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How To Get Started On Your Job Search: The Secret To Successfully Finding A Job

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

In today’s competitive job market, it can feel like your resume will forever be buried under a mountain of other applications. According to these statistics from the ABS, as of February 2022:

  • 1.8 million people were not working but wanted to work (potential workers).

  • 1.3 million people (or 9.5% of employed people) changed jobs, the highest annual job mobility rate since 2012.

  • Recruitment difficulty is 67% - up from 52% in June 2021

The truth is, it takes considerably more time and energy to find employment than it did a decade ago. In fact, 75% of Australians who are currently searching for a new job have been looking for up to six months.

In this competitive job market, the way you plan and execute your job search is critical to stand out in the sea of candidates and achieve your desired role.

The first 30 days are the key to your job search success.

It is critical to make a strong, well-planned start in your job search to begin on the right foot, be established to face the challenges of the search, and position yourself as a top applicant from the beginning.

We are here to help you do exactly that! In this article, we'll cover:

Why it's important to wait for the right role

Keep your Career Plan in clear focus at every stage of your job search journey. This is to ensure you are making the right strategic decisions to achieve your career goals.

The temptation in this competitive market is to settle for second best. This is temptation is understandable - after an extended period of applying for jobs with few positive results, it can be easy to lower expectations in the hope of dropping opportunities within faster reach. But be cautious of this trap - Don't give up on your dream job! Your long term happiness depends upon it.

46% of Australians feel that looking for a new job gets harder the longer you look. - Seek

The secret to successfully finding a job you'll love is in your own hands. If you take action right now, you can get on track to find a new role.

The truth is, finding a job that is going to meet your needs and fulfil your objectives can take some time and effort. If it is a job worth your time there will be other people competing for the same job. To succeed, you need a a realistic and intelligent way to structure your job search. Use these strategies to set clear goals and schedule the critical first 30 days correctly to give yourself the best chance of a positive result.

First, define your goal using the START Strategy

Before you can find a job, you need to know what you’re looking for in a job. Start by writing down the things you want to get out of a job. This could be an industry you want to work in, a certain role, a certain location, or a salary you’re looking for. This will give you a more focused goal to work towards and help you to differentiate yourself from other applicants who don’t know what they want.

One of the most underrated secrets is to begin before you're ready. Marie Forleo

Here at Views PD, we have a strategy for setting goals which makes it crystal clear exactly what you need to do to get started and gain momentum achieving them. It's called the START Strategy, and it's an excellent way to keep motivated during your job search.

START is an acronym we use that stands for Specificity, Timing, Achievability, Reasons and Three Actions. This is how it works:

  • Specificity Identify a brief, specific event that lets you know for certain that you have achieved your the goal of your job search. For example, if your goal was to achieve a job as a marketing manager, your statement could be, "I am excited to be working on a new social media campaign with my fun-loving marketing team".

  • Timing State the exact date you wish the outcome to occur. Having a time attached to your goal allows you to know what you're working towards.

  • Achievability Consider the achievability of your goal. If you never achieve your goals, try breaking them down into something smaller. On the other hand, if you find yourself reaching your goals easily or before schedule, try challenging yourself to achieve greater results with a larger goal!

  • Reasons Infuse your goal with really good reasons for why you want to achieve it. Being crystal clear on your reason for the goal gives you the inspiration and encouragement you need to put in the effort to achieve it, even when the going gets tough.

  • Three Actions Finally, define the first three steps you need to take to get started on achieving this goal. Stating exactly what the first few steps are will build momentum to drive your job search forwards.

Here's an example:

It is now the beginning of summer and I have just secured a new executive role in an environmentally focussed start-up company. The reason this goal was important to me is because I want to be a fantastic role-model for my daughters and create a better world for them to grow up in.

The first three actions I took towards successfully achieving this goal were:

1. Adjusting my resume and cover letter be targeted for executive role requirements, highlighting my key skills which apply to start-ups.

2. Practising my elevator pitch on three people for feedback.

3. Making space in my calendar to apply for 3-5 new roles each week.

You can set your own START goal using our template download here:

Next, schedule the first 30-Days in your Calendar

Now that you have a clear goal for your job search using the START Strategy, it's time to book in the tasks that will make it happen. The first 30 days give you time to form a daily routine of activating your professional network, applying for jobs, fine-tuning your resume, and practicing for interviews.

