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Chance is a fickle thing, job research is not

 Job searching does not have to be heart wrenching, however, but it usually is.

 Job search is filled with opportunities to worry, stress, and disappoint.

When you start your job search journey, understand it could be an emotional  roller coaster.  It’s normal to feel some angst, but not too good if the trip is full of it.

Like any journey, it needs a plan. You  have to find the right advertisement; for the right kind of job;  at the right company;  and all for the right reasons. Then there’s the application itself as as well as the wait to hear back from the employer. Let’s explore some of these stages of job search

Right Advertisement

It usually means setting up “alerts” for many of the major companies as well as on-line companies like SEEK. Some job adverts look amazing, too good to be true even! “like no experience necessary, we train you” stuff. Read between the lines and be skeptical.  Always follow your instincts and first impressions. Remember that the advert reflects the image of the employer. Reading the advert, you may gain a sense of their culture or personality. If there are “cringe” factors or unbelievable statements like “we want a super human who can delight customers 24/7  you might want to think twice before you send your resume, or hopefully it piques your interest and you apply anyway.

The right kind of job

The general rule is that you should only apply for jobs where you can hand on heart say ” I can do 80% of all of that”. That’s the minimum.  if they ask for mandatory qualifications, then you will NEED those. Naturally, you will have to like the tasks and responsibilities also. Check that you actually WANT to perform the work/job. You may be well suited, but ask yourself if you do you want to work in that field and in that role? The grass is not always greener, so make sure its a leap ahead of where you are at now

The right reasons

Money of often the main motivator. Lets face it – it is!  The trouble with this reason as the major motive for applying for a job is that it may land you into a role that is soul destroying; erodes your family life and freedom and keeps you going because you like what the money can buy. If that’s the only reason, than expect to give something up or a lot up, in return. The best reason to apply for a particular job is for the experience, the enhanced learning, the workplace and the sense of accomplishment. Yes, you want to be paid and as long as the salary marries with the job responsibilities, and meets IR wage /legislation that’s really the bottom line.

Your best foot forward in the application

The majority of time spent in your job search should be on securing the best resume and enticing cover letter. DON’T send the same resume to every job advert unless all the adverts are the same! Adapt your application to fit/suit the requirements and nuances of the advert. DO NOT LIE. The way to the employer’s attention and the way to gain an interview is to match your skills. experience and knowledge to the requirements of the job.

The right company

We always hear of Employer of choice workplaces and companies.  Voices whispering ” Did you hear how much they pay their staff?” or stories about the amount of time off  the staff receive etc. Yep. There are great companies to work for. Yep. They do exist. Yep. apply when they advertise for sure.  But make sure YOU like them too and for all the right reasons.  So, we are back to the right reasons again.

In summary, do your research, not just on the advert; the company background – but on yourself. Is this really, really what you really, really want? Don’t act so desperate that you accept a job that you eventually resent. Speaking of desperation, during the job search phase many of us dread the waiting for a response. We may act desperate here too.

The Waiting

Many companies have a structured recruitment phase. Often the bigger the company, the longer they take to recruit. However, small business owners who are time poor, may also take a long time to contact you. Sadly, all too often, many don’t call; write or email you back at all. This wait period is, and can be, highly stressful. To ease your anxiety, make a list of all the jobs you applied for. On this list, include the Company name; the job outline;  the date you applied (or their closing date for applications)  and the reasons why you applied. That way, if /when you get THE CALL, you will be prepared. This is important to do especially if you have applied for several jobs at once. There is nothing more unprofessional than responding to that all important call with “who are ya?” or even worse, “what job did I apply for?”

Lastly, you got the call! and now all you have to do is prepare, prepare and prepare for the interview, break a leg!


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Ivana Agapiou

Ivana Agapiou resume writer and career advisor