Job Search Planning

Whether you’re looking for your first job or trying to find your next job, this section can guide your first steps.

It is important to have a strategic approach to your job search. Use your time and resources effectively and remember, stay professional, stay polite and stay positive throughout the process.

Read on for more information about planning your job search, so you don’t miss out on that golden opportunity!

In your planning, think of the following things:

Planning your job search can help prevent you from missing out on potential job opportunities. Be dedicated, ideally you should be devoting around 2-3 hours a day. But be realistic, as the amount of time you can search for jobs will vary on your circumstances.

Don’t limit yourself! Search for jobs online, in important industry publications or at maritime recruitment agencies in the UK and abroad.

How do they want to receive your information? What do they need from you – CV, cover letter, evidence or certificates?

Do you have any industry networks or professional contacts? Seek their advice on your job search, ask what they think of your CV and how it might be improved.

It’s impossible to know how long your job search will be, but here is a suggested plan to get you started:
Consider setting a time to reflect on your applications – make a plan for a defined and realistic period of time and review your progress.

Decide how long you will spend researching companies, completing application forms, adapting your CV and cover letter for each application/job.

Create a job log to stay updated with your job search, this could include:

  • Company and job applied for
  • Date you applied
  • Where the job was advertised – website name, company or publication
  • Method of contact- email, post, CV or application form
  • Contact name/ phone number/ email address
  • Application close date if provided
  • Follow up date

Follow-up on the positions you have applied for after the closing date, if there is no closing date for the application wait at least 5-10 days. If you are confident over the phone, call them. If you excel at writing, send an email.

Use your job log to keep a track of which applications you have or haven’t heard back from.

Record all telephone and email contacts with dates, numbers, times and outcomes so you can track your efforts and organise any further correspondence.

Follow-up by phone

Consider writing a short script about what you want to say, for example who to speak to, the role you applied for, how you think you will fit within the role, your knowledge of the company or any additional training you have undertaken that might be of specific value to the job.

  • Keep a copy of your CV nearby in case you need to refer to it.
  • Make the phone call from a place where you will not be disturbed.
  • Keep your follow up brief, to the point and professional.
  • Be prepared – an employer may decide to use the opportunity for a short screening phone interview.

Follow-up by email

  • Always address your email to the person you sent the application/CV to.
  • Keep your email short and to the point. Simply state your interest in the job you applied for and your key qualifications/certification.
  • Be sure to spell check and proof read your email before sending it.
  • Remember to check your emails on a regular basis.

Importance of follow up

Some employers will not be in touch due to the volume of applications. Don’t be disheartened if you are not successful. Some companies may provide feedback and understanding their reasons for rejecting your application might improve your chances for future employment. For example, if your application didn’t show enough of the skills they were looking for on this occasion, look at ways to better match your skills to the job on offer next time.

Throughout your job search, however long it takes, remember the three P’s

  • Professional
  • Polite
  • Positive

Click here for further tips and advice on finding a job