How to job hunt smarter, not harder

Searching for a new job, especially if it’s because of redundancy or changes beyond our control, can be a daunting process. It can be tempting to apply for as many jobs as possible in the hope a new opportunity arises, even if we know that not all are suitable.

Landing a new job is not always easy, and our hopes can be dashed if job applications are declined or second interviews don’t ensue. This is precisely why your job search should be approached strategically so you end up hunting smarter, not harder.Here’s how to do it.

  • Know what role you’re looking for. Setting out these details will propel you in the right direction when you’re ready to start applying. Consider your ideal level of seniority, role criteria, career trajectory, salary, organisational culture, and your preferred working hours and flexibility. Do a preliminary job search at this point, if you haven’t done so earlier, to know whether the kind of roles you’re looking for exist in the current market. If not, you may need to adjust some of your expectations.
  • Determine your value proposition. Before you can apply for a position, you need to be certain about what you can offer a new employer. Reflect on the skills and experiences that you’ve gained over the last two to three years, and decide on what makes you stand out from the crowd. All of this needs to be communicated in your cover letters, resume, interviews and when you network. Fleshing out a written elevator pitch can help you in the process too.
  • Use the shortlisting functionality on SEEK. Get out of your technological comfort zone and start using tools that will help you get ahead. You can review and refine the jobs you’re going to target with our shortlisting tool. Shortlisting jobs that meet your criteria, and applying when your resume and cover letters are tailored accordingly, will save you lots of time and effort.
  • Target specific companies. Instead of narrowing your search to roles only, why not target organisations you regard highly? A great way to get an introduction into an organisation, especially one that you’re keen to work for, is through an existing employee who may be a friend or associate. Even if specific jobs aren’t currently being advertised, a well-connected employee may be able to introduce you in person or via email to a relevant HR manager. If not immediately, this introduction may assist you in the future if the right opportunity presents itself.