Looking for employment is one of the hardest jobs out there, particularly if you are already unemployed. It is hard work filling out endless applications, tailoring them to each of the individual job specifications, not to mention having to be self-motivated and handling the financial strain of not having an income.
When applying for jobs it is important to stay focused; all the hard work you put into the applications will be worth the effort in the end when you bag your dream job! Whilst looking for work you could try different options to open up new job opportunities for yourself. Many people, particularly in today’s economic climate, choose to volunteer whilst job seeking. It allows opportunities to build on your current skills and knowledge and prepares you for returning to the working environment. If you have been out of work for a while, volunteering can look good on your CV; it shows employers that you may have been out of work but you’ve kept yourself busy and continued to improve your professional skills. Volunteering on a CV looks much better than a blank space where you haven’t been working for a long period of time. If you choose to volunteer, make sure it is going to be valuable to you and your career as well as benefitting the company you volunteer for. You never know, a permanent, paid position might evolve from a volunteer placement.
It is important to network with like-minded people in our chosen sector. Talking to the right people at the right time, often reveals some excellent job opportunities. If you gain an interview off the back of your networking, you can ask the person to provide you with some tips to help you shine in your interview. Networking can help you to get your foot-in-the-door with some of the companies you would love to work for. LinkedIn is a great business networking social media tool. You can search for the contacts you should be talking to in the area in which you want to work. Organisations often post new job opportunities on their profile, so it’s good to keep checking their page. You can talk to friends and family about any potential jobs they might know of, which helps to expand your own network. You could go to events and seminars in your sector, chat to people and find out what vacancies they have.
When job hunting, it is important to take a break from job applications. If you were employed, you would have holiday and perhaps weekends free; no one should work 24/7. The same applies if you are job hunting. Although having no income will undoubtedly affect the things you can and can’t do, there are some tips for making the process a little easier. Make sure you take regular breaks away from your computer screen. This will help you to remain focused and not get too bogged down in applications. Keep your weekends and evenings free, and make a rule that you won’t do and job searching at these times. Treat job hunting as a day at work; start at a certain time, have a lunch break, and leave ‘work’ at the door when you finish.
You could consider freelancing to make youself a more flexible employee. It is a great way of keeping up your skills, receiving a salary for the work you do, and for filling the employment gap on your CV. It’s definitely a good way to earn some income whilst looking for a full time, permanent job. Make sure you sign up to relevant recruitment agencies, many of whom are specialists in certain areas. If you make your face known, when a job comes up that you might be suitable for they are more likely to remember you and put you forward.
More and more companies are posting their current job opportunities on Facebook pages, Twitter and LinkedIn, and this is a great way for job seekers to remain in the know about positions that might be suitable for them. However, job seekers need to be sure they remain professional if applying through social media sites. Check that your privacy is set to ‘friends only’ on your Facebook so potential employers can’t trawl through photos of you on nights out. Be careful of what you ‘Tweet’; you don’t want employers to form wrong impression of you before they have even met you. Make sure your LinkedIn profile has your qualifications, previous professional experience and contact details as these are the most important aspects to help you get the job you want.
There are plenty of ways to make looking for jobs more bearable, and hopefully some of the above tips will help you with you hunting process. The most important aspect of all is to stay focused; the right job is out there for you, you might just have to be a little patient but it will all be worth it in the end.