When you first start out looking for work, it can be very easy to let your enthusiasm take over. This can often result in you falling into the trap of applying for every single job that comes across your path – sometimes not even being in an industry or job sector that you have any real interest in!
While your family and friends may be full of praise for your efforts and want to encourage you to spur you on further, doing so may actually be a complete waste of your time. You could end up suffering from burnout or job-seekers fatigue.
Instead, it helps to take some time to structure your job search activities to make them more focused and meaningful. This can give you better quality results, and job offers coming from an industry that is right for you.
The downside to ‘applying for everything’
Apart from wasting a lot of your valuable time, searching for jobs that will never inspire you or keep you motivated may also put the recruiter on his guard. If you have been applying for lots of different jobs, each requiring a very different skill-set, it can lead the potential employer to believe that you have no real direction or passion for a particular line of work.
You could make yourself look desperate rather than focused and driven. Essentially, you are sabotaging yourself and your job prospects by doing this.
Finding the right job for you will usually involve a great deal of research and study. Simply applying for every job going can show a recruiter a lack of dedication. It can also show that you may not stick around for long should the opportunity of another job come along. Employing a new staff member is an investment of time, energy and money for an employer. They would hate to see that investment wasted on someone that wasn’t bothered about the job in the first place.
Structuring your job seeking for success
The truth is that to land your perfect job, you will need to get yourself organized. You need to be methodical in your research and use a structured plan that narrows down the field to only those jobs that you are truly suited for. This will help to keep you motivated and able to spend more time researching potential opportunities to make sure you are the right fit for the job.
If you are approaching the job market as an unemployed person, then you can structure your day to make your job search your full-time job. Treat your search as a full-time job with lunch breaks and coffee breaks. Allow yourself time to research different companies to check their history, company ethos, company culture and future ambitions.
Finding a company that shares or aligns with a lot of your own beliefs and viewpoints can be all the incentive you need to focus your job searching activities towards landing a job with them.
Beginning your search
You need to ask yourself some target questions to enable you to focus your search on the industry or job sector that most suits your career goals, beliefs and personality. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- What am I looking for from my next job?
- Are there any skills or training I need to develop further?
- What career prospects do I want in the future?
When you know the answer to these questions, it can help you to better spot jobs or companies to target that offer what you are looking for.
Structuring your day
Make sure you set your alarm to wake you each morning, just as you would for a job in the real world. Keep your usual morning routine together, so walk the dog, make breakfast, do the washing up, etc. Then get dressed for work.
Dressing for work can help focus the mind and make you feel more professional in your approach to your job searching.
Work out a job search strategy that you can follow each day. This may involve searching online job listings, visiting recruiting websites, checking LinkedIn for new listings, etc.
Briefly scan each job opportunity or listing that appears and skip past those that don’t meet with your search criteria. Shortlist those vacancies that do tick all of your boxes, and then dedicate some time towards researching the roles.
Look at the company history and get a feel for the working environment they operate. Would you feel comfortable working there? If yes, then this can go onto your shortlist of jobs to apply for. If not, then you can either discard the job and continue your search, or place it into your ‘maybe’ list to think about for a while and do more research for later.
Make sure you document every action that you do. Note down what jobs you have shortlisted or applied for that day. Record those that need further consideration or more research. List the names and contact details for everyone that you emailed or contacted through social media. It can help you greatly should you need to go back and remember who you were talking to about a particular job a few days later when your memory isn’t quite so fresh.
Take names and business cards at any job fairs or networking meetings that you attend. Record who you met, when and where. You never know who may call you out of the blue with a potential job offer, so you don’t want to appear vague or forgetful when answering their call and cannot quite pinpoint when you ever met them.
Hopefully, by adopting a more structured approach to your job searching activities, you will see much better result for your efforts and land a job that is the right fit for you. Good luck!