Many people start the job application process as soon as they have noticed a job advertisement that interests them. In many ways, this is a good strategy: often the interview process begins as soon as the first applications have been received. It often ends up that the most recently arrived applications are no longer looked at because the right person has already been spotted from among the first applicants. If you have the time and the opportunity to get well-prepared for the job search, there are a couple of things that are worth doing before filling out job applications.
Step 1: Think what you are looking for
Spend a moment thinking what kind of a job you are actually looking for. It is easier to find the perfect job when you know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a job in which you can fulfil yourself and which builds your career in the direction you want? Or, do you perhaps need to get a job quickly, in order to guarantee your livelihood? In both of these cases, it is worthwhile to think about the kind of job for which you are suitable.
Think about the skills you honestly have and express them without groveling. Also, think about the kind of working environment in which you would enjoy working. You can make a list of companies in which you could imagine yourself as an employee. What is in common among them? What is important to you in a job and working environment?
Step 2: Update your application papers and résumé.
Make sure you have explained your work experience sufficiently. Is your résumé easy to read, flawless and intriguing? Have the courage to ask a sharp-eyed friend of yours to proofread the résumé. If you don't have a résumé yet, prepare one. Models for this purpose are available from Barona's job search pages and elsewhere on the Internet. What is important, is that you can tell about your know-how honestly and in an intriguing way. It is a good idea to start the résumé with a short introduction.
You can say, for example, what kind of skills you have, what motivates you and what kind of a job you hope to find for yourself. Keep the introduction short – a few sentences is enough. The introduction is like a written elevator pitch, i.e. sales talk about yourself. Gather all of your job certificates and put them in a neat folder so that you will have the opportunity to present them in future interviews.
Step 3: Ask References
It is worth the effort to have the courage to ask, primarily, your former supervisors for references. Ask for permission to give their contact information to your potential new employer. If you are in the early stages of your career, you can also consider asking for a reference from a teacher or the instructor of your hobby, for example. Thinking about your references will also help you understand your work history and the networks you have created. Could an interesting job be found through them?
Step 4: Go Social
It is also a good idea to clean up your social media account at the beginning of your job search. Your LinkedIn account, especially, should be up-to-date because it is directly used by employers looking for people for jobs that require specific expertise. According to the Finnish law, the employer cannot look for information about you from your social media accounts, such as your Facebook account, without your permission. You can directly grant the employer permission for that in your application, if using social media is beneficial for your job search.
Today, social media can also be used as a good tool for your job search. If it feels comfortable for you, openly tell your acquaintances in social media that you are looking for work. Job searching may prove successful through social media as well.
Topics: Career tips