Getting a job can be a daunting task, and very intimidating if it’s your first time or if you’ve been knocked back in the past.
However, like most things, there is a proven process you can follow to get a job, and as long as you’re following these steps, you should have confidence that after enough attempts you will be successful.
The main parts of the process are:
It’s extremely rare for anybody to be offered the first job they go for, even if they’re a perfect fit for the role on paper. The important thing is to keep trying and learning from every experience, and eventually, you will find your dream job!
Keep reading below for more information on each topic…
create a great cv
Your CV is the first piece of information any employer will see, and you need to treat it as a marketing document for your professional profile.
The main sections I recommend including in your CV are:
- Headline (who you are in one sentence)
- Summary (a few lines about your skills and ambitions)
- Experience (bullet points explaining what you achieved in each role)
- Education & Certifications (include any professional qualifications here)
- Skills (a list of technical & interpersonal skills)
This is just a high-level overview, but if you want to see how I structure my personal CV, you can download my CV template below, completely free.
Also, if you have multiple skillsets, it’s a good idea to create a few variations of your CV to highlight specific things that will be relevant to each employer.
In the end, your CV only needs to do 3 things:
- Match the job requirements
- Stand out from the crowd
- Get you in a meeting with the employer
If you follow the principles above you should be well prepared to achieve all three.
P.S: Your Linkedin profile should mirror your CV and add flavour to who you are as an individual.
Linkedin is fast becoming the number 1 platform for finding jobs, and if you disregard your profile here it could undermine your application.
applying for jobs
Once you’re happy with your CV, the next stage is to start applying for jobs.
There are 2 ways to approach this, which are:
- Applying on public job sites
- Applying to employers directly on their websites.
Public Job Sites
My favourite job sites include:
The most popular one nowadays is Linkedin. If you navigate to the jobs section, you can filter by industry, seniority, salary and many other variables to find a list of vacancies.
The good thing about Linkedin is that in many cases you can “easy apply” with just your Linkedin profile, which speeds up the process.
The problem with job sites in general though is that you will typically be applying to recruiters instead of direct to the company.
However, the benefit of this is that you will get lots of calls from recruiters who will give you tips on your CV and tell you about other roles you didn’t apply for.
Direct Employer Applications
Applying directly to an employer has a number of benefits including:
- Tailoring your CV to the company/ job description
- Writing a cover letter than mentions the company
- Research the hiring manager on Linkedin and build a relationship with them
- Find out who else in your network has worked there to give you referrals
The downside of direct applications is that it can take significantly longer.
Companies that do their own recruiting, especially large ones, tend to see hundreds of applications a week, as well as working with recruiters when they don’t have the expertise in house.
This all slows the process down and your application may get overlooked. This why relationships are so important, and if you add an outstanding CV & cover letter to that, you’ll find yourself ahead of the competition.
impress at interviews
There are 3 main types of interviews you are likely to encounter, which are:
- Phone/ Video interviews
- In-person, group interviews
- Task-oriented interviews
Phone and Video interviews
Whether it’s a phone or video interview, I always recommend that you dress as if you were meeting in person. Doing this will:
- Make you feel more professional
- Impress the employer on a video call
Typically these types of interviews are fairly straightforward, whereby the employer will ask about your history and experience, as well as telling you more about the role.
The main purpose is to make sure what you say is consistent with your CV before they invest time in a face to face meeting. Therefore, make sure you have practiced telling your story in a confident, succinct manner and you will be fine.
Occasionally, employers will ask you to complete a set of tasks to prove your abilities, especially in technical roles. Typically it will be a small project that you bring to their office when you meet them.
There is no other way to approach these other than to give your best effort. Usually, the employer is looking to see that you can solve problems and your process is thorough, rather than the perfect end result.
Ultimately, if these tasks prove to difficult for you, then the role is probably too advanced at this stage. However, it’s still always worth giving it your best shot and meeting the employer if you can.
Face to Face Interviews
Face to face interviews are where the decisions get made.
By now, the employer likely knows something about your abilities and is more interested in the type of person you are, your interpersonal skills and the ability to hold a conversation.
The introduction is typically the most important part. If you make a good first impression, and they employer warms to you, they are more likely to forgive any “wrong” answers or gaps in your CV.
As a minimum, make sure you do the following:
- Dress smartly
- Practice your introduction in front of the mirror
- Research your interviewer to find common ground
The interviewer will often be the hiring manager themselves, but don’t be surprised if multiple team members get involved.
Be prepared to answer the same questions multiple times with confidence, and you’ll pass with flying colours.
Professional Follow Up
Following up is extremely important, but amazingly most candidates forget about this part.
The two people you should follow up with are:
- The interviewer
- The recruiter (if there is one)
If nothing else, you should always follow up with the interviewer to thank them for their time and considering you for the role. It’s polite and will help you stand out from the crowd.
However, don’t bombard them after this. It’s fine to send a polite chaser after a week if you haven’t heard, but don’t call them directly. If they like you, you will know about it very quickly.
Recruiters, on the other hand, love to be contacted. Feel free to email and call them after the interview to get feedback, and then every few days afterward. It’s their job to get an answer from the employer and relay it to you, so don’t be shy.
The main rule though, as always, is to remain polite and take positives if you don’t get the job. There will always be another opportunity so never be tempted to hound employers incessantly as it will ruin your reputation with them for any future roles.
I hope the information on this page helps you with your job applications in some way.
Looking for a new job can be a daunting process, even for the most experienced professionals, and having a guide to follow is always helpful.
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to download any of my careers resources below, completely free.
Or, if you want to work with me more closely, I encourage you to join my Careers Mastery course which has helped hundreds of people build the careers they deserve.