6 Job Hunting Top Tips

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 31-08-2012

I've helped hundred of people find their dream job and have included some of my top tips on how to find yours here...

Recruitment and seclection has changed considerably over the last few years and I've seen a massive change in not only where and how compaies advertise but in the standard of applications they are now expecting.

It’s true that there are fewer jobs around, but companies are still recruiting and the biggest challenge for job hunters is that competition is greater.  Therefore, if you're job hunting you need to know how to get the edge over your competition (and it’s not always big things that make the difference).

I’ve prepared  some of the top tips from my Outplacement Programme that I run for corporate clients.

Starting Your Job Hunt

1.  Use your network

Recent studies have shown that approximately 70% of people now get their next roles through the people that they already know. I found that quite astounding when I first heard it, but having recently managed a large outplacement/redeployment project for 600 people who were due to be made redundant, I can probably agree with it.

It’s really important that you let everyone know that you’re looking for a job as long as it won’t impact negatively if you’re currently employed. One thing I hear over and over is that people feel often ashamed if they’ve been made redundant and somehow think that it’s a reflection on them and their ability. Let me state for the record THERE’S NO STIGMA ATTACHED TO BEING MADE REDUNDANT! Literally everyone I know has been affected by redundancy at least once in their lives, it’s not personal, it’s business and in no way reflects badly on you.

The more people who know you need a job and what kind of job you’re looking for, the more likely they are to find it for you. Also it’s not usually the people who are closest to you (immediate family and friends) that the roles originate from but those who you see less frequently or who are casual acquaintances and that’s because they will usually move in different circles to you and will be open to and hear about different opportunities to you.


2.  Be positive

Nobody wants to listen to people who are moaning about their current situation (either that they hate their job, boss, company, life or are totally devastated by being made redundant).  I love the term that Success Coach, Michael Neill uses, he says, “desperation smells” and people run a mile from it.

No matter how you’re feeling (and I’ve done posts about changing your emotions) when telling people about your need for a new job, you must keep upbeat and positive. People will be much more likely to help you if you’re positive.

3.  Ignore the current ‘Recession Obsession’ and ‘Doom Mongers’

I hear so many people say, “Oh woe is me, there are no jobs out there it says so on the TV and in the papers – everyone knows that if you’re out of work you’ll never get a job or if you do it’ll take forever. With all the unemployed out there how will I ever find work ... bla bla bla”

What a load of old rubbish! Like I said in the opening, there are still plenty of jobs out there.  You just have to be more tenacious, work a bit harder, be creative and try different job search methods, including things that you may not have had to consider before.

If you are job searching, I urge you to not watch the news or read the newspapers for a while or if you do, don’t take anything that’s said literally, let it go over your head. What most people don’t realise is that the news is full of sensationalism designed to suck us in and shock us. We are so desensitised these days that the only way news programmes can hold our attention is by telling us how dreadful things are.

Have you noticed that they usually only throw one ‘feel good’ article in a news programme at the very end? That’s because they know that horror, negativity and sensationalism sells. In addition to this don’t forget they’re all in competition with each other to see who can push the boundaries and get the most viewers.

You must also watch out for and ignore what I call the ‘Doom Mongers’ around you. You know those people who are continually negative (I have a friend who calls them ‘Mood Hoovers’). You need to stay away from those people as much as possible during your job search. You need to keep as positive as possible and if you spend too much time with these people, you’ll feel your good mood ebbing away pretty quickly. Also, keep in your mind that what they are saying (if you must listen to it) isn’t personal, they are just reflecting back their own fears – don’t take them on board.

4.  Take consistent action

Job hunting takes effort, sustained effort. Therefore, it’s important that you take some action (at least one hour 5 days a week) on your job search. You may need to do more than this in the very early stages, especially whilst you're creating your CV. Most of my clients report back to me saying that they feel like it’s a full time job!

It doesn’t have to be full time, but like anything else, the more effort you put in the better the results you will get.

5.  Use various job search methods

Don’t just think you’ve done some networking your dream job will plop in your lap. Certainly I have known that happen, but you really need to try a good combination of, if not all of the following job search methods:

  • Networking
  • LinkedIn (Facebook for the business world - is an absolute must)
  • Recruitment Consultants/Agencies
  • On-line recruitment sites
  • On-line company job sites (most large companies have their own dedicated on-line job sites
  • Speculative applications
  • Job Centre (for roles under £25,000)
  • Newspapers/Trade Press (hard copies or on-line job sections of their websites)

6.  Have an achievement focussed CV, tailored to the role

The other most important thing is to have a great CV.  Your CV must be achievement focussed ie outline what you have achieved in your last 2 roles, not simply regurgitating your job description.  It must also be tailored to the role - it's the number one reason that people don't get selected for interview,  The interviewer can't see from the first page where your experience fits with what they're looking for.  That's the No 1 crime I see in applications - applicants send the same CV for every role they apply for and don't think to tailor it.

I would always advise getting professional help with with your CV, especially if you are looking for a management or leadership role.  Your CV is your key marketing tool that will get your foot through the door of an employer.


If you need help with any aspect of your career, why not give us a call for a free no obligation conversation about how we can help you.

JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.

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