The second part of my slightly unusual Top Ten things useful for job hunting..
5 – Playstation
Job hunting is not fun. It’s repetitive, thankless and can be very un-rewarding and it’s easy to get disheartened by it all. So it’s essential to find something that gets you away from it from time to time. For me, it’s a Playstation, specifically Call of Duty. I make sure I take an hour or two every couple of days to get online and play some games. It keeps my sane.
4 – Screen Recording Software
When you do get an interview, check it’s ok with the interviewer, but if you can record it. Then once it’s over review it and check how you look sat in front of the camera. Check the background doesn’t contain anything it shouldn’t. Check how well you’re framed in the shot (eyes should be in the top third, not in the middle), and finally, check your performance. Are you looking at the camera when you should and not staring vacantly into space? How do you come across, any visual ticks?
3 – Get a good headset
You don’t want to look like a Cyberman or 1980’s DJ, so make sure you’ve got a headset that’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t affect how you speak or act. For me, it’s a truly wireless pair of headphones, and I only wear one of the pair so that I can also hear ‘natural’ noise and how I sound. I place the other one just in front of me, but out of shot, so the mic is still picking up my speech. A thing to watch with a wireless headset is that it holds enough battery charge to cover the length of the interview. My old ones die after 45 mins.
2 – Review
Every couple of weeks review how things are going. If it’s quiet and the phone isn’t ringing from recruiters wanting to talk to you, or employers following up applications, something is possibly wrong, and you could be doing something better. Review your CV and see if it needs a rewrite. Ask yourself if it contains the right information and if it’s uploaded to the right places. It could make some sense to make different versions, but check your use of keywords and if possible, ask someone to read it and give you some feedback.
1- A bottle of your favourite tipple
The day to day grind of job hunting can get repetitive, and it’s easy to lose some motivation. To keep me on track and to give me something to work towards, I’ve placed a 12-year-old bottle of Bourbon on my kitchen table. Every time I see it, it reminds me why I shouldn’t get downhearted with all of the rejections, and why it’s just as important today to stay positive as it was when all of this started. I also know that one day, when I get that magical phone call, I can crack to cork and finally get to see what it tastes like in the best of circumstances.