Applying for jobs without success? Try these three tips

Many people began the new year searching for their ideal job, but rushing in and applying for roles without knowing what you really want can lead to disappointment, according to Hays CEO, Alistair Cox.

Cox says that more often than not, the unsuccessful candidates are those who have dived head-first into the job search process, without thinking about what they really want and what exactly they need to do to get there.  “As a result, they end up applying for roles that aren’t necessarily right for them at this particular stage in their career.”

He believes candidates should consider the following:

1. Map out a clear career path: “Securing the right role for you, rather than ‘a role, right now’, requires you to take a step back and answer some honest questions about what you want out of your career in the long-term,” says Cox in a media release. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, the skills you possess and the type of work that has provided you with the most fulfilment in your career so far. Also consider external factors, such as changes within your industry.

Aside from determining the kind of job you actually want to be doing, answering these questions will provide you with a roadmap for career success. You may recognise an attribute that sets you apart from other candidates which you can focus on highlighting to employers, or you could spot an emerging area of employment in your sector that has so far gone largely unnoticed.”

2. Use your current position to enrich your CV: Are there opportunities within your current role that will enrich your job further and add additional skills and experience to your CV? For example, could you become involved in a project, learn a new computer programme or take on additional duties?  “Refining your expertise and skills is another fantastic way to flex your muscles in your current role, while also boosting your potential future value in the jobs market. It will also do wonders for your self-confidence, which is no bad thing when embarking on a job search.”

3. Think about what you want to be known for: How are you perceived at work? Your personal brand shapes your professional identity and ultimately how others view you, which could be pivotal to your success. “Instead of jumping headfirst into your job search, you must think about what you are currently known for, how you see yourself, what you want to be known for, and what needs to change for you to become the best brand of you,” says Cox.

He goes on to warn that switching employers is a significant change and long-term success should never be sacrificed for short-term satisfaction. “Speaking as an employer myself, the candidates that really stand out are those with clear drive and focus, those who have a plan, not just in their day-to-day but also in their long-term career ambitions. By taking a measured approach and considering where you want to be and how best to get there, you should find yourself pulled towards an exciting new role that is right for you.”

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