Careers advice and planning

Rules for an effective job search

22 Jun 2023, 13:19

Whether you’re in your final year, or have already graduated, here are tips on the best way to find your first graduate job.

Businessman contemplating which of five doors to choose, symbolizing job search options.

Searching for a new job is almost a full-time job, as it takes hard work, time and commitment to succeed. So the last thing you want to do is to send out hundreds of CVs and wait for a reply that may never come: it’s important that you are organised and know how to go about your search. In today’s fiercely competitive market, you need to have a strategic plan for your job search before you actually begin the search, from where to look, to identifying the specific kind of roles you want to apply for. Here are seven steps that should follow when planning your job search.

Ask yourself why you are looking for a particular job?
Are you looking for a new job because you hate your current
field of work or you just want to get your career started in
any way you can? Or is it because you have become so good
at your job that you no longer feel challenged in the role you
are currently in and need to step up and find something
more stimulating?

Think about what you are looking for
Figure out what you want to do AND what you don’t want to
do. Even though you may feel quite strongly about wanting
to work in a particular sector, it’s still very important for you
to take your time to do some planning before launching into
your job hunt. At the very least, you should know which
fields or industries you are interested in, and what types of
positions you are suitable for.

Know your strengths (and weaknesses)
Now that you have a rough idea of what you’re looking for, do you
have what it takes to work in those particular fields or positions?
What are you good at? Don’t wait until the job interview to
figure these out. You’ll have to highlight them in your CV or
application or you may not even be invited for an interview.

Do your research
Find out what opportunities are out there in the fields that
you’re interested in. Take a look at the job boards, or even
company websites of businesses you are interested in. Some
job openings are not advertised, so if you know people who
are already working in those fields, talk to them. Even though
they may not have a job to offer you, they may be able to point
you in the right direction or spread the word that you are
actively looking for a job. This type of networking has proven
to be very helpful throughout the job search process.

Put the hours in
Don’t “find time” for job searching, make time! Set aside a
couple of hours a day for job searching and make sure it is
your sole focus for that time. Make it your “job”.

Set realistic goals
Your ultimate goal is to land a job, but before you get there,
you’ve got work to do. Set weekly goals for yourself, based on the
number of applications to send out, the number of company
websites to check out, etc. It will help you to stay motivated and
give you a feeling of achievement each time you meet a goal.

Hone your interview techniques
Even though you haven’t been granted an interview yet, you
should be prepared. List out some of the common interview
questions and practice, practice, and practice! This way when
you are invited for an interview you feel confident and ready
to impress!

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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