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Treat job searching like a job

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If you have been sacked, made redundant or have left a job in which you were not happy, it can be hard to feel motivated and upbeat about job searching. But ultimately it is up to you to put your best foot forward and find the job that will make you happy. Treat your search like a job – here are nine tips to keep you on track.

1. Find yourself a mentor, someone who will encourage and support you in your job search.

2. Find a quiet spot in your home and adopt your professional business persona. Sit down with your computer and phone and start your search.

3. Develop a personalised spreadsheet that tracks the jobs you apply for. The headings should include ‘date of application’, ‘job source’ (e.g. Seek, CareerOne, local newspaper) ‘company’, ‘role’, ‘key contact’, ‘type of application’ (e.g. mail, email or phone enquiry), ‘date of response’, and ‘notes’. In the latter, include any pertinent information. For example, you might be told to ring back in a week and speak with a particular person. Highlight any required actions and put a date alongside them. Keep the spreadsheet up-to-date and check it regularly.

4. Identify the type of job you want, the hours, location and pay range. Once you’ve narrowed the field, search on job sites such as Seek or CareerOne daily and apply for the relevant jobs.

5. Develop a list of other less well-known job sites to search regularly.

6. Do a Google search for companies that would employ a person doing the type of job you are seeking. If appropriate, cold call the company to see if they are employing. If you are uncomfortable doing this, write a script to follow while on the phone. If there are no current vacancies, ask if you can send your resume in to be considered for any future vacancies.

7. Design a flyer promoting your services and skills, get them printed and hand them out.

8. Update your LinkedIn profile to let people know that you are available for work, and update your resume.

9. Challenge yourself to learn some new skills; it demonstrates your willingness to learn and adapt to workplace changes.

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