Does your job hunting plan need some help? Find your ideal career role with our 11 professional job hunting tips.
It’s very unlikely that you’re going to stumble on your next great career opportunity by accident. In fact, if you really want to find flexible work that ticks your career and family boxes, you’re going to need an approach closer to a well-executed, military-like plan!
Like many things worth achieving, landing the perfect flexible job will probably require a clever strategy, hard work and perseverance.
But as many mums have found, if you’re prepared to put in the effort and stick at it, there are lots of flexible employers who value the skills and experience of career women with children.
11 professional job hunting tips for you to try
If you approach job hunting with the same level of organisation and professionalism you put into your career, you will find flexible work that meets your career needs much more quickly.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled 11 professional job hunting tips for you to try.
1) Get your CV right
Prepare to succeed by making sure your CV is well written and designed. Read up on (and avoid!) the 10 most common CV mistakes, and find out how you can quickly tidy up your CV in less than half an hour.
2) Set yourself goals
Set yourself long term objectives, and realistic dates by which you wish to achieve them. If you don’t know what you’re working towards and when, how can you create a plan that works? Learn how to set yourself a SMART goal, and how to chunk it down into achievable steps.
3) Identify the right method
Identify your potential job searching methods and write a plan for how you will approach each one. Learn how to make your own job hunting opportunities.
4) List your resources
Make a list of your key resources, skills, experience and attributes, so, when you’re applying for jobs you can identify which ones would make you a good candidate for the position.
Even if you don’t have the exact experience an employer is looking for, they may consider you if you present the right attitude and qualities. Find out how to talk your way into the job you want (even if on paper you’re not perfect for it).
5) Block out job hunting time
Work out how much time each week you wish to spend looking for work and block out those hours. Treat this time as ‘work’ and, if you need to, arrange childcare for it. Learn how to make time to achieve your goals.
6) Set weekly objectives
Give yourself objectives to aim for each week – it may be sending out or chasing up a certain number of applications, or researching potential employers to target.
7) Make a note of what works
Keep a record of what methods work, and what don’t – for example, you may find that unsolicited emails to companies doesn’t work for you, but calling people directly does.
8) Use your time wisely
Spend your time wisely, and do more of the things you notice are working, and less of the methods that yield fewer results – for example, focussing your energies on the recruitment websites or approaches that work for you.
9) Say yes more
Sometimes opportunities spring up from the unlikeliest places, so make yourself more open to new experiences and opportunities.
Make an effort to chat to other mums at the school gate, and accept social invitations – you never know who you may bump into. Get tips on how to reach out to your different networks as a mum.
10) Identify your resources
Identify any potential resources that may help your job search – for example, do you have any well-connected friends who may have useful contacts, or would you benefit from coaching to help you pinpoint the areas to concentrate on?
And don’t forget LinkedIn! If you haven’t already done so, join and create a profile. (You can read seven simple rules to create a perfect LinkedIn profile here.)
11) Focus on your achievements
Even successful job searches will have set backs, so don’t become disheartened if you don’t see results straight away.
Instead, focus on the steps you are making towards your end goal and believe in your abilities to get there. Need some encouragement to keep going? Read five surprising reason why you should love failure and find out what to do when your job search stalls.Hannah Martin