Building a rewarding career doesn’t involve accepting just any job. It’s all about knowing how to find the right job for you – one that engages and motivates you, and brings the rewards of making a valuable contribution each working day.
Find the right job by shortlisting what you’re looking for
Start your job search by thinking about the aspects of a role that will appeal to you – be it flexible working hours, professional development, or more challenging projects.
It can help to think back over previous roles you have held and identify which aspects were most rewarding for you. From here, draw up your “must-have” features, followed by “nice-but-not-necessary” aspects of a role. This can go a long way towards helping you answer the question “What job suits me?”
Start with a clear strategy
Depending on the type of role you are looking for, demand for candidates can exceed supply. But the most attractive roles typically command strong competition as skilled and experienced professionals aim for career progression.
This makes it important to develop a job search strategy. Adopting an organised, structured approach gives you a far greater chance of being the chosen candidate for your ideal role.
Consider all your skills
Your professional skills will play a major part in the nature of work you are qualified to undertake. But don’t overlook other skills that could also be an asset in the workplace.
Volunteer activities can develop leadership and collaborative skills. Or you may be an outstanding public speaker. These sorts of skills developed outside of work or formal training can be highly valued by hiring managers so be sure to mention them in your resume. They could be the surprise factor that helps you find the right job.
Devote time to job hunting
With a firm idea of what you are looking for in a job plus a good understanding of the skills you bring to an employer, it’s time to commit to the job hunting process. That means making time to go out and find the right job even if you are busy with your existing role and other responsibilities.
Leave no stone unturned. Look through job advertisements across a number of platforms to maximise your options. If you are not currently working, treat your job search as if it were a fulltime position, ensuring you spend as much time as possible identifying suitable job vacancies and working on applications.
Assess the marketplace
Part of an effective job search strategy involves gaining an understanding of the level of demand for professionals with your skills and experience. Even during periods when overall demand is low, employers can face a shortage of professionals with specific skillsets.
Speaking to recruiters is an easy way to gain firsthand insights into the state of the job market. Professional recruitment agencies are in constant contact with employers, and therefore have excellent current knowledge of which candidates are in highest demand.
The Robert Half Salary Guide is a useful source of information on the job market and those skills that are most sought-after.
Be prepared to network
Many jobs are also filled without even advertising for candidates, so it makes sense to tap into this “hidden” job market to find the right job. Networking with industry professionals or being an active member of industry bodies and professional organisations can help you identify new opportunities that may not have been publicly advertised, or at least keep you top of mind when a position becomes available.
Focus on suitable roles
It’s worth focusing on roles that will put your skills and experience to good use – even if it means waiting until the ideal position becomes available. Not only will this increase your likelihood of being considered for the role, it can also help you find the right job – one that challenges and rewards you.
Appraise your skills and consider whether somebody with your qualifications and level of experience will appeal to the employer in question. If you have doubts about whether you can fulfil the role, or conversely, if you won’t be sufficiently challenged by the job, it’s possible a hiring manager will too.
Have your resume ready to go
Your resume is an important document – after all it is your first point of contact with a hiring manager, and it provides a great opportunity to promote yourself to employers. However, you never know when the ideal role will become available so it’s smart practice to have an up-to-date resume at all times.
Maximise the value of your resume by making sure it contains concise details of your skills, qualifications and experience. Then, when an attractive job opportunity arises, tailor your resume to the role in question.
Explore every option
Finding the right job can call for an open mind. Your dream role could evolve over time – for instance, a temporary position may lead to a permanent job. Similarly, interim or project-based roles can often be followed by an offer of a permanent position. It means such opportunities shouldn't be rejected out of hand as you could arrive at your dream job by an unexpected path.
Being open to all options gives you the best possible chance to develop your career and acquire new skills – and ultimately, it will all help you find the job that’s perfect for you.