Top tips on how to find a job

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In order to stay ahead in this crazy job market, you’ll need to seriously stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re out of a job and need work fast, or just looking to move elsewhere, follow these tips and you could vastly improve your chances. Here’s how to find a job.

Improve your online profile

They say that first impressions count for everything. Well, nowadays, it’s likely your first impression will be made online, as more companies use the internet to check up on potential employees. So, you need to make sure your internet self is in order.

It might seem a little weird, but you need to Google yourself. Make sure you do this in incognito mode on your browser, otherwise Google will return personalised results. You might be surprised at what you find. If anything looks untoward, do your best to track down the source and delete.

You should also consider signing up for LinkedIn. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically an online business/social network and digital CV combined. The best feature is that you can get old colleagues to leave messages about how nice it was to work with you, which is great for future employers to see.

You can also use LinkedIn for networking. By connecting with people in your industry you’ll see when they post new job opportunities. Your new contacts will also post about their professional interests, letting you know first-hand what areas you need to get clued up on.

Don’t just apply to advertised jobs

There’s nothing quite so frustrating as trawling through online job boards, firing off application after application, only to hear nothing back. Alas, these sites are so popular nowadays you’ll usually be up against 100s of other applicants, which makes it hard to stand out.

Interestingly, estimates suggest around 80% of available jobs are never actually advertised. Many companies promote from within, or rely on internal referrals to recruit. It’s just much cheaper that way.

So be proactive. Make a list of companies you’d like to work for then send them all your CV and covering letter. Don’t settle for info@ addresses. You can search on LinkedIn for employees of a certain company using the advanced search feature. If this fails, you can always try the good old fashioned method of picking up the phone and asking!

Consider your body language

OK, so you’ve clambered over the first couple of hurdles, but now you face the dreaded job interview. It’s one of the most stressful experiences we go through, especially when you’ve been looking for a job for ages.

But remember, everyone is in the same position, so there are a few things you can do differently to get ahead. Besides being prepared and well-presented, improve your body language by avoiding the following:

  • Fidgeting
  • A weak handshake
  • Invading personal space
  • Hiding your hands under the table
  • Not smiling
  • Crossing your arms
  • Slumping in your seat
  • Appearing disinterested

It’s a lot to remember, so consider running some dummy interviews with your friends/family and get them to watch out for any of the above. You could even film your test runs and watch them back.

You might be doing a lot of these things simply because you’re nervous. Fear is a natural and necessary emotion in an interview, because it prepares you to perform. The trick is to not let the emotion take control.

There are a couple simple techniques that can help. First, try to breath in a measured way, through your nose. This sends a message to your brain that everything is alright, and you’re not in any danger. Also try tapping your feet, right then left, in time to your breathing, which achieves the same effect. This is called mindfulness – a natural way to reduce anxiety – which you can read more about on the NHS website.