Job Seeking Tips
Sometimes, finding a job is simple. Whether it’s by meeting someone at the right place at the right term or knowing a friend of a friend looking a particular set of skills, in some occasions it can require minimal effort to find the perfect fit.
But far more common is having to do an extensive job search. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you are currently unemployed and are in need of a regular source of income. While at the end of the day it still comes down to finding the right employer at the right time, with these tips you can increase your chance of landing an interview and learning if the right person for the position is you.
Tip 1: Be prepared with an up-to-date CV
Before applying for any jobs, the first thing you should do is to update your CV. Nearly every employer in New Zealand will want to see your CV before an interview, and it’s important to have it ready and updated so you that you don’t miss an opportunity. Take the time to make sure that your documents look professional and have been checked and looked over for spelling and grammar errors. If you aren’t confident with proofreading, you should have friends or family look over your documents or take them in to a CV service. Some job agencies offer this service free of charge, and there are also several options for free reviews online.
If your CV is old or outdated and you aren’t sure how where to start with updating or redesigning it, we have a free CV template you can use to help you get started.
Tip 2: Check job boards often and apply frequently
New opportunities come up every day. Some experts recommend that the amount of time you should spend on applying for a job should be equal to the number of hours you hope to work. So for full-time, that would mean 40 hours of job searching, interviewing, and document creation a week.
That amount of time searching is a bit on the high end, but if you’re determined to get work soon then it could take that long; at least at first. New Zealand has several different job search sites such as Trademe, Jora, Seek, Yudu, Jobify, and many more, including several different specialist sites. The NZ government site has an extensive listing here. Setting up a profile for each of these sites can be a long, time-consuming process, but many allow you to save your CV and other documents so that you can apply for positions quickly once you’re logged in.
Another option is to use a job search agency to help assist you in the process. Many agencies have exclusive job listings that you won’t find anywhere else. Some agencies can apply on your behalf and have an extensive network that lets them find jobs that match your skill set that you may not be able to learn about on your own. This beneficial service is something we offer and can learn more about on our job seekers page.
Tip 3: Be authentic and stand out with your cover letter
Along with a well-designed and updated CV, the cover letter can make or break your chances at receiving an offer of employment. Like with the CV, your cover letter should be free of errors and in an easy-to-read font and format. However, you may notice from our Cover Letter Template that we approach cover letters a bit differently.
The cover letter is your chance to stand out and show that you’re different than other candidates. And because of that, your cover letter shouldn’t be the same as everyone else’s. While a cover letter should still have the same general features such as an introduction, skills highlight, and why you are the right candidate for the specific position, the way that it is written should reflect your personality and what you do best.
Think of it from the employer’s perspective; if people with experience in similar industries apply to the job, what would make them pick one person for an interview over another? What makes you specifically different than other people who worked in your position? By focusing on positive attributes and experiences and being authentic, you increase your chances of standing out among people with similar work experience.
Tip 4: Clean up your social media presence
Nowadays, many employees prefer to do a little bit of investigation into prospective employees before offering an interview. And for some employers, all it takes is a couple of minutes and a few clicks to decide whether someone might not fit in with the company culture.
For many people, social media is where they show their personality and true selves. If an employer comes across a profile and notices excessive swearing or pictures with illegal substances or dangerous situations, they may be less inclined to consider you. Even if the online persona doesn’t match how you’d behave at work, it functions like a first impression and can sour you for an employer before they’ve ever met you in person.
This isn’t to say that you necessarily need to censor your online behaviour, but to be mindful of it. If you’re social media profiles are a bit edgy, consider updating your privacy settings. Your entire profile, as well as individual posts, have settings that you can change before sending your CV out to prospective employers.
Tip 5: Prepare Yourself for Interviews
If you end up receiving an interview at a job that’s a great fit for you, it’s an excellent start. But no matter how well-written your cover letter or how appealing your CV is, nearly all employers will make their final decision based on the interview. Just as it’s important to be prepared with materials for your application beforehand, it’s also important to be prepared for the interview itself.
One of the easiest ways to do research on a company is to check online for a website or digital presence. If they have a social media profile that’s updated regularly, take a look at it as well. Notice what things the company finds important and emphasise those traits that you agree with. When an employer sees that you’re familiar with what they do and the way that they do it, it shows dedication that they can expect to see on the job.
Interview questions can vary greatly, and unfortunately there’s no easy way to prepare ahead of time for every question that will come up. However, you’ll generally see some common questions that tend to come up in one way or another. Seek has a list of common interview questions and the aspects to focus on when those questions come up. Knowing the responses to some of these common questions can make the process simpler and more straightforward, but remember that there may be more complicated or unique questions that come up as well.