You’re probably familiar with the standard path to finding a new job. Create your resumé, send out applications, hope to hear back, do your best in interviews and go through the offer process.
These are important, but there are a few other key steps in the job search that might not be so obvious. And they can make a huge difference to finding the right job for you.
SEEK found that 57% of Kiwis plan to set themselves a New Year’s resolution in relation to their career for 2024 - but a job change can take time. It’s worth making sure your time and effort lead you to a job that’s satisfying and suits your needs.
So, if you want to find a new job in 2024, here are five steps to factor into your job search to land the role you really want.
1. Put the building blocks in place
There might be times you need to find a job fast and so you jump straight into applying. But if you want to make a more considered move, it’s worth some planning first – whether it’s over a few days or weeks. This is about exploring your options then narrowing down what you really want. It can help to make a list of non-negotiables: the things you decide a job must involve for you to say ‘yes’. This could include location, schedule, work-life balance, salary or training.
Next, research roles and workplaces you’re interested in. Review your career goals or assess your values and see if there are roles that match. You could do a skills assessment, and if there are gaps, look for ways to expand your skills – perhaps through volunteering or a course. It’s also a good time to create a basic resumé and cover letter outline. This will give you a starting point to create tailored versions for each job you apply for.
2. Practice a positive mindset
A positive outlook can be a big support to your job search, especially through setbacks. Life and careers coach Alex Kingsmill says it’s a good idea to look for what will keep you feeling motivated during your job search.
Try to take something positive from every step along the way, as this will keep you in a resilient headspace, Kingsmill says. Maybe you’ve got your resumé in better shape than ever. Or perhaps you’ve discovered you can answer a certain interview question well and can take that into your next interview. Use these positives to fend off negative thoughts. Be sure to lean on friends and family or get some professional support if you can.
3. Open the door for opportunities
Do all you can to proactively find opportunities and direct them your way. Set up saved searches on SEEK so you get alerts when new jobs pop up matching your criteria. You can also use your SEEK Profile to let employers contact you with opportunities.
Focus on connecting and growing your network. Talk to people in your industry or the industry you’re interested in. You might be surprised at how willing people are to help and the options they could open up. See if you can meet up for a coffee or try setting up an informational interview.
If you’re interested in a particular company or organisation, you could consider contacting them directly about jobs.
4. Boost your interview confidence
If there’s one thing you can do to feel more confident going into your interview, it’s practice. It might feel strange at first to go through ‘mock’ questions or rehearse what you’ll say. But this practice is essential to providing clear, compelling answers in your interview – and showing the interviewer you’re right for the role.
There are plenty of standard interview questions you can prepare for, like the classic ‘tell me about yourself’ or ‘what are your weaknesses’ questions. Think of the industry-specific questions you might be asked and look back to the job ad or selection criteria. Work out the examples you can provide to back up each answer. SEEK’s practice interview builder can help you prepare, and it’s a good idea to run through questions and answers with a friend, family member or professional if you can. As you go through interviews, reflect on each experience. How did it go well? How could you do better next time?
5. Consider offers with care
You might feel you have to say ‘yes’ to the first offer you get. But it’s worth reviewing a job offer thoroughly to make sure that it’s right for you. Ask yourself – will this job help me achieve my career goals? Will it provide the working environment I’m looking for? Are the salary and benefits suitable? Look back to your list of non-negotiables.
Be ready to review a written offer carefully before you accept the job – and politely decline the offer if you decide it’s not right for you.
If you’re ready to land your next role, 2024 could be your year. Make room in your job search for planning, practice, building a positive mindset, seeking out opportunities and considering your wants and needs. That way, you’ll be on track to landing the job you really want.
Source: Independent research conducted by Nature of behalf of SEEK, interviewing 4000 Kiwis annually. Published February 2024.