7 Stages Of Job Hunting

Posted April 30, 2020, by Elesha

Job hunting can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, can’t it? Scary and exciting at times – the struggle to land your dream job is real.

We’ve put together the 7 stages of job hunting to help cut through the overwhelm and guide you through what to do at each step of the job search process – including popping champagne and getting your victory dance on!

Step #1 – Get Clear On The Job You Want And Salary Expectations

How can you land your dream role if you don’t actually know what your dream role is?

The very first step in the job hunting process is to get clear on exactly what you want from your next role – and how it will fit in with your long term career plan. 

It’s also important to evaluate your salary expectations – are you looking to step up from your current income or be willing to take a pay cut if it really was your dream job? 

Get clear on 2 figures – your dream salary for the next position and your lowest non-negotiable number. This range will provide some guidance on which roles to apply for and which roles to rule out.

Don’t underestimate the value of this step!  Many talented people flounder in their career because they just drift along and take whatever job happens to come up next.

Job hunting might feel overwhelming but it’s actually an awesome opportunity to get clear on or reevaluate your career vision and exactly what your dream job and income look like. 

Step #2 – Get Your Personal Brand In Order Before Job Hunting

Personal brand, you say? By that, we mean your CV, template cover letter, letter of introduction, LinkedIn profile and any other digital content like your portfolio or website.

These are the materials that make up your personal brand and when we neglect our personal branding, we sell ourselves short! 

Depending on the jobs you apply for, your CV, cover letter, and letter of introduction will need to be personalised for each role but it’s a good idea to begin with fresh, updated versions. 

Are you a student without any professional experience?  

Check out our CV and cover letter templates to help you land your very first job.

Are you returning to work after a career break? 

You’ll need to account for your time out of the workforce in your CV. Don’t try to avoid addressing it, potential employers will notice that big gap in your employment history.

Have you recently been fired or made redundant? 

You don’t need to talk about being fired or made redundant on your CV. Simple state the start and end date of your most recent role.  You can expand a little further if you land the interview. 

LinkedIn has never been a more important platform for job hunters than it is now. If your profile is a little neglected, check out our tips for polishing it up to prepare for job hunting.

Step #3 – Hitting The Job Boards And Researching Companies

Now you know what role you want and you’ve prepped all your personal marketing materials it’s time to begin the search. 

Cast your job hunting net wide – check out virtual job boards, career expos (especially if you’re a graduate), network, read industry magazines, attend events and follow recruitment agencies on social media.

If there’s an awesome company you would love to work for but they aren’t currently advertising any vacancies, why not send a letter of interest? Here’s how to write one. 

Remember; finding a job requires patience. Keep calm and keep searching. 

Step #4 – Applying For The Job 

Yas! You’ve found the perfect role! Now it’s time to tailor your CV and cover letter to suit the specific position advertised.

A few quick tips – 

  • Identify key words in the advertisement and customise your CV and cover letter to include them.
  • Read the job application requirements thoroughly. Poor attention to detail is not a good first impression.
  • Use bullet points and short sentences to make your application easily ‘scannable’.
  • Triple-check your content for spelling, content, and grammar. 

We’ve also put together a more in-depth guide, Resume Checklist: 6 Essentials To Make Your Resume Stand Out, to help you craft a CV that will wow the hiring manager. 

Step #5 – Preparing For (And Nailing!) The Interview

You got the interview call! Give yourself a high five then focus on making an awesome first impression.

Before the interview, spend some time researching the organisation – don’t just skim the ‘About Us’ page. Come up with a few questions or comments to throw out there in the interview to show you’ve really done your homework.

You’ll also want to brush up on your interview Q+A skills beforehand and prepare yourself for the flood of inevitable interview questions coming your way.

Put some thought into what you plan to wear too. The right outfit will empower you, boost your confidence levels, and help you make a killer first impression.

Bonus – These cheat sheets will help you feel extra prepared for your interview. 

On the big day, make sure you arrive a little early and don’t make any of these epic interview mistakes. 

Step #6 – The Waiting And Follow Up Game 

You’ve had an awesome interview and you feel good about the position, now the waiting game begins.

You can send the recruiter or interviewer a short thank you email within 24 hours of your interview – this reaffirms you’re still interested in the position. 

Be patient – a lot goes on behind the scenes in the recruitment process for the employer. 

Keeping in contact and remaining positive throughout the entire process will help build your professional relationships and network. This is especially handy if a recruiter is handling the process – they may put you forward for another role if this one doesn’t work out.

After the thank you email, 1 or 2 more short follow up emails over the course of a fortnight is fine but if you’re being ghosted (it happens!) turn your attention back to Step #3.

Step #7 – The Sweet Taste Of Victory! Or…Gracefully Accepting Rejection

Got the job?! Get your victory dance on and crack the champers, it’s time to celebrate! 

If you missed out on the role, don’t lose heart. Gracefully accept the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and ask for feedback. Take a some time to rally (we know rejections can feel pretty brutal) and head back to Step #3 – you got this!

For more help on your job hunting quest, check out these 8 quick tips to get hired fast.


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