How to find a new job? Employment

If you’ve been out of work for a long time, or in the same job for a while, finding a new job can be intimidating and confusing. But if you have made the decision to find a new job, we are here to help you every step of the way.

How To Find A New Job: A Step-by-Step Guide

To help you navigate the busy world of job hunting, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you find new opportunities. In this guide, we’ll explore the job search process and give you some hints and tips along the way that will help you make the most of your search.

Step 1: Decide what role is right for you

Many people aren’t sure of exactly what they are looking for when they begin a job search. And that’s okay! A quick look at online job boards should give you an idea of the opportunities in your area. That being said, before you apply for anything have a think about:

  • The type of job you want
  • The hours you would like to work (part-time or full time)
  • What experience you have
  • Salary expectations
  • Location

While you might not know exactly what you want to do, you might already know what you want from a job, which is a great starting point.

That being said, if you don’t have much (or any experience) it might be helpful to research different industries and job roles to see what works for you.

Step 2: Start searching

Once you have an idea of the kind of role you are looking for, it’s time to do a search. There are lots of different places you can look to find a job. These include:

  • Online job boards
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Company websites
  • Local newspapers
  • Social media

If there is a company that you would like to work for, you can even send them a copy of your CV and cover letter directly.

The internet is a great place to start when searching for a new job. There are lots of free job boards (such as Indeed, Monster, Total Jobs, etc) with lots of vacancies. And for many of them, you can apply directly through the website. More and more employers are also using social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to advertise vacancies.

Step 3: Prepare your CV

Even though many job applications are carried out online, CVs and cover letters are still a key part of the process. So, before you start applying for jobs, it’s important to update your CV. That includes making sure your name, address and contact information is correct, adding any recent work experience (including volunteering), qualifications and a summary of your skills.

Your CV doesn’t have to be pages long. In fact, the shorter it is, the better. Your CV is an opportunity to sell yourself to a recruiter, so highlight your greatest achievements, tell them about your experience, and bring key skills to their attention. For further help with writing an effective CV, click here.

Step 4: Start applying

For many people, this part is the scariest. But if your CV is up to date and you know your skills, then you’re halfway there. When you find a job you’d like to apply for it’s important to follow the instructions given on the job description. In some cases, you may have to apply by sending your CV and a cover letter by email or post. In others, you may be required to complete an online or paper application form and attach your CV.

Different employers have different processes, and the first step to getting through the first stage is following instructions to the letter. If you are filling out an application form, make sure you fill in all of the required boxes. And for every application you fill in, tailor the contents of your CV and cover letter to the job description. This may take more time, but it is more effective.

Many job descriptions will also have a person specification with a list of skills, experience and qualifications the employer is looking for. Don’t be afraid to use this when you write your cover letter and CV. Don’t copy it word for word, but definitely do your best to show that you have what they are looking for.

Step 5: Keep trying!

It’s difficult not to be disheartened if you don’t hear back from employers straight away. But keep trying! Some recruitment processes take longer than others, and not all employers will tell you at the application stage that you have been unsuccessful or successful. For that reason, make an effort to keep track of your applications and follow up with a business if you haven’t heard anything! This can be a quick email or telephone call to HR to inquire about the progress of your application.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, it may take time for you to become confident in making applications. Again – keep trying! Practice makes progress. And while you are job hunting, you might find it helpful to do a training course or find a job volunteering to boost your skills.

Step 6: You got an interview – what next?

An employer will most likely contact you by telephone or email to invite you to an interview. After celebrating, the next step is to prepare.

First of all, make sure you are clear on the type of interview you have been invited to. Your interview might be:

  • A telephone interview
  • Face to face interview
  • Panel interview
  • Group interview
  • Competency-based interview

For some interviews, you may be required to take a test. This could be a personality test, literacy, numeracy, verbal reasoning test or something different that you either take before or during the interview.

As well as preparing for these types of things, you should also research the company, the job role and prepare answers for questions you may be asked during the interview. Typical interview questions include:

  • What experience do you have?
  • Why do you want to work for the company?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you the right person for the job?
  • What skills will you bring to the role?
  • What is your greatest achievement?
  • Can you give an example of when you have shown X?

You should also plan a few questions to ask the interviewer. This could be a question about the role, the company as a whole, the working hours, or anything else you may be interested to know. Asking questions shows that you are engaged and interested in the business, which will reflect well on you!

Step 7: Follow up!

While some interviewers may tell you on the spot that you have been successful, this isn’t always the case. Many employers will see quite a few people before making a decision, which can make the process longer.

If you don’t hear from an employer after an interview, then make sure you follow up. If you like, you can ask the interviewer when you might expect to hear from them and then follow up after that date.

Some people also like to send a ‘Thank You’ email following their interview to thank the interviewer for their time.

Get help with finding a new job

We hope the step-by-step guide above is helpful. But if you find you need a little more support in getting started, building your confidence, finding volunteering opportunities, writing your CV or preparing for an interview then get in touch with Building Better Opportunities in Stafford & South Staffordshire.

We offer free advice and support to job seekers in the area, and can also help build your skills and supercharge your confidence if you are unsure of your next steps. We hold regular drop-in sessions across Stafford and South Staffordshire that are completely free. Either pop in and see us (click here to find your nearest drop-in session) or request a callback from one of our friendly advocates by filling in the enquiry form below.