I know I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog these past few weeks, but with the holidays and a temporary seasonal job I picked up I didn’t have a lot of free time. As many of you know, we were planning on moving to the UK after spending some time in the US after Australia, and we have now arrived. Things have been so hectic for me applying to jobs and, to be honest, it’s been pretty stressful. I figured my first post after all of this should be something relevant to what I’m currently going through.
Job searching can be stressful, from finding the right job to the application process and then the waiting, which is the bit that kills me. Although it’s stressful and time-consuming, there are ways to make the process easier and more organized, rather than feeling like you’re floundering (that’s how I felt!). Regardless of the field, type of work or location, these tips can help anyone and I if I knew these things when I started then maybe I wouldn’t have 20 tabs open on my laptop, four resumes and multiple cover letters, trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.
Write multiple resumes. It doesn’t matter if the jobs are in the same field, each job has a specific focus or two and your resume should reflect that. To make a resume more relevant to the job you’re applying for, rephrasing the blurb about each previous position or changing the skill section can make you look more appealing to the potential employer.
Spend the most time on you’re cover letter. Like my resumes, I like to keep a few cover letter templates that focus on different things. I have one that focuses on editing, another that focuses on journalism and a third that focuses pretty heavily on social media. I tailor each template to be more specific for each job, but having that framework makes the application process go much quicker and I promise you’ll feel more productive. It’s also wise to spend the most time on your cover letter than anything else, because it gives the employer a glimpse into who you are and is your chance to make a stellar first impression. I’ll spend several days writing a cover letter, rearranging paragraphs, editing, and rephrasing until I can find no more faults. Then I make sure to have someone else read it as well, in case there were any mistakes I didn’t catch myself.
Save all the jobs you want to apply for in one place. When I first started looking at jobs I saved them in a million different places and some I just left open in tabs. This was so stressful and I really began to lose track of what I had looked for, where I had saved specific jobs and just in general it felt very chaotic. This is not helpful and the organization will make you feel ten times better and more productive. As you apply for each job, delete or cross it out so you know you’ve done it. That brings me to my next point.
Keep a list of the positions you’ve applied for. If you’re doing a lot of job applications, it can become very easy to lose track of every single one you’ve applied for and not all will send you a confirmation email for your records. Keep a list of every job you’ve applied for: company and position. You certainly don’t want someone calling you about a job and not remembering exactly what it was (this has happened to me before and it’s very awkward).
Apply to everything. A lot of jobs I’ll look at and think it looks interesting, but not exactly what I want or that I don’t have a chance at getting it so I’ll pass it over. I’ve learned this is not a good idea, because you never know what will happen and the more you apply for the higher your chances. As they say, never judge a book by its cover, it might just turn out that the one you pass over will be the perfect job for you.
Stay positive. I know this easier said than done, but the worst thing you can do for yourself is to stress and worry about the applications you’ve submitted. I’m at fault for doing this too, but it’s only going to make you feel bad about yourself and make the potential rejects you do get that much harder to deal with. Be constructive with the rejections you receive and use it as an opportunity to improve your resume and cover letters, and I promise it will help your overall attitude.
Applying for jobs sucks, I know, I just said it. It’s hard and worrisome and you just want to know. I get it, but with these few things you can make the process a lot more painless and it will help you stay more organized and feel like you’re more on top of things. Applying for jobs can be a full time job in itself, so organization and attitude are the biggest players in helping you succeed. How do you make applying for jobs easier on yourself?