Trick or Treat: 3 Tips to Stop Your Job Search Turning into a Horror Story

It’s approaching Halloween but, for many people, the first thing on their mind will be finding a new role. 

As we reach the end of the year, many companies will be preparing to shut down over Christmas, meaning October and November could be the last chances for applicants to find a new position in 2014.

However, it is unwise to rush applications for jobs that are not properly suitable. At any point, applicants are playing a game of trick and treat when they are on the lookout for a new position, which is why it is increasingly important to carry out as much research as possible. 

To improve your chances of landing a job you will truly enjoy, here are three key tips:

1. Prioritise existing work 

Finding a new job can be a difficult task, particularly when your daily workload is taken into account. Creating the time to search for, find and apply for roles can be extremely difficult when you have project deadlines at the back of your mind. 

You don’t want to jeopardise your position at your current role by dedicating too much time to your job search but, at the same time, it is challenging to balance your current employment and your hunt for a new job. 

Reserve some time every week to search through job sites and see what is out there, but make sure you do this in your own time and not while you are in the office. If you are busy at the weekend, perhaps wake up early and pencil in an hour on Monday morning to send out applications before you start your working week. 

It is advisable to send applications early in the morning, as this will ensure the messages will not be lost in HR professionals' inboxes. 

2: Research businesses 

Before you attend an interview, you should have strong knowledge of the company you’re applying to. 

While we don’t have all the time we would like to gain in-depth knowledge of an organisation, an interview could turn into an embarrassing experience if you do not put the time in to learn about the company’s aims, direction and culture. 

Interviewers recognise that candidates are often short on time, which is why they won’t ask particularly difficult questions. This means you do not need to read every page of a business’ website. Instead, focus on the core attributes. Identify the business’ size, ambitions and competitors. 

When doing this, you may find that the role you applied for is not actually right for you, saving you from starting a position you will not enjoy.

3. Gain interview experience 

The best way to differentiate between a good and a bad interviewer is through experience. 

This is a harsh reality for those struggling to find a role, but professionals who are aware of their value should not hesitate to attend interviews to not only improve their technique, but also learn to identify signs that a job may not be for them. 

The job spec may look enticing and the offices are bright and colourful, but all these positive elements could be overruled by a negative attitude from your interviewer. 

If the person you are speaking to is late, rude or condescending, you can assume that the place may not be a great office to work in. 

Often, two interviewers play the alternate good cop/bad cop routine and there is nothing wrong with being asked tricky questions or put under pressure, but there is no excuse for patrony. 

If you are unsure how your interview went, speak to friends and family and see what their opinion on the company is from how they acted at the interview. It may be the case that they know someone who worked there and can give you an opinion from first-hand experience. 

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