A job search can feel more like a marathon than a sprint, and the best way to approach it is to have a clearly defined plan. To make it even easier, there are three stages that will help you to secure your dream job, and each of them can be carefully divided so that no task seems too large. Here are the three stages broken down into manageable chunks that save both time and stress.
Stage One: Preparation
First thing to do is work out what your goals are. One of the best ways to do this is to use the SMART technique, which makes sure you are focusing on the correct tasks, not wasting any time and setting targets that are measurable.
Once you have a definite job goal in mind you can compare the job specification to your experience and prepare the necessary documents. This means crafting your CV and covering letter. Make sure you highlight your most relevant experience to the job you are applying for and tailor it each time you apply to a different company.
These days it’s not only about the profile that companies see when you apply for jobs, but also the ones that they find when they search for your online. You need to have an excellent profile on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. They should all reflect your personal brand. This is a condensed idea of who you are and what you can offer a company. Developing an elevator pitch is a great way to consolidate these ideas.
We recommend getting in touch with your references during this first stage. Send them your CV and elevator pitch so they have a good idea of what you’ve been up to and how you are hoping to recommend yourself to potential employers.
Stage 2: Applications
This is probably going to be the most time-consuming stage, where you start searching and applying for jobs. A lot of companies will have a dedicated website for hiring new employees, but remember to think about less direct routes into working for a company, like work experience or an internship as well.
Another important part of this phase is networking. Connect with recruiters and employers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook is another great tool for networking, even if at first it seems like you only use it to chat to friends.
Attend open evenings and presentations for the company you want to work for, and find out if they will be attending any graduate recruitment fairs in your city. Making early contact is worth it, even if it seems a bit daunting to start with.
Stage 3: Interview
It’s important to stay organised during your job search, as the chances are you will be contacting more than one company at once. Start your preparation for interviews as early as possible, and think about how you will answer those all-important interview questions.
Once you’ve got a date and time confirmed you can research the company in more depth and start to think about what you want to ask your potential employer. Make sure you make a plan for the actual day – including what you’re taking with you and what you are going to wear.
After the interview, make sure you find out what the next steps of the process are, whether there will be a second interview or an assessment day and when you can expect to hear back.
By breaking your job search into different stages, it can be easier to stay on track and keep focused. If you want to find out more about the hiring process at Enterprise, you can read all about it here. Or, you can start stage two by applying for one of our internships or the graduate management schemes