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Job Search Checklist: Researching your Dream Job

Preparation is key to a successful job search – if you’ve decided to start looking for a new job here are some tips on what to do and how to get started to give yourself the best possible chance of landing a great new job.

The best job searches are specific – deciding what you want to do and which companies you’d like to work for is an essential stage in preparing your job search.

Key Questions:

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What type of roles are you best suited to?

Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is vital in any job search. If you’ve never looked at this before, personality tests and career-matching services might be a useful way to come up with some ideas. If you don’t have work experience to draw on, hobbies and social activities are also a good way of pinpointing what makes you tick.

Which elements are most important to you in a job?

Do you love working with customers, or would you rather be out of the public eye? Do you thrive on deadlines and pressure or avoid them like the plague? Working out what general aspects of current or previous jobs you’ve enjoyed is a good way to help you decide what roles you’d be best suited to.

What are your ‘must-haves’ (hours/salary/location?)

There are some essential points that would prevent you from taking a job no matter how good it looks on paper – flexible hours to suit childcare needs, or a location that you can reach by public transport, for example. Getting these minimum requirements down early is important to make sure that you’re not spending time applying for jobs that just wouldn’t be practical for you.

What ‘target’ companies would you specifically be interested in working for?

Many people are stumped by this question, but deciding on a few ‘dream’ jobs is a great way to clarify exactly the sort of work you’re looking for. Working out whether you’d be happier at a smaller or larger-sized company, or whether you’d prefer to work in the private, public or charitable sector is important, but remember to look at other factors too – things like your target company’s ethos, business culture and history might also be considerations.

By taking the time to think carefully about the type of roles you’re looking for, and doing research into some companies that you’d particularly like to work for, you should have a much clearer idea of what you want to get out of your job search. Having a good set of criteria for the job you’re looking for will make your job search more targeted and specific, which in turn will give you a much better chance of finding the perfect job for you.


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