The thought of searching for a new job can make a person feel hopeful and allow them to dream of all the possibilities a new role can give them. However, in terms of the ‘life admin’ tasks we can have throughout our lives, applying for jobs can also be one of the most time-consuming.
When deciding to look for a job, or to leave one behind and look for a new role, it has the potential to be overwhelming. Depending on the job and the way it is advertised, you may need to spend an hour or more filling in a job application form for just one role. Sometimes it can be as easy as sending off your CV and perhaps a covering letter, but some roles do require their own application form to be filled out.
So how can this be made easier? I think by copying and saving the information that you write in one application can allow you to use the same information in another. This can be things like the information for past jobs, names of people and companies, and general information that will always be asked. I think that organisation is the key to keeping the time down to the minimum it can be. Also, writing down things that you think may sound good in an application as and when you think of them could also stop any ‘mind blanks’ that may become apparent when staring at any empty box online. Things like the skills you have, why you want to work in a particular field, or past experience that has allowed you to become the person you are today, may all be things that can be needed when writing a job application.
If the job search is long-term, making a kind of job search schedule could also help. Perhaps searching for jobs in lunch breaks or whilst commuting could allow for a list of jobs to already be known when it comes to having the time to apply for them. Having some time between finding the job and applying may also allow reflection to be made on it and some thinking time to be had about what needs to be written.
Keeping in mind why you want the job, or why you want to change the job you are currently in, could also be a way of staying focused and to just allow you to persevere and get through it. Deciding to apply for a job can be a major step forward in your life, or just a necessity, but our working life is important because it can give us a sense of identity as well as just being something that allows us to pay the bills. For some people, a job is just a job, but for others it can be their statement; the way they say to the world “this is who I am”. Either way, I think it is important to make sure that searching for that role is as painless as possible.
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons)
Follow Sarah on twitter at @keepingapproach