How to increase your chances of securing a job

By Bec | Changing Your Job or Career Path

Are you sick of sending out applications and not getting any traction when what you really need is to be securing a job? I hear you. In this post, we’re going right back to basics to talk about how you can increase your chances of receiving an offer letter with your name on it! – Pop Your Career

I know that searching for jobs can be soul destroying, especially if you haven’t been gaining any traction. Before you give up, let’s talk about how we can increase your chances of securing a job by making some relatively simple changes to what you’re already doing. 

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WHY SECURING A JOB CAN BE CRUCIAL...

Securing a job can have a huge impact on you and your family. It can mean extra money, financial freedom, flexibility, reduced financial stress, employment benefits and even an increase in confidence. We are all quick to congratulate our friends and family when they secure a new job and it is an incredibly exciting time. But what about when the job offers aren’t flowing so freely?

I know that when you’ve been looking for a job for a significant period of time, it can be devastating. Especially if you’re unemployed. I have worked with clients who have been trying to snap up a new role for ages and I’ve seen first hand the toll this can take on their confidence, financial situation and overall mental health. That’s why in this post, I want to go right back to basics and break down some strategies that you can use to increase your chances of securing a job. Here are my tips:

1. Make sure your application is on point. For real though.

I’ve worked with lots of clients in the past who have been convinced that their applications were hot property, only to find out that this was a prime reason they weren’t securing a job. Now, I am not trying to be patronising or condescending here. I just want to tell it how it is. Every single application you write can be improved. This is true even for me, with years and years of resume and selection criteria response writing under my belt. Every single application can be improved.

I am not advocating that you procrastinate on sending out job applications. In some situations, done is better than perfect. But I am suggesting this:

  • Get feedback on your resume and cover letter. Not just from your partner or your mum. Ask someone who will give you the real truth. Perhaps this is a colleague, former manager or someone else that you trust to be honest. This is especially ideal if the person has experience in recruitment or human resources, so they aren’t just providing you with evidence-less opinions.  
  • Tailor your application for every position you apply for. Yep! If you want to have any hope of securing a job, you need to be tailoring your application and ensuring that you are demonstrating the skills and attributes required for the role. Yes. It is time consuming. Yes. It can be boring. Yes. It is an imperative part of securing a job. End of story.  
  • Keep improving. Each application you send should be better than the last. This is where you can test and tweak, and finesse what you have written. Application writing is a skill and the more you do it, the better you get at it. Especially if you are receiving feedback on your applications.

2. Explore all avenues. And I mean all of them.

You may have heard me talk about the hidden job market? That is what I am referring to here. If your job search just involves looking at online job boards and hitting the apply now button, then you aren’t that committed to securing a job. Harsh, but true.

Exploring all avenues means networking online and in person, signing up with an employment agency or two, applying to general employment registers, sending out introductory letters and possibly even handing in resumes in person. You need to go out there are look for jobs that may not exist yet. It is tiring work, but if you really want or need to get a new role, then you need to be pounding the pavement.


Let’s get back to basics and talk about increasing your chances of securing a job

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3. Consider volunteer work or study.

Like we have established, if you’ve been looking for a job for a while, your mindset can take a hit. Whether you’re unemployed currently or you’re sitting in a job you hate, it can be rough. I know. But have you considered volunteer work, or study? There are two very clear reasons I am making these suggestions to you:

  • Recent volunteer work or study could be persuasive on your job applications. If you’re doing some volunteer work and gaining relevant experience, this can be a draw-card for you. We all know that it is harder to get a job if you’ve been unemployed for a while, than it is if you’re already in a job. The same goes for study. I am not usually an advocate of formal study, but it does show that you are doing something with your time and you are committed to your own professional development.  
  • Volunteer work and/or study can help you to keep your mind active, so that you aren’t falling into a trap of “woe is me”. When you’re job-seeking, it is so important to keep your mindset positive. It really can be key to securing a job.

4. Lower your expectations.

I know, I know. Usually I am touting that you should know your worth. And I am not suggesting otherwise with this tip. But sometimes the financial worth we think we have in the job market is not quite where we think it is, and we need to adjust our expectations accordingly. Consider doing some market research to see whether that $80K salary you’re seeking out is actually realistic for someone with your skills and experience. And don’t lie to yourself. You’re only doing yourself a disservice by convincing yourself you’re worth more in the market that you actually are.

Sometimes, especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while and you need a job to support your family, this means also being willing to take a lower paid job in the interim. After all, some money is better than no money. And as we’ve talked about, it can be easier securing a job if you already have one. I’m not saying that you need to bin your science degree and take up a career as a barista. BUT. If you’re desperate for cash, the lower salary might help to tide you over until you can find something more aligned with your career path. I’m just being real with you.

5. Ask for help.

Finally, I encourage you to accept that you can’t do everything alone. I have already mentioned seeking out feedback and advice on your applications, but sometimes help is needed in other ways, too.

  • If you’re struggling financially, are there services available to help you get by?  

  • Is your mindset is lacking? Perhaps a visit with a counsellor or psychologist help.  

  • If you’re having trouble with your applications or your LinkedIn profile, a resume writer or LinkedIn expert could be the person to assist.  

  • If you need some support with your job search journey, a career coach might be exactly what you need.

The key message though, is that sometimes you need to rally people around you to help you move forward. And there really is no harm in asking for help.

Are you having trouble securing a job? Have these tips shed some new light on your problem? Keep me up to date with how you are doing and if any of these tips help you to get that offer letter! 

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Are you sick of sending out applications and not getting any traction when what you really need is to be securing a job? I hear you. In this post, we’re going right back to basics to talk about how you can increase your chances of receiving an offer letter with your name on it! – Pop Your Career

About the Author

Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.

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