employer will recognise and this will make you stand out from the other candidates. Your cover letter is tailored to the company to display how you will fit in with the company ethos. Sending the application is half of the work. If you do not hear anything back from them after one week, be proactive give them a call, this will show you are eager to work for their company. Now you have to prepare for the interview.
8) Prepare for the interview:
- Research the company: make sure you look into the company, its customers and news.
- Research the job position: understand the role you are applying for and bring ideas.
- Practice sample questions: have answers prepared for what they might ask – they might ask about experience or your input on a problem they have.
- Prepare some questions to ask the recruiter: do not just ask about salary – you will need to demonstrate your interest in the company and job, while also showing your drive and ambitions to succeed in your career
- Find out the exact location: know where you are going and DON’T BE LATE!
- Bring documentation: Bring your CV and any other relevant documents (e.g. past projects)
After the interview, it is good manners to send the recruiter an email thanking them for their time, this also keeps our name fresh in their heads. Do connect with the recruiters and managers you meet via LinkedIn – this will also give you that connection which might be of use in the future and it gives them the opportunity to contact you again should another position arise!
9) Take the job!
This article is everything you need to know and do to apply for and succeed in being offered that dream job. If you follow these steps and guidelines you’ll be on the fast track to attain your ideal job. Do you have anymore tips? Please let us know in the comments below!
Author: Beulah O’Brien is Marketing Manager at jobcoconut.com.