On a calendar, schedule all the job-search tasks you want to complete during the next 30 days. Be sure to include the 5 important activities listed below to ensure you are off to a strong start.

The average job application takes around 5 hours to complete, so it’s important that you don’t just apply blindly. Creating a calendar allows you to visually track the progress of your job search. This will allow you to see which areas you’re possibly being too general or too specific in. It’s also a great way for you to keep track of which employers you’ve applied to. You might also want to consider keeping a journal as you work towards your job search goals. This can be a great way to reflect on your search and allow you to see what’s working and what isn’t. It’s also a good way to track your emotions during the search.

On days you don't have interviews scheduled, dedicate your time to acquiring interviews. This will include updating your application documents, searching for jobs, submitting your resume and making enquiries through your professional network. Other tasks may include optimising your LinkedIn profile, and practicing your interview skills to respond to common questions.

The 5 essential activities to undertake at the outset of your job search

Ensure you have these 5 essential activities scheduled in your 30 day calendar.

1. Update your job application documents

Make sure your job application documents are as polished and up to date as possible. Clearly define your top 5 strengths and skills to highlight your point of difference and the value you bring to organisations. Present your qualifications, professional experience and accomplishments clearly and concisely in your resume and cover letters. Create a work portfolio of your most recent and impressive projects to demonstrate your abilities. Get rid of any typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors so that your prospective employers don’t see you as careless and unprofessional. Don’t just rely on spell check to pick up your errors, either. A human proofreader is always the best option!

We're here to help you with your job application documents, reach out if you'd like assistance!

2. Update your LinkedIn Profile

Did you know that of the most most popular ways that companies find new hires is through social professional networks? LinkedIn has over over 800 million active profiles as of 2022. With these kind of numbers, strategic networking can be one of the smartest ways to find your next role! That's why it is important to optimise your LinkedIn profile at the outset of your job search and ensure you're presented professionally online.

3. Find and apply for the right roles

As part of your research into which companies you want to work for and what roles are available, make sure you’re thoughtful in applying for roles that are most suitable for you. While some people might recommend applying for 20 jobs at a time, you should be more selective with your applications. You want to make sure that you’re 100% ready to apply for a role before you hit “send”. Remember to always align with your career plan to ensure you're working towards your long term success.

Plan carefully which channels to spend the majority of your search time to find roles best suited to you. We'll give you the top sources to consider when searching for the right opportunities to apply for, you can learn exactly Where To Look For Jobs In A Competitive Market in this article.

4. Activate your professional network

If you have friends or family that work in the industry that you’re interested in, ask them if they know of any opportunities. You can also consider joining LinkedIn groups related to your field and be on the lookout for opportunities that you could apply for. Attend networking events to meet people in your field.

Use these strategies to activate your professional network to discover job opportunities and referrals for your next role. You never know where a good opportunity could come from!

5. Prepare for your job interview

Once you’ve gotten an interview for the job that you want, make sure you do everything in your power to ace the interview.

  • Plan your introduction to make a strong first impression at your interview.

  • Do your research so you know the company inside and out.

  • Learn as much as you can about the interviewer and what they’re looking for in a candidate.

  • Prepare at least 3 questions that you’d like to ask the interviewer. They’re there to get to know you, so make sure you get the chance to learn about them too.

  • Thoughtfully prepare and practise responses to the most difficult interview questions you might be asked about your skills and abilities.

Plan to have a mock interview with a professional career coach and prepare for the all-important interview phase. We are here to help, you can reach out to us regarding interview preparation coaching.

Where to get expert assistance

The secret to successfully finding a job is in your own hands. Use these insider tips on how to get started on your job search and stand out above other applicants. Start by defining your goal, creating a 30 day calendar, and updating your job application documents. Then, search in the right places, activate your professional network, and prepare for your job interview.

Join us for an online introductory coaching strategy session where we'll help you get on your way to finding a new job in 30 days.

Click below for more information or to book your strategy session here:

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