Job Hunting Check List

Unless you've just had six numbers come up on the Lottery and your middle name is 'Lucky', it's pretty unlikely that your dream job will just land in your lap.

Seeing your career progress in exactly the way you'd like requires some work - and that means brushing up on your job-seeking skills.

These days it's not enough to send off an application and hope for the best. You've got to make sure you're the one who shines in an extremely competitive market.

Here's how:

1. Let the jobs come to you. Register on a leading jobs website, like, and set up job alerts. By filling out a simple form with your preferred sector, location, salary band and contract type, new vacant positions will be emailled straight to your inbox the minute they become available. It pays to be ahead of the game. That way you'll be able to prepare your covering letter and hone your CV well ahead of the closing date.

2. Upload your CV. Most jobs sites have the facility for you to upload your credentials for prospective employers to see. You'd be surprised at the number of recruitment firms and employers whose first port of call is to look online for their next recruits. Don't miss out - upload your CV making sure your contact details are up to date.

3. Look for 'hidden' jobs. Some roles are advertised only internally and if an employer isn't aware of you, you won't be made aware of the vacancy. The best way to get round this is to send out a prospective covering letter and CV to any employers that particularly interest you. Explain that you know there may not be any current openings, but that you'd be grateful if they kept your details on file for the future. Follow up a few weeks later by email just to make sure nothing has come up. Most employers will appreciate your eagerness and remember you when vacancies do arise.

4.  Never underestimate the importance of networking. A staggering number of job vacancies are filled via word of mouth. Networking is just about maintaining relationships. The more people you know, the more connections you have and the more powerful your network. Using your network to find a new job is not about coming out and asking someone directly for work, it's about asking for information that may lead to work, ie, any openings at specific companies, any contacts of theirs who may be moving on, meaning a position will soon be coming up for grabs.

5. Always follow up. While patience is a virtue, it's also important not to wait too long before finding out if you've been successful. As a rule of thumb, wait about a week after a first interview before calling or emailling to find out if you'll be called back for a second interview. Even if you haven't been successful, always ask for feedback - it's the only way you'll learn what you could do differently or better at your next attempt. Lastly, remember that manners cause nothing. Again, even if you've been unsuccessful, write a letter or email to the person who interviewed you, thanking them for their time. It may just make you stand out from the crowd if another suitable position comes up.

Have everything you need? Perfect! Now get your name out there by uploading your CV and setting up a job alert catered to your search. 


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