In some respects, there has never been a better time to be a job seeker. With unemployment in the UK having hit a new, 42-year low of 4.5% during the second quarter, there is clearly less competition for job roles while businesses are also investing heavily in creating new and exciting opportunities.
Despite this, landing a desirable and well-paid job remains something of a challenge in the current climate. With real wage growth flat and the cost of living rising incrementally across the board, candidates must set themselves apart if they are to identify viable roles and make successful applications.
In this article, we will discuss how to become a productive job seeker and ensure that you utilise your time as effectively as possible.
Set Yourself Deadlines and Clear Objectives
When applying for work (whether you are currently unemployed or simply seeking a career change), common logic suggests that you should target as many jobs as possible. While there is some truth to this, however, you should also apply common sense when sourcing opportunities and ensure that you have clear objectives in terms of the type of role that you want.
With a clear understanding of your preferred job roles and desired remuneration, you can optimise the use of your time while eliminating positions for which you are either over-qualified or obviously lacking the in the requisite skills. This also prevents you from applying for multiple and diverse jobs with the same firm or agency, which can create the impression of someone who is lacking in decisiveness and judgement.
On a similar note, it is also crucial that you set yourself deadlines as a job seeker. Of course, this is a key productivity rule that can be applied in all areas of your life, but there is no doubt that establishing time-frames helps to structure your search for work and create a sense of urgency in the mind.
This also provides metrics against which your search can be measured, enabling you to change course or adapt your strategy if you are not enjoying success.
Refine Your Keyword Searches
As you probably know, accuracy and attention to detail is crucial if you are to enjoy a productive job search. This is true from the outset, as the way in which you search for roles will have a critical bearing on your level of success (or failure).
One of the ways in which you can conduct an effective keyword search is to have a clear understanding of the key terms that underpin your chosen industry. By using these as a measure to refine your search, you can ultimately target the roles that are most relevant to your skills and make the most of your time. If you are a copywriter who writes creatively and has marketing experience, you can leverage terms such as ‘marketing copywriter’ and ‘creative copywriter’ to identify viable opportunities.
This will automatically streamline the application process too, helping you to ensure that you afford yourself the best possible chance in every instance.
Remember to Follow You On Your Applications
While these tips will help you to conduct a more efficient and streamlined job search, it is also important to remember that productivity shares an intrinsic link with output. In this instance, this means that truly productive job search must ultimately yield results, either in the form of interviews or successful applications.
In this respect, you should definitely take some of the time you have saved during your application to follow up on promising leads. If you have been offered an interview for a specific role, for example, draft a thank-you note or a follow-up email to share your gratitude and excitement. Being proactive in your communication certainly leaves a good impression, while it reflects positive character traits that may give you an edge over your rivals.
You can also use LinkedIn to do this more efficiently, as your draft follow-up messages and build relationships with recruiters and potential employers. This should help you to leverage all of your hard work, while it may also incrementally increase your chances of landing individual roles.