Welcome to our career advice hub! Job hunting today is such a complex process.
We’ve been helping jobseekers for over 10 years now. In this page, you’ll find all the best tactics and guides from our decade long experience. There’s plenty to cover. We strongly recommend you bookmark this page. Come back and refer to the relevant sections as your job search progresses.
We’ve split up all the information into sections. Each section corresponds to a different phase of your job search.
If you’re looking for a particular section, click on the text below to jump straight in!
1. Preparing your Application Documents
2. Job Search Strategies
3. LinkedIn and the Importance of Networking
4. Interviewing and Negotiating
5. Planning your Career Trajectory
Job Application Documents Preparation
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
So you’ve decided it’s time to look for a new job. Please don’t jump straight to applying on the job boards. Just as a lumberjack sharpens his axe before chopping wood, you too need to sharpen your application documents before applying for jobs.
The CV / Resume
Today’s HR departments are inundated with job applications. It’s not uncommon to see over 100 applicants to a job opening.
Many large companies now use ATS software to filter candidates. If your CV template isn’t well formatted for these automated systems, you’ll likely get rejected without ever seeing the eyes of a recruiter. If you’re not familiar with these ATS Softwares, read our guide on how they work.
To help you out, we’ve got 11 free ATS optimised CV templates that you can download free of charge.
Be sure to format your CV properly. It’s the first impression you make, and perhaps the most important impression.
Now that you’ve got a good CV template, you’ll need to fill it with great CV content.
Every CV has a few main sections that are critical to include. They are expected, and if your CV lacks them, or if they are written poorly, your chances of landing an interview are much, much lower. Spend some time reading about how to properly and effectively craft each major CV section. If you’re in a hurry, here are a few quick tips you can use to tide you over
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out some CV samples written by our team of professional writers. You’ll notice that our CVs are filled with relevant power verbs to help the candidate stand out from the crowd.
When crafting your CV, think deeply about your competitive advantage (career narrative). What’s your special sauce? Why should the recruiter pick your CV over other applicants? Once you identified your unique selling point, ensure it’s well presented in your CV. The recruiter must be able to identify it immediately.
Our firm focuses deeply on clearly identifying and presenting our client’s competitive advantage in the CV. It’s helped our clients land interviews for the most competitive jobs at top firms such as Google and McKinsey Consulting.
The Cover Letter
Now that the CV is out of the way, get started on writing a great cover letter. Great cover letters give an added edge to your application.
Cover letters don’t need to be formal. You can be creative. Use them to showcase your personality. I’ve seen applicants write captivating cover letters which helped them get interviews at roles which they were completely unqualified for.
Lastly, you’re going to need references. Ideally good ones. Here’s a reference letter template you can use.
Job Search Strategies
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Michael Porter
Job searching, when done right, is effortless. Firstly, stop wasting time searching online. Read my article on “How I Search For Jobs Online”. There, I’ll show you how to use job search engines to find the best job openings without having to go to 4 different websites. I’ll also explain how to set up email alerts which will inform you when relevant new roles hit the market.
Upon identifying the right roles, don’t rush to apply just yet! You’ll need to tailor your application. Here’s my guide on tailoring your CV and Cover Letter for each job opening.
Should you ever find a job opening that you’re dying to interview for, use this hack: How To Reach The Hiring Manager Directly (Bypass Job Boards). It’s very time consuming but the results are incredible. Some of my clients have landed jobs in under a week using this technique.
If you’re a senior candidate, you’re probably working with headhunters. These headhunters are the gatekeepers to some of the most sought after positions in the job market. Learn about how headhunting works and avoid common mistakes jobseekers make with headhunters.
Lastly, here are some Frequently Asked Questions from jobseekers, to me.
“Active participation on LinkedIn is the best way to say, ‘Look at me!’ without saying ‘Look at me!” –Bobby Darnell
Linkedin is such a crucial resource in your job search that we’ve dedicated an entire section to it. Think of it as the Facebook for professionals. Networking is extremely important, and what better way to do so than from the comfort of your own desk?
To us, Linkedin is a game changer. It’s turned the entire recruiting industry on its head. It’s now easier than ever to find great talent, and reach out to top managers.
LinkedIn isn’t the most intuitive of social media sites, so we’ve written a short guide here
At some point in your search, you’re likely going to be dropping messages to headhunters, senior executives, HR, etc. at your target firm. Be sure to send effective messages to them. Here’s our best advice on cold messaging hiring managers on LinkedIn.
Also, here’s a fun story on how Farah Got 300 Interview Requests From Linkedin
Interviewing & Salary Negotiation
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
I hate interviews. In fact, I think the way companies interview candidates is filled with bias. I really like the work Google’s HR team have done to attempt to fix it.
Nonetheless, most companies still practice traditional interviewing technique. Here’s our guide on the most common interview questions and how to answer them correctly
Post interview, don’t neglect to send the interviewer a thank you message. One CEO I spoke to said she’s only ever received 4 thank you emails from candidates after an interview. Unsurprisingly, she gave all 4 of them a job. Here are some sample interview thank you notes
If you ever get to the last stage, here’s how you should negotiate your salary. By knowing how HR budgets work, you’ll be able to get a significantly better package for yourself.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. —Confucius
We spend most of our waking hours at work. And yet, we don’t think enough about the work we’re best suited for.
– Thinking long term about your career
– How To Plan A Career Switch
– Returning Moms: How To Reenter the Workforce