Whether you are currently unemployed and looking for a new job or you are already employed and looking for new opportunities, applying for jobs can be a challenging and tiring process.

Whilst there are hundreds of online job postings that you can apply for, the tricky part is hearing back about a possible interview. As someone who was in the job search scene for a while, I have compiled several tips to hopefully help you find your new job.

1. Identify your skill sets:

Before you start looking or even applying for new jobs, sit down and work out what it is you can offer. Whether you have taken some extra courses or want to try something new, working out what you bring to a job is an important first step. I suggest identifying the skill sets employees are looking for and ensuring they are mentioned in either your cover letter or resume.

2. Do your research:

Once you have found jobs that you think have the potential to be your next job, start researching anything and everything about the company and your employer. Look them up on their website or social media, find out what previous employees have to say about them or reach out to anyone in your network to see what they think about them.

3. Target your resume and cover letter for every job:

I have been guilty of sending out the same generic copy and pasted resume to every job I applied for, which of course did not work in my favour! Your resume and cover letter are your very first points of contact with the employer, and you want to make sure you stand out! Adding specific details about your skills and experience and how they are relevant to the role you are applying for will show that you have taken the time to really look at what they want and need. When I started tailoring my cover letter and resume to the specific job I was applying for; I had a lot more success in acquiring an interview.

4. Apply quickly:

If you are at all interested in a position you have found, make sure you apply immediately. The longer you wait, the more applications they will receive, and the less chance they will make it to your application

5. Follow up on each application:

Ensure that you are keeping track of every job that you have applied for, do not just mindlessly apply! If you have not heard anything back after a couple of days, call or email the person you applied to and ask if they received your resume. This demonstrates that you are eager to hear something back and may force the hiring manager to take a second look at your application.

6. Get ready for your interview:

You should be proud of yourself, being called in for an interview is a great achievement! Make sure that you research the company and employer ahead of the interview. Conduct a list of any relevant and important questions you may have. Practice either in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member answering questions that may be asked in the interview. And lastly, always dress and present yourself professionally. First impressions always count, make sure it is a good one!

Tip 1: Consider your wardrobe.  Always dress a little more formally than normal.

Tip 2: Prepare your own interview questions.

Tip 3: Be honest and avoid clichéd answers.

7. Always ask questions:

The interview is a two-way process, it is as much about you finding out if the job and workplace is right for you, as it is about them finding out if you are the best fit for the role. Some important questions to ask may be about: their benefits, work-life balance, salary, company culture, opportunities for growth, management style etc.

8. Thank the people who interviewed you:

Always thank the interviewer or interviewing team for taking their time to talk to you.

Make sure to thank them straight after the interview is finished, as well as when you get home. I find it is easiest to send an email where you can express your thanks for being given the opportunity to come in for an interview. This way you will keep this option open even if you do not get offered the job.

9. Do not take the job if it is not right for you:

Nine times out of ten you are going to get a firm idea on what it will be like to work for the company just from going to an interview. And unfortunately, there are times when you are going to walk out from an interview knowing that the vibe just was not right for you. If you do get offered the job in a case like this, it is always best to decline the offer as gracefully as possible. Some things to remember when turning down a job are to not procrastinate, show your appreciation, give a brief reason, and ask them to stay in touch. It is also well within your right to ask for some time to think about the offer. Let them know that you would like to take some time to think about it and you will get back to them, just make sure not to keep them waiting for too long.

10. Do not be discouraged:

If you land your new job, amazing! But if not, try not to be discouraged. Very few people get interviews, you should be proud of yourself for making it that far. Take it as part of the learning curve, ask for feedback or advice from the people who interviewed you and implement it in your next interview. You will get better each time!

Your first day:   YEY YEY YEY YEY YEY YEY YEY!!

Whether you are working in administration, hospitality, or retail, your first day is a memorable one. It is nerve-wracking and exciting all at once. For my first day I was a bundle of nerves, however that can be helpful to keep you alert and on your toes. Make sure to put yourself out there and make a good first impression. Come prepared to take lots of notes, so do not forget a notebook and pen. Ask lots and lots of questions, and do not be afraid to make a couple of mistakes, use them as a learning opportunity!