How to be better at your job search?

How to be better at your job search?

For what you have been telling me in the last couple of weeks, one you the biggest issues you seem to be facing is having difficulties with the job search aspect itself.

My first advice would be: be clear of what you are looking for, your skills and what you can bring to the table to that “idealised” position. Sit down and write what type of position you are looking for, how your skills match that position and what are will willing to learn. Focus on your strengths, always. This is not magic or the secret. The way that exercise helps you is my focusing your search, helping you be more specific and to the point while writing your cover letter and being able to express your competencies in potential interviews.

I would also advise you to think beyond the internet. Try to make connections in the organizations you want to work, join specialized groups in your field, and tell everyone, their mother and brother that you are looking for an entry-level position as… [insert here fundraiser, programme assistant, assistant researcher in sustainable development, it’s your dream, just try to be realistic and specific with what you are aiming for].

Besides the traditional websites, look for job posting spaces that are tailored to your needs or skills. For instance, in my space, Doing What You Love, I make sure we only post entry-level positions, which for me means from 0 to 3 years of experience in the field. If you are in the United States, Idealist and DevEx have a wide range of job opportunities that go beyond the traditional spaces, but provide meaningful starting experiences. If you are in Europe (yes, I do count the UK as Europe… Because it is), Charity Jobs, Geneva Jobs and Eurobrussels may be good places for you to start looking. South Africa has NGO pulse and in Thailand has ThaiNGO. Most countries have their outlets, you just have to find them.

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give anyone that is looking for a job: KEEP TRACK OF YOUR APPLICATIONS. With a simple spreadsheet with position, date when you applied, TOR and response will help you to have control of your application’s status and you will not have to sweat to get all the information in case someone calls for an interview.

Those are just some of the tips that can make your job search a little bit more efficient. It will also help you to be a little more focus and target the areas you want… Not just any development job, because you are desperate. Finally, you will be able to see how you are progressing with your applications, which is tremendously helpful, especially on those moments where you feel like you are not really moving forward (to reassure that you are indeed).

That’s it for this week! Next week we are going to talk about goal-setting exercises.

See you next week and best of luck in your search!

All the best,

Natasha Leite

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