How to Search For a Job and Apply - Career Guide Series - Part Two

The first task most graduates usually need to undertake is searching for a job. But to be successful in getting your dream job, some times the job search has to be thorough and strategic.

In continuation of our comprehensive career guide series, today we shall be discussing how to search for a job. In the last part of the series we discussed how to make informed career decisions. Today we would be exploring the various methods and ways of going about job search.

Job Search Techniques

Findings suggests that the different ways to find a job include: Emailing out CVs, replying to job ads, using government and private employment or recruitment agencies, the internet, asking people around, using former teachers, schools, colleges and universities, going to organizations you want to work for, using the phone book of company listing, a job club, visitig career fairs, and many more.

As you embark on this lofty journey of searching for a job, the following are some very important tips you should be conversant with.

1. Do not try all the above mentioned methods at once!
There is evidence to show that you maximize your chances of finding employment if you use more than one, but advisably no more than four, of the above methods. Choose what appeals to you, rather than doing all of them half-halfhearted.

2. Use active not passive methods.
Research proves that doing more active things pays off better than these activities. The methods of job searching, which have the highest chance of finding you a job are:
  • do a thorough audit your self and find out what you enjoy doing and where you could find a place to use these skills, through a serious and focused job research,
  • work with others in a while looking for a job. Use groups like job club for helping each other out with leads, encouragement, and ideas.
  • actively identifying, calling, and preferably visiting employers in your chosen area, whether or not they are advertising jobs.
3. Manage your working hours
Since European Union legislation has led to equal and fair treatment for workers, regardless of type of contract, your options for working hours are no longer limited.. You might find it hard to decide on one major career step into a full time job, which will demand most of your energy and time. On the other hand, that may be exactly what you want on graduation - a great first brick in the foundations of your career.

Starting a job search is like becoming a sales rep for a short period of time, where you are now selling yourself to employers. Potential employers should have a reason to choose you. Ask yourself a question “Would you hire yourself and for what reason?” The moment you are prepared, remember that it will take a while, skill, enthusiasm, and most importantly, a positive, “can-do” attitude.

How to Apply For A Job

In this section we would be exploring the various gadgets you need and ways of going about a job application.

In addition to copies of your qualification documents, part of the things you will need for a successful application is your Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV). However, while you will require a CV for most job applications, you may find that a specific job requires you to complete an application form. This has both benefits and drawbacks. The form provides you with an explicit structure, and this can help with ticking the boxes that the recruiter has identified as important.

The form may also indicate weightings for these boxes, by suggesting how much space to allocate to the various sections. A drawback of this structure and weighting is that it requires you to discuss each aspect the recruiter has identified, and may not allow you space to show off other skills.

How to Complete an Application Form

The process of completing an application form has much in common with tailoring your CV for a specific job. The following tips can be of help in completing an application form:
  1. If it is an online form, save it to your computer, or at least prepare your text using a word processor. to avoid incidents like the browser crashing, or moving you to a different page.
  2. Use a word processor to help with spelling errors, but make sure youalways proof read the document, too. A spell checker will not help if you have used the wrong word or phrase in the wrong context.
  3. You may be able to copy parts of your CV into an application form, but make sure you answer the question, rather than mindlessly copying and pasting. Always read the instructions and labels carefully.
  4. Use the job specification. Download any available details about the job. This may include separate documents that relate to the job description, person specification, and possibly a departmental or organization description.
  5. Identify the key requirements. As you go through the job description and person specification, use a highlighter to identify exact words and phrases used to describe the job requirements, and potential employee.
  6. Use their words to describe yourself. Find the phrases they use to describe what they want, and apply these, truthfully, to your own context.
  7. Never say anything you do not mean or cannot justify. Try not to be shy of selling yourself either; this is your chance to tell them exactly why you should do the job.
  8. Do not be afraid to spell out information explicitly. Interviewers do not always have time to draw connections, so do this for them to maximize your chances of success.

Now that we have equipped our-self with the necessary job search technique and how to apply for the job, another ingredient for a successful career is Networking. With Networking you will be able to broaden your horizon in the job market. These and many more are what we are going to be discussing in our next post in the Career Guide Series and it will focus on the types of networking.

What is your thought? Feel free to make your contributions, observations or ask questions on this topic of How to Search For a Job or any part of our Career Guide Series using the comment form below and we will be more than happy to add to our data base of knowledge.

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