5 Tips for smart job hunting

Published Jul 17, 2023


Gugulethu Shinga

Job hunting with no success can be draining - emotionally and physically. However, this shouldn’t deter you from reaching your goal. Knowing which steps to follow when job searching can make the process simpler and improve your chances of landing an interview.

Author Tara Clark shares some tips:

1. Use your network

Many positions these days are being filled using referrals in addition to the vacancy being advertised. Often, a referral is more likely to get the position, simply because their skills and experience are already being advocated for within the company. Don't focus only on the old ways of looking for a job – get out, get to know people, and treat every interaction as a potential opportunity.

2. Clean up your act on social media

These days, companies will often Google search a candidate before hiring, including viewing their social media activity. So before starting your job hunt, it’s wise to “clean up” all your social media profiles and review your privacy settings.

3. Sharpen up your CV

The vast majority of positions that become available today use online applications, so the look of your CV matters far less than the content. It should be attractive and easy to read, but colour and artistic flair are not necessary.

Some applicant tracking systems used by recruiting agencies don’t read serif fonts at all - so your CV might end up not reaching a person just because your font isn't one the computer recognises.

Another element that will impact how likely your CV is to get past the applicant tracking system is your use of keywords. If the ad states you need experience with x, y and z, then be sure that x, y and z are on your CV if you have that experience. It may be more work, yes, but sending out a CV just for it to be rejected by a robot isn't an effective use of your time, either.

4. Focus on your accomplishments

If, for example, you are applying for a position as a sales manager, sending in a CV with a generic list of sales responsibilities isn't going to make you stand out. What makes you different from the other 200 sales managers applying for the position? The answer is simple: accomplishments.

5. It's not personal

One of the most important aspects of job-hunting is to keep a positive mindset and try not to get discouraged. You may go on many interviews, send out hundreds of CV’s, and still be waiting for that call. For every rejection, remember it's not you - it’s probably just not the right fit. Keep looking for ways to improve your CV and add to your skills so that you become a candidate who recruiters can’t afford to miss.