Let’s be honest, job hunting is stressful, time-consuming and requires loads of motivation and determination. Job hunting can feel like a job itself, without the security of a paycheck.
If you’re looking for a job whilst already working or while studying, the pressure can be even higher. I started to look for a job during my last year of university, which was extremely stressful and left me worrying about the future.
Much like everything else in life, if you prepare in advance, some things can be easier to handle. Preparing to find a job beforehand will make you feel confident and you’ll feel more motivated. At my worst freak out moment, I stopped and made a (realistic) plan of what I could do to balance my part-time job, my degree and job hunting.
Here’s a guideline (which I wish I had used), that will help you being ready to smash the job hunting procedure:
Schedule your “job hunting” time
At first, I worked on my CV or job applications “when I had time”; other words, it was usually during the evening after a long day of work or lectures. This was definitely not the best time to be productive and efficient for writing or thinking about my future career.
The first step in finding a job is: set up a fixed time of the week where you know you’re motivated, productive and have the right energy for it.
Research, Research, Research
Before starting writing, applying, emailing…do you actually know which are the necessary or useful things you should be writing, applying or emailing?
You might find yourself wasting ton of time creating something you think is useful and then discover that the requirements are totally a different thing (yep, it happens).
To avoid wasting time and energy, research and make a list of stuff you actually need to prepare/do. This might imply, for example, asking advice to people who applied for your same or similar jobs, or browsing on the internet job announcements and see what the general requirement are.
Set up an action plan
Now that you have a defined list of stuff you need, make a detailed plan of how you’ll manage to have everything ready and by when. In this way, each time you’ll be sitting at your desk during your “job hunting” time you’ll focus on specific tasks and maximise your productivity.
Have a sparkling CV and LinkedIn profile
Having a rocking CV and (depending on the industry) LinkedIn profile should be the priority on your to-do list. In particular, for your CV, create a kind of general template of it, so that you can personalize it for each job application you’re applying for avoiding each time to writing it from scratch.
Pro-tip: ask someone at your uni or with experience on CV writing, to review your CV so that you’re sure it’s clear and effective!
Enhance your skills
While researching jobs or leading people in the industry you’re interested in you might have noticed there are skills that would be important to have or improve to make your CV stand out.
Think about which ones you could work on and add them to your schedule, always thinking about it in an efficient way though.
Check out if your uni offers extra classes or certifications that you could include in your course, or look if there’s a free online course which can help you learn more a certain topic- take a look at Lynda and FutureLearn.
As every great performance, practice is the key to success! Are there any tests you know they can ask for you to do? Look for previous tests online and practice those!
Are you not really confident about interviews? Check online usual interview questions and practice how you’d answer to them!
Essentially, if there’s anything you can predict and can practice on, do it! The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be!