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  • Writer's pictureNadina

Optimise your Job Hunt Part 4: Five tips to manage the job-hunting process for success

Updated: Nov 4, 2019


So, you have updated your CV and set your goals in terms of your next role, now it’s now time to hit the market.


Managing the job-hunt successfully is an important part of the process; it's not just about applying for every job you see advertised and crossing your fingers.


As a recruiter, I see many different approaches to job-hunting and have read tens of thousands of applications. Around 80% of those made are a waste of time; either because the roles are poorly targeted based on the candidate's experience, or because the application made is sub-standard. Sound like a high figure? It's not an exaggeration.


If you make the right approach, you can sell yourself for a roles you might have been discounted for, build your network and hear about jobs that are not on the open market and improve your strategy to save you time and energy.


Every application that’s unsuccessful takes time to prepare and is also felt as a rejection.


Tip number one: Track your applications


Set up a spreadsheet and track where you apply, making multiple applications for the same job or company can damage your brand in the market. Writing down where you apply also helps imprint who you have applied to in your mind, so if you get a call from a recruiter to screen you over the phone you are more likely to remember the job role. You can then manage your applications and make follow up calls as detailed in tip five.


Tip number two: Target your applications


Make sure you read the recruiters criteria in the job advert and ensure you meet their core requirements. Don’t just read the job title and scan the responsibilities of the role. When I advertise a job for a construction project manager, I guarantee that 50% of the applications will be from IT project managers, all smart professional people that have not read any more than the fact the role is project management and fancy a change.


Its better to apply for five well-targeted roles than 50 untargeted ones. If you send your CV to a recruiter when you clearly don’t have the experience they have asked for the job, you are damaging your brand and representing yourself as a person with no attention to detail.


Tip number three: Target your application letter


If you send a letter, ensure it's targeted to the job, people continually send letters out that discount them from an application process. They address letters to the wrong company and contact name, highlight all their skills that are not relevant to the specific job they have applied for, and talk about their desire to do a totally different job role. If you apply for a job doing one thing and tell the recruiter your dream is to do something else, you are automatically discounting yourself from the process. No recruiter wants to hire someone for a job when they want to do a totally different type of job.


Tip number four: If you are not sure then call the recruiter


If you see a role and you are not sure about your suitability, pick up the phone and chat to the recruiter. This gives you the opportunity to connect with them, saves wasting time applying if a job is not right, and allows you to sell your abilities if you don’t tick all the boxes and be front of their mind for other roles. I will caveat this with the fact that not all recruiters take calls or publish numbers. If there is no number just ring the switchboard and ask to speak with the person managing the recruitment for xxx job. If they don’t pick up the phone or return your call, more fool them as recruiters that don’t engage with callers miss out on wonderful candidates.


Tip number five: Follow up on job applications


If you have heard nothing aside from an acknowledgement on a job application for a few days, call to chase and find out the status and when you are likely to hear. This again gives you the chance to engage with the recruiter over the phone. If you were unsuccessful and the role sounds idea, ask for feedback as to why and incorporate those learnings into your job hunt. You can also use this as an opportunity to get information to help you hunt, find out about the market, salaries and answer other questions you might have.


Tip number five: Treat each call from a recruiter like a mini interview


Agency recruiters in particular, will call candidates they like the look of and do a phone screen to assess their suitability. Treat these like a mini interview, they are a pass or fail part of the process and will be the decider on whether you get a formal interview request. If you are in the middle of something or in a loud area and can’t focus, take their number and call them back so you can give a good performance in the conversation. They are likely to want to know your goals and expectations for a job and discuss your experience in more detail.

Through this process take your learnings and incorporate these into your strategies and tactics. Job-hunting is not an exact science but managing your applications can help you be well targeted in your approach, find opportunities that are not out in the open market and build your network.


Next time I will talk about interviewing in more detail.


I have helped thousands of people achieve their career goals quicker, secure awesome jobs and plan strategic career paths. I write resumes, LinkedIn profiles and provide personalised coaching to my clients.


I work with people from all industries and professions, graduate to managing director level and have helped people in Australia, America, Europe, Asia the Middle East and Africa!

I love my work and hearing my client’s stories, its lots of fun.


For further information, give me a call 04375 90411 or email me


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