The phrase ‘job hunt’ can often be intimidating. No matter if you are searching for your first job or you are a well-practised interviewee, the idea of competing for a role, sitting through an interview and possibly being rejected is enough to make even the most perfectly polished interviewee nervous. Of course, job hunting is far more than just searching for open positions and sending your CV to employers. You also need to make sure you are a good fit for the job, can catch the hiring manager’s attention and are well prepared to answer interview questions. However, job hunting does not have to be scary. Here are seven tips that you can use to improve your chances of finding the employment you desire.

1. The CV essential

A good CV gives potential employers a snapshot of who you are and what you have accomplished. First, ensure your CV grabs their attention. The average time employers spend looking at a CV is just 5-7 seconds, so keep your CV clean, brief and simple. Employers will judge you on mistakes, either in structure, spelling or punctuation. So, to avoid grammatical errors, proofread your CV like an editor, reading each section slowly to look for any mistakes. Also, ensure you make your CV relevant. You may have a standard CV prepared with your key information, skills and experience; you need to then tailor each CV as you submit it for new roles. We would suggest looking at the company’s social media and including details on why you fit in with their workplace culture.

2. Hone your job-seeking skills

In today’s overcrowded job market and with the ever-increasing pressures on hiring managers, job applicants have had to hone their skills for success. So, learning how to get yourself out there is more critical than ever. We suggest creating an online presence that showcases your past experiences and skills. Blogs and professional websites, such as LinkedIn, are often the best platforms to use when trying to stand out. Once you have done this, it is time to begin networking. Networking allows you to develop relationships and connections which can open opportunities to advance your career. Start by attending job events and career fairs to increase your chance of meeting people who can aid you. A good list of connections can certainly help you to find a job in the future.

3. Secure relevant work experience

Believe it or not, relevant work experience might be the single most important thing a recruiter wants to see on your CV. However, it is best to match your work experience to your desired career. For example, if you eventually want to work in medicine, it is a good idea to get work experience in a healthcare environment to optimise your chance of getting the role. When applying for work experience, start by doing your homework on the businesses you are interested in working for. Follow them on social media to show your potential employer that you are willing to learn about the company’s culture, history and achievements. Also, do not be afraid to work for free. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate passion, determination and proactiveness. By choosing to take voluntary roles or doing charity work, you tick all these boxes. If you are taking time to gain skills, make the most out of them by documenting them on your LinkedIn and other online footprints as well as your CV.

4. Mastering interview preparatio

When it comes to an interview, you can never be too prepared. A good interview starts way before you step foot into your potential employer’s office. In fact, it is the preparation you do days, or even weeks, before the interview that will determine whether you are successful or not. Dissect the job specification, research the company and prepare questions for the interviewer – this way, you will feel prepared walking into any interview situation. Also, try to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer by having a handful of high-impact stories at the ready. The best way to structure these stories is to follow the acronym PAR:

  • Problem: Describe the situation you were in
  • Action: What did you do to make it better? This should be the bulk of your story
  • Result: What happened as a result? Or, in other words, why should the interviewer care about this story?  
    Obviously, make sure these stories are about a situation that you made positive. This shows your potential employers that you are a problem solver and can adapt to any situation.

5. How to nail a video interview

Businesses worldwide are quickly transitioning to new technologies across the board to help speed up their recruitment process, which is why video interviews are becoming far more frequent in the hiring process. Making sure you are prepared for this ‘curve ball’ is crucial. First, check your tech. Familiarise yourself with the platform that the interview will be conducted on and charge your laptop before your meeting. Nothing is worse than having a laptop die halfway through your interview. We recommend also having a backup for if your internet fails – you can use your 4/5G on your phone if necessary. Remember, a video interview is still an interview, so dress to impress, be confident, smile, make eye contact and actively listen to your interviewer throughout. It is also a good idea to log in around 15 minutes before the interview to compose yourself.

6. Put together the ultimate LinkedIn profile

There is no better place to connect with business professionals or to find jobs to apply for than on LinkedIn. With three people being hired through LinkedIn every minute, it is now more important than ever to make sure you are ready to apply to jobs with a profile that stands out. The reality is, on social media, first impressions matter, so ensuring you have the right picture for your LinkedIn profile goes a long way. Dress appropriately, have a clear picture of your face and do not forget to smile! You can also make a great first impression on LinkedIn by adding your skills. To grow connections, start following industry experts. This will connect you with a relevant audience. Once you are connected to a relevant audience, impress them by taking skills assessments and establishing your expertise through insightful posts. Demonstrating your abilities throughout your profile and in your posts, as well as just listing them in your bio, proves you can back up your alleged skillset and will go a long way in impressing potential employers.

7. Create a great video CV

Like it or not, more and more employers are asking for video CVs as part of their filtering process – especially for hotly contested jobs. So, getting it right by tailoring your video CV to the job you are applying for and using it to display your creativity, passion and drive should be a top priority. At a bare minimum, you will need a computer, internet access and a phone with a high-quality camera for this. You will also need software to edit a final video on. Ensure that your video CV is no longer than two minutes – any longer and you could run the risk of your recruiter getting bored and switching off. Before filming, put together a script with a clear beginning, middle and end. Then, you guessed it, learn it thoroughly. It is important to consider the location you film yourself. And remember, nothing is more frustrating than watching a video where you can barely understand what the candidate is saying, so think about how you speak.

Since the first Pitman Training centre opened in 1837, we have constantly strived to help our students improve their career prospects, gain promotions, or get back to work. Through our flexible training courses and diplomas, Pitman has helped students to learn from home or study at any location, using our market-leading combination of audio guides, workbooks and live software. With over 250+ self-paced, flexible training courses, there is almost certainly a course for you. So, if you are interested, why not get in touch with your local Pitman Training centre now?