Guest post by Setting up your job search

Looking for a job is not an easy process.  The law of averages does not apply to looking for a job so you can’t just apply to as many jobs as possible and hope you’ll get one! But with a bit of application, no pun intended, you can make it easier so here are our top 10 tips to make the most of the tools available to you to make it is as painless as possible.

1. Find the jobsites that specialise in the areas you’re looking for

  • Jobsites are not the only places to find work but they are still a great plcae to start and they offer functionality to help you manage your job search and give yourself the best chance of success.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just one.  Most jobseekers in the UK use 2-5 jobsites during their job search. If you’re just using the big job sites like Monster, Reed and Jobsite it can be even harder to get noticed.

2. Set up a specific job seeking email account

  • This stops job seeking being part of your normal social media routine.  Being logged in and focused on the task in hand means you get yourself in job seeking mode and it is harder to distract yourself.
  • Also do use this one to apply if you don’t have a sensibly name one. Sending applications from never looks good!

3. Take time to set up useful job email alerts

  • Most jobsites send out daily emails of relevant jobs to their users so use them to get the jobs to come to you.
  • Make sure you use your job seeking time to look at jobs which are relevant to you.  If you spam yourself with emails then it is easy to get frustrated.

4. Focus your job search even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do yet

  • Being sent 1000s of jobs you aren’t interested in will quickly get depressing, so use each site’s functionality to target the jobs you receive and search by sector, location, function, salary and experience level.
  • There is no point getting an alert for all jobs with the word “Sales” in if you are looking for is a “Sales Executive” role – so be specific.

5. Follow the jobsites you use on Twitter

  • Most post their jobs on Twitter as soon as they get added to the site, along with helpful career advice.
  • You can even set up a list of the sites you follow and check that so that you can check back on them separately.

6. Set up a CV or Profile on the job sites you use that is ready to send with an application

  • But be prepared to customise it if you are applying to lots of different jobs.  Many of the bigger jobsites allow you to have multiple CVs so you don’t always have to upload different ones for each application.

7. Read the job descriptions fully and reflect on them

  • Think about what you learn about the job from it and how you need to tailor an application, CV or cover letter to it.
  • Also ask yourself “Do I really want to do the job?” “Am I really qualified to do it?”

8. Prioritise! You can’t apply for everything, if you think you can you’re doing it wrong!

  • Note the jobs you want to apply for and when the deadlines are.
  • Set up a Google Doc or Spreadsheet and paste the job link and any key details in.
  • Prioritise the top ones and apply in good time.
  • Often the same jobs are posted on different jobsites – by keeping a note of what you’ve applied to you can save yourself applying twice.
  • Don’t wait until the advertised deadlines as sometimes these can be incorrect or an issue with a website occurs meaning you can’t apply at the last minute.

Now you’re applying, it is on to 2 more tips about your attitude while applying for jobs…

9. Be positive, but pragmatic.

  • When applying for a job you are selling yourself, so be bold and remember you lose nothing by applying.
  • But you may not hear back from most of the jobs you apply to so prepare for this.  Look back at what you’ve applied for and decide if you are using your time well and applying for the right things.

10. Remember that a jobsearch is not just online!

  • It is easy to apply for jobs online and so that means there’s always lots of competition. Pick up the phone and speak to recruiters and ask people in work if they know of any vacancies.
  • It can be hard but you never know what might come from it.

Most importantly – Don’t give up! Good luck in your job search!

– Rob lists all the UK’s best job boards, grouped by sector, type of job and level of experience  – for a head start with your applications see our list of Graduate Job Sites


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