Blog > Career development > 7 ways to focus your job search

7 ways to focus your job search

Give your job search a boost by following these steps to success. Read expert advice from CV Knowhow.

Share on Facebook25Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn1Email this to someone

Fancy a new job, but can’t decide on your next move? Maybe you want to try something new, but don’t know what might be suitable for you, your skills and your goals.

Fear not, there are 7 steps to remember that will help you to decide your own future and focus your search…

1. Avoid playing the numbers game

It might seem easier to apply for almost every job you see, whilst this might appear to be the option that will generate the most responses, it will inevitably provide the most frustration.

Positive responses come from applying for the correct roles, so ensuring that what you are applying for is suitable will save you time, energy and produce positive results.

2. Take a deep breath and think ‘GROW’ (Goal. Reality. Options. Way Forward)

This is a tried and tested method used to identify realistic options. It’s always best to write down your findings and keep them by your laptop whilst you search.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to achieve with my career?
  • How much time/effort am I willing to put into my role/career?
  • What are my key skills?
  • What resources do I have?
  • What are my motivations?

Giving honest answers will mean you gain a clear idea of your options and help you to establish a way forward.

3. Analyse your career to date

Take a look through your CV and analyse all of your past roles. Try to pick out what you liked doing, what you achieved and what you excelled at. Are there any common themes? Is there an aspect of some roles you would like to take forward?

4. Track your applications

Employers will sometimes use multiple job sites to advertise the same role, which means that you run the risk of applying for the same job multiple times.

This gives an employer the impression that you either don’t care what you apply for, or have not done enough research on the role and the company.

The best thing to do is keep a record of each application, logging the company, position, how you applied and when.

5. Know yourself

Not everyone will have the personality required for every job out there. So, if you know you like to keep to yourself and be left alone, a fast paced, high pressure environment with demanding management probably isn’t for you.

6. Talk to people

Being informed is important, the best way to get a real insight into different job roles and industries is to talk to the people already working in them.

Chances are that you have a wealth of information within your existing family and friends, but if you don’t LinkedIn is a fantastic tool.

It is easy to search the job role and read descriptions written by people doing it, so you get a real idea of what’s involved.

7. Tailor your CV

Once you have established a clear direction for yourself, make sure your CV is suitable for those roles. The key skills required may be slightly different from those in your last role, so make sure they are highlighted properly and your CV is structured correctly.

Create a strong profile, which instantly tells a recruiter or potential employer that you are someone they should be interested in. Remember they will probably make up their mind in under 30 seconds.

CV Knowhow are totaljobs’ exclusive partner for CV writing advice and reviews. Get your CV rewritten by CV Knowhow.

Share on Facebook25Share on Google+1Tweet about this on Twitter3Share on LinkedIn1Email this to someone


(All comments have to be approved before they appear)

  1. TALENT Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 3:22 pm


    Thank you for your advise, how much would I need to pay for a CV.

  2. Philip Benson Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I just need a job so I can get my feet on the ladder but getting no response every time I apply

  3. Efenso Khaphinde Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Very informative.

  4. Enrico Azicate Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Relevant tips. but do not actually work for me who is:
    1) over 50 (frequently get asked if I have not issues working with a younger boss – ah duh, inappropriate and age discriminatory)
    2) a visa national who always has to prove he has the right to work
    3) not white (self explanatory)
    4) has achievements a mile long, but those from abroad are not worth a squat because the recruiter is unfamiliar/ignorant/prejudiced (because these achievements are not in Britain)/can#t be bothered to do do further research (yes you heard me right – I still get asked where the country of my birth is by 20 year old “consultants”) and find these achievements incredible or hard to believe

    So it becomes a number game, if only to increase the chances of getting someone knowledgeable or not prejudiced to read the CV. The numbers game has worked for me the last 16 years. And after working with a career service organisation, it will be a numbers game as long as the Job Centre response to return to work is for the poor souls trying to get a job to provide proof they are looking for a job.

    Frankly I am confident that I have only a 5% chance of getting noticed, but am confident enough to know I have had enough accomplishments to make a credible account of what I have done when it’s my turn to get interviewed at the Pearly Gates.

    • Mike Elliott Tuesday, 2 May, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Agree with all your comments. You are 100% correct.

      • Mike Elliott Saturday, 6 May, 2017 at 11:00 pm

        Agree with what you say. 100% correct

  5. Uzma sharif Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I am very happy to read above the criteria. I hope,l will be fulfilled all AF your requirement In shallah

  6. Solomon Boroi Saturday, 29 Apr, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Katy,
    Pleased help me and re-write my CV and also create are cover letter.

    Solomon Boroi

  7. Watch Mugumbate Sunday, 30 Apr, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Thanks Katy for such a constructive advice, i really appreciate. I will do exactly as you said and hope one day i will get my career job in Europe. Once again i want to thank you.

    Watch Mugumbate

  8. Kimberley Sunday, 30 Apr, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Good tips but point 4 is not accurate and impossible you can not keep track of companies on job websites as in the applications it doesn’t give you the company names 95% of the time also 90% are all agencies which decide if they put you forward for what you apply for or not you don’t get a say in it really which is very unfair as you could be more than capable of the job. You don’t have control over your applications on these sites.

  9. Richard Price Thursday, 4 May, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I have been working in retail, hospitality and care most of my life, I made the mistake of going to Brazil to live with my partner at the time, I was out there for ten years, and returned home after 10 years, my CV is laid out in bullet form, it has also my up to date training on it training that is on going, level 2 awards and the basic languages I can speak, in Brazil I was member of the Rotary club, and I am a sleeping freemason, as well, with over 20 years of experience that always has lead me to manager levels.

    How can I get people to look at my CV properly


Leave a comment (*required fields)