The process of finding a job can be long, tedious, trying, disappointing, exciting, anxious and fruitful. A process not many enjoy going through, but one that’s worth it at the end. If you can persevere through the process and be prepared, you will be ever closer to landing your dream job and getting your foot in the door of your career.
We’ll be looking at the different aspects of finding a job that you will go through to ready yourself for the process ahead. The first step after gathering your qualifications, experience and building your skills is to choose a direction in which you want to work. And then you start by putting together your CV.
Sorting out your CV
Depending on what area of work you’ve decided to focus on, it’s time to sort out your CV. Tailor your CV specific to the job you’re wanting to get by highlighting information that is related to the job. For example, if you’re looking to apply for a marketing position, they don’t need to know that you were a waitress for a few months, but they may want to know about your extra-mural team activities and experiences (as the chances are you’ll be working in a team).
Make sure that any skills you mention on your CV can be backed up by a recommendation or endorsement of some kind. And don’t be afraid to mention all your relevant qualifications. If you’ve completed an online short course or certification, let your potential recruiters know. It not only shows that you are knowledgeable, but it tells them that you enjoy learning new things and staying updated with industry knowledge. And that’s what companies look for in applicants who are serious about chasing and choosing a career.
Application and interviews
With your CV in place, you can start finding job advertisements to apply to. When you send your CV you may be required to write a cover letter. Even if it’s not specified, you should always write one anyway in the initial email. In your cover letter, you introduce yourself and state your case. Don’t simply repeat information that they’re about to read in your CV. Give it personal insight into who you are, what your goals are, how this job will help you achieve those goals and how you can be an asset to the company.
After sending out your applications, you may begin the interview process with a test, phone call and face-to-face interview. Prepare yourself by researching about the company and the job position to prevent awkward silences when they ask you “do you understand what it is we do here”. It also shows that you are interested in more than just getting a job and working for money.
You also need to remember that an interview is an opportunity for both parties to meet each other and test the waters. If you have questions, you’re more than welcome to ask them, it’s not a one-way communication street.
Calculating a fair salary expectation
Salary expectations aren’t always discussed at the initial interview, so you’ll have some time to consider the advertised offer and calculate what would be a fair salary expectation from your side. To do so, you’ll need to do research on what the market-related salary figures are and take your qualifications and experience into consideration.
After that, you can sit down and work out what your total monthly expenses are. You’ll have to add up your insurance, car, rent, gym membership, cellphone contract, TV subscription, bank account, groceries, utilities, petrol (which will play a large role if your place of work is far from home) and any other expenses you may have. When you have a total figure, you’ll have a good idea of what you need to be earning to cover your bases and whether what is being offered is enough or not.
Then you may want to consider reducing your monthly expenses if the market-related, and qualification-influenced figure is not quite enough and you cannot, realistically, ask for more.
Deciding on a company and an industry
When you get the job you’ll start on probation or some sort of trial period in which you can decide on the company and the industry. There are many job positions that are available in a variety of companies and industries and if you find you enjoy the job but not the market, you don’t necessarily need to change career paths, just industries.
The effect of an industry or an office of people makes all the difference in employee satisfaction. You don’t want to feel stuck in an industry you don’t understand and think it’s got something to do with your career choice. Before you get too comfortable with where you are, try the same position in another company that works within a different industry and notice the difference.
You will always be building your career and it starts with finding that perfect job.