Compared to say a decade ago, it is pretty easy these days to pull a CV and a cover letter together and apply for a job. Spending time thinking about whether the job is the right opportunity for you and whether you are what the employer is looking for are two of the important considerations in a job application process, best done before you hit the send button.
The labour market in 2023 is candidate centric.
Before you start applying do some planning. Develop a list defining specific organisations you would like to work for. This keeps you from wasting time and energy on unproductive job applications.
- What kind of work do you want to do?
- Where do you want to work?
- Are you prepared to accept a temporary role until something comes along that fits your longer term goals?
- Can you transition from the your sector to another sector that is of interest to you?
- When do you want to start work?
- What remuneration will you be seeking?
The next step is setting your professional objective, giving some direction to your search. Think about what you have done in your career so far and ask yourself:
- What are my interests? What do I really enjoy doing? What type of activity or environment attracts me?
- What do I do best? What are 3-6 of my strongest skills or competencies? What differentiates me from others seeking similar work?
- What are my values and priorities? What is important to me? How does work fit in with other aspects of my life?
- What would my ideal job look like? What do I want my life and work to look like 5 years from now?
- All things considered, is my professional objective realistic?
Once you have done some basic planning and thought about your professional objective, you should apply for roles that you really want and roles which you are suitably skilled and experienced for. The more you find out about a job the more likely it is that you’ll make a decision on whether or not you are right for it and if it is right for you BEFORE you apply.
Understand that once you apply, you are one of many candidates under consideration. Therefore, rejection is a fact of life in a search process. If you are unsuccessful in your application, it doesn’t mean you are not a great candidate or indeed, a valuable person; it just means someone else was better suited to the role. Understand and accept this as part of the process. If you are successful, negotiate to make sure you are happy with any offer that comes your way and that the job satisfies your professional objective.
Reaching out to a Recruiter to help you secure your next job, provide career advice or even just to have a chat about what they can do to assist your job search is a great idea. As a job seeker, you will be able to seek advice from a recruiter in 3 easy steps – search, find, contact.