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Should you have a job search strategy?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 16 Dec 2019

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At the beginning of any job search, you need to know what you want to gain from it and understand the goals you have set for yourself. Having a job search strategy isn’t as much work as it may sound, it’s all about planning your journey and figuring out how to make the most of it. The good thing is that nothing is set in stone. If you find that something you previously planned is not working for you, go back to the drawing board and try something else. Here are a few tips to help you get started and help you during your job search.

Always start with a plan

Before you begin, you should know why you are looking for a new role, what you want to get out of your search and how you are going to reach your end goal. You need to know what kind of job you are going to want before you start applying, this can save you a lot of time. It may seem obvious, but sometimes you may not know exactly what you want. So, it can be good to take some time and really think about it. Do you want to stay in a similar role? Or do you want to progress and try something new? These are all questions that you need to consider before any applications. Asking yourself why you want a new job can be simple for some, you may be currently unemployed and need a job asap, or you may have grown out of your current position. Asking yourself “why?” can really motivate you to make the right decisions. How you will reach your goals may seem simple at first, but job seeking can be harder than expected. Try and figure out what strategy may be best for you. Are you good at working towards smaller, more frequent goals? Or are you just happy to power through. The planning stage of a job search is crucial, it can determine the rest of your job seeking journey.

Search for the right jobs

Narrowing down your search can be easier for you in the long run. Make sure that you are trying out different key words and phrases into online job boards, if you are using them. Some jobs will entail the same things, but the employer may have given the role a slightly different name. Testing different key words can allow you to find jobs that are more relevant and gives you the chance to broaden your search.

One trick that may work for you, is to save multiple jobs before sending off applications for them. Many job boards give you the ability to log in and save jobs for later. This means that you can save the ones that spark an interest, but you can give them more thought and consideration later on. This way you can read them in more detail, take your time and even tailor your CV if necessary. You don’t want to be applying for a job that doesn’t suit you, but you also don’t want to be missing out on any potential opportunities.

Search specific companies

At the planning stage of your job search, you can consider if there are any specific employers that you would like to work for. This way you can narrow down your search and head straight to the employer website for details on any vacancies they may have. Some companies have this on their own website and others solely use job boards, so make sure you are looking for jobs in both places, so you don’t miss out. Having an idea on who you would like to work for is a good plan, but if they are not hiring, don’t feel discouraged. You can simply look to see if anywhere similar has any relevant job roles.

Make yourself visible to recruiters and employers

One thing that can cut out some of your workload is making yourself visible online. Some job seeker websites allow you to make yourself visible, so recruiters are able to contact you in regard to a role. You can also have your CV uploaded so they can see your experience and educational background. If you are happy to involve recruitment consultants into your job search, then this can be a good way to help you find jobs that you may not otherwise find online. There is good strategy in this, and many recruitment consultants make a commission, so they’re not going to waste their time on candidates that don’t fit the bill. So, if they put you up for a role and you are interested, chances are you are qualified for the job.

Always network

Networking should be a very active part of your job search. It can sometimes be easy to forget about it and stay inside looking for jobs. However, your contacts can play a very important part in your search. They may know of opportunities at their own company or elsewhere. There may even be an opportunity with someone you have worked with in the past. You can attend events, recruitment fairs or even employer open days, they all play a key part in your job search strategy.

Have you considered all your options?

It is probably best to have a think about what type of job you want. You may think this is a given, but some job seekers forget about important details. Where do you want to work and what is the furthest you would travel? Think about whether you would be interested in full-time, part-time or fixed term contracts and most importantly, the field of work you want to be involved in. Are you happy staying in a similar career or do you want to switch things up? Do you want to try something new in engineering or maybe a different sector? Once you have considered all of your options and figured out what is best for you, try and go looking for those opportunities first. If you end up changing your mind, you will have already thought about this and would hopefully have a second option.

Having a job search strategy may not be for everyone, you may just prefer to play it as it goes. However, don’t knock it until you try it. Having some time at the beginning to figure out what you want from a job can allow you to think about and consider things you may not have looked into otherwise. It’s all about planning and knowing what your goals are. Set some goals and start working towards them.