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An effective job search - The dos and don'ts

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Preparation when searching for a job is key to making your quest for work as effective as possible. Take a look at these dos and don’ts and you may soon find yourself in a position where you are preparing for a job interview.

The Dos

Do have your CV reviewed for strengths and weaknesses. Talk to people who are currently responsible for hiring in the field, industry or position that you want to secure, regardless of whether an opening exists. Have these individuals review your CV and ask them to offer you suggestions on areas in need of definition, improvement or greater experience. Allow them to guide you in ways in which you can improve your opportunities.

Do network with people in your industry choice. Talk to the people currently doing the type of work you want to secure and learn from them.  

Do establish goals, but don’t set your ultimate goals as your immediate goal. Envision your ultimate target and determine what steps are necessary and what shorter goals must be met first in order to reach the ultimate target. Celebrate your success upon reaching each target.

Do use every avenue available to get your CV and information out to your targeted market. This includes applying for jobs posted on the internet, databases, career-related website, newspaper ads and Job Centre Plus.

Do prepare yourself for an interview situation by practicing your public speaking and interviewing skills. Prepare appropriate answers to difficult questions, focusing on what value and benefit your skills and experiences can contribute to the companies you are targeting and how to present yourself in both mannerisms and dress.

Do mock interviews, record your responses, and have these mock interviews critiqued by someone you respect and trust.

Do thank everyone who has helped you in this job search and follow up on all job interviews with notes of appreciation, it could be the deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates.  

Do continue managing your career and building up your network, even after you secure that perfect job. Update your CV periodically, while the information is current and fresh in your mind. Record your achievements and recognise how your efforts have made a difference and benefited those who have employed you.

The don’ts

Don’t assume that this job search will be just like the last job search. It may be harder or easier, but the chances are it will be different. The methods used to secure the last position may not be the methods that succeed in securing the next. Use all of the avenues available to you in this job search.

Don’t set your sights on the one perfect potential offer and stop all other activities and search efforts. No job opportunity is a guarantee until the job has been offered and accepted. Keep looking, keep submitting CV’s, keep applying and keep interviewing for other positions, even if you believe that an offer is in the air.

Don’t focus all of your energy and extra time on your job search. Establish a set number of hours per day or week that you will devote to securing a new position and use any extra time available to improve yourself (take a course, read, learn a new skill); catch up with friends and family; catch up on activities or projects that you haven’t had time to enjoy or complete; volunteer for a cause that means something to you; meditate and relax; help someone else, and have some fun. Creating balance in your job search will make you more productive and enthusiastic and will increase your chances for success.  

Don’t let the fear of the unknown overwhelm you. Rather, think of all the possibilities, envision yourself doing what you want to do and being where you want to be. Focus your energies on the positive, see it in your mind, believe it will happen and make it happen.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Don’t be afraid to offer help. Your interviewer and potential employer are looking for solutions. Go in as a positive problem solver and you will increase the perception of your hiring value tenfold.

Don’t let negative experiences or feelings from past events or positions cloud, hinder or damage your ability or opportunity to secure a new position.  


For extra help, don’t forget to take a look at some golden rules when completing your job application to help you to stand out from the crowd

Communication specialist - My days are spent telling stories, networking, copywriting, posting on social media and delivering training to colleagues - a bit of everything really! 

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