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Things to do before you start applying for jobs

So, it’s about that time of year when exams have finished, you’ve caught up on the rush of starting a new semester and you’re back in the swing of things – and then suddenly it hits you like a tonne of bricks, the deadly job search. It can be emotionally and physically draining, as well as take up a lot of your time and effort – so I’ve compiled a list of 3 things to do before you start tackling those job applications to hopefully make the process less stressful and overwhelming.

1. Who are you and what can you offer?

Before you start typing into job search engines take some time to consider what is it you are specifically looking for in a job role, and what it is that you can offer them. Two bullet point lists will really narrow down your job search and will be a good way to start focusing on what it is that sets you apart from other potential candidates.

List Number 1: What are you essential and desired characteristics in the job you are looking for?

List Number 2: What are your strengths, accomplishments and personal characteristics that make you right for that job?

Remember when you are applying for a job – it should suit your needs as much as you suit theirs. In the application stage, you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you! Make sure every job you apply for is right for you: What skills do you want to use? Where do you want to work? What are your non-negotiables? These are all important questions to ask yourself before starting the application process.

2. Research the job you want

Develop your knowledge of the job you are applying for and the organisation itself, make a list of what it is they are looking for and try to match it with your own skills and strengths. Take a look at the recruitment process and have a search on LinkedIn for any potential networking opportunities around that company or job role. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask people how they applied or got to the position they are in. Gain a better understanding of the field you want to enter and how what you have learnt will translate.

3. Tailor your CV and Cover Letter

Before you start, take the second bullet point list you made earlier and make your template Cover Letter. Every application will be different and should be tailored the job description and company that you are applying to – that’s where your research knowledge should come in. Make sure that you have a template version to add to based on the job roles you find and will be applying for.

It’s really hard to apply for jobs in general, it is not an easy or straightforward process, especially in the current times. So, do your best and don’t be too hard on yourself. Good luck!