Starting your job search

jobseekerseries 11


So you’ve decided it’s time to begin your job hunt. This can be a daunting process for most candidates, especially in the current climate with so many other skilled and experienced job seekers to compete with. It is important to set yourself up for success as best as you possibly can - this begins with sourcing relevant job opportunities. Before you even think of your CV or cover letter you need to first find the jobs to apply for so that you can tailor these documents appropriately. Here are some useful tips to get you started on your path to employment:

  1. Make a list of the roles you are suited to apply for and the type of organizations you would like to work with. Depending on your background there may be a wide or narrow range of positions you could be considered for and it is best to try and clarify this prior to beginning your search. This will give you a guideline to begin with and you may in the process of your search discover other roles that you would be suited to. If you have a specific background like nursing or teaching this might be a fairly straightforward process but if you are looking across a broader range of roles and industries or if you are wanting a career change this can take some time and may even involve quite a bit of research. Don’t brush over this step, take the time, it’s for the good of your future!

  2. Familiarise yourself with the search functions of the main job seekers websites like SEEK and Trademe, these will be the foundation of your search and will connect you to the organisations and recruitment agencies that are searching for candidates with a background relevant to yours. The following article from SEEK outlines some general guidelines for searching:

  3. Create an account on SEEK and sign up to job alerts based on your preferences. You will then receive regular email alerts when relevant jobs are posted to SEEK. By creating a SEEK account and uploading your CV it also enables employers and recruiters to view your profile on SEEK and contact you directly if they have an opportunity that might be suited to you. You can also sign up to receive Alpha Job alerts from across all our divisions »

  4. Create a LinkedIn account. You should put as much effort into designing your LinkedIn profile as you put into your CV, though your LinkedIn profile will be more generic as it doesn’t need to be tailored to a specific job. You can search and apply for jobs on LinkedIn just as you can on job search websites and employers also used LinkedIn to source candidates for their roles so it pays off to have a professional and up to date profile. Need some help - check out our tips for improving your LinkedIn Profile »

  5. Research recruitment agencies that recruit roles in your field and register with them.

  6. Thoroughly read through the job advertisements to make sure you meet the criteria before applying. Job ads are designed specifically to attract suitable candidates and will specify what the essential requirements are:

    • If the job ad states you need to hold a specific degree or qualification, then only apply if you have that degree or qualification.
    • If the job ad states you need to be able to start next week, then don’t apply if you have a 4 week notice period.
    • If the job ad states you need to be a New Zealand Citizen, resident or hold a valid working visa then do not apply if you do not have a visa.

    They job hunt process can be draining enough as it is without setting yourself up for failure by applying for jobs you are not suited to and unlikely to hear back about. If you are unsure on whether you are a suitable applicant don’t be afraid to contact the recruiter and they will quickly be able to tell you whether it is worth your time sending an application.

  7. At this stage you should also set up a simple spreadsheet to organise your job applications. This will help you to keep track of your applications, especially if you are applying for numerous roles around the same time. This spreadsheet should include information such as:
    • The job title.
    • Name of the organisation/recruitment agency recruiting the role. If it’s a recruitment agency they will mention the type of organisation/industry and you should take note of that as well on your spreadsheet.
    • A link to the job ad.
    • A few key sentences on what attracted you to this role.
    • How you applied e.g SEEK, LinkedIn etc.
    • Date you applied.
    • Name of hiring manager or recruiter if this information is available to you.
    • Application progress