Job Hunting Tips For First-time Job Seekers

Job SearchEditor’s Note: Since most of our readers are based in the U.S. I have replaced the term “CV” with the word “Resume”- though for our readers across the pond the terms are interchangeable.

Entering the World of Job Search

Entering the world of employment, as you will have noticed, is quite different from education. Job hunting is extremely competitive and online recruitment sites can be quite daunting to begin with. Many people send a generic resume to as many positions advertised as they can – and yes, it may well get them an interview, but the lack of strength and focus in the resume makes them an unlikely candidate.

Some simple job hunting tips can help to provide structure to your search using online recruitment, making you more attractive as a candidate to an employer. Organizational skills are the key to online job seeking, not only do they demonstrate a valuable quality but they also structure your job search. This makes your job search easier to manage, but also gives you a main objective in your quest for employment.

Which Sectors to Target

Landing on a job search website, you’ll notice there are options of which sectors to search for vacancies in. There are often so many different options that people don’t narrow down their targets, they merely apply for every job in every sector. This is where job searches can get confusing and when you’re invited for an interview you find yourself asking “which job is this I’ve applied for?” Narrowing down your targets to 3 specific job roles initially can focus your search and give you something to aim for.

Creating a Resume Template

Writing a resume template rather than an actual resume can save time for future applications. A resume template should include all your basic information such as qualifications, contact information and a snippet of background information which isn’t specific to any job role. This can be used to create future resumes by avoiding having to rewrite the same information.

Using the resume template, create 3 resumes tailored to your specific job targets within the same industry. Creating resumes which are tailored to the job specifics are far stronger than a generic resume. However, if you decide to apply for some lower value positions you can create a generic resume too, using the template which can be sent to employers.

Some websites allow you to display your resume online so it’s easily accessible to a large number of employers. Although this is a great way for you to gain online exposure, proceed with caution. Online resumes should be industry specific but not job role specific (unless you’re adamant that’s the role for you). If you have a resume online and send out a contradicting different resume directly to an employer, they may search your name online and find the original resume. For example, claiming you’re all-time passion lies with cooking on one resume and saying you’re ultimate dream would be a career in the arts on another could result in employer’s questioning your authenticity.

Tailor your Social Profiles

According to research conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, over 50% of employers now check candidate’s social profiles before inviting them to interview. This effectively, could be the employer’s first impression of you, meaning social profiles could be a vital aspect for your job seeking.

Considering what information to include on your social profile could be the difference between impressing the employer and completely putting them off. Including details of your interests related to the industry you’re targeting will prove you are truly interested in the job roles you have applied for. Joining industry-specific groups and liaising with people within your niche will also gain you online credibility.

[pullquote]Over 50% of employers now check candidate’s social profiles before inviting them to interview.[/pullquote]In some cases social profiles can do more harm than good. If inappropriate posts and pictures are likely to be displayed in association with you then you may want to change your visibility settings to private. A photograph of you bearing all on a Saturday night isn’t exactly the best first impression to make for an employer. Although social profiles can be a positive networking strategy for job seeking, those with too much personal information can deter potential employers from seeing your professional side before your personality.

Beginning job searching for the first time can be a confusing concept. This is why job hunting tips can provide some guidance for novice job seekers. There are organisations such as Connexions who can help young job seekers to begin their search and provide advice on choosing which career path to take.

Stephanie Staszko works for the UK-based company Web Vitality.  They specialize in Web Design, SEO, and Ecommerce, “At Web Vitality we produce eye-catching, visually impressive web sites that are easy to use.”  Be sure to follow Stephanie at @StephStaz and Web Vitality @WebVitality.  

For information on how to create a personal marketing plan please check out some of our other blog posts!