Notes To Keep During A Job Search
In the digital age, you’ll likely need to apply for a number of jobs. To save time, it’s a good idea to keep a number of notes that prevent you from Googling and writing the same things over and over.
Job title decoder
Do you know what a Community Operator is? What about a Digital Marketing Constructor? These are actually both titles for the same thing: someone who works on the company’s social media. This site has a list of 50 obscure or bizarre versions of saying the same thing.
What about Account Manager, or Marketing and Communications Executive? If you didn’t know better, you might think that these are jobs that require a lot of experience, but in fact neither of these actually denote seniority. Indeed, according to insiders: “Job titles with ‘Executive’ generally mean junior employee.”
When you scan multiple jobs without a firm sense of what you want to do, you may overlook titles that seem too senior, too complicated or perhaps just dull. Unfortunately, companies love making each role than it is, right down to “underwater ceramic technician” for a dishwasher. It’s fatiguing and demoralising to be faced with endless jobs you think you can’t have, or don’t even understand.
Google what you don’t understand if it seems relevant to your job search. Google will usually give you a boxed answer at the top of the page for questions like “What is an Account Manager?” taken from a reputable site dedicated to this kind of information, like Total Jobs. If a job title applies strongly to you, consider finding out more about it. When you are asked by employers why you want the role, it helps to know the details of what it specifically entails.
Keep a document that lists some common job titles, complete with descriptions summarised by you. Then, you can refresh your memory before you immerse yourself in the endless online world of Executives and Specialists. Writing things down, especially in your own words, aids memory, so making a list is a good way of making sure you won’t ever have to actually read it. Now, when those jobs come up in your search, they won’t seem so alien.
Titles that specifically refer to your qualification
Once you’ve established what area you’d like to get into, you’ll start to notice that there are rankings for each of these, from graduate to manager. Job alerts can be far too general about this. The “experienced (non-manager)” title does not account for common categories such as trainee, junior, mid-weight and senior.
What these mean depends on the industry. To count as a senior in user experience (UX), 6-8 years is the usual requirement, whereas for 5-6 years is considered a good average for a senior graphic designer. Including these qualifiers in your job alerts can help you make sure you get notifications that match your level of experience.
Anything that might reasonably appear in the title of a job role can be put as a keyword. You may end up with many keywords this way. In order to make sure you cover all the bases in all the job alert databases, it’s a good idea to have a document listing them. More might occur to you while searching, too, so keeping an active list can be useful.
Commonly desired training in your field
Many companies have particular qualifications and experience that they are keen on acquiring. A publishing company often wants people with experience in Quark or InDesign, whereas a video website will often want experience with Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.
Make a list of these as you read them. Mark the number of times it has appeared. If if occurs frequently, it might be worth looking into self-teaching the basics, or going on a training course if you can afford it. You can usually get free trials of major software, for at least a few days.
Taking notes helps you remember which skills are in demand, and industry terminology that is important to know. Early job seekers may not remember that B2B means “business to business”, or what that actually means. Learning makes it clear that you know what you’re talking about when you get as far as a job interview.
Not taking notes means that you forget how in-demand a skill is, and may unwittingly write off roles which you are otherwise completely qualified for. Keeping notes is not only useful, it also helps improve your record keeping, itself a sought-after skill in difficult and important jobs, such as the medical profession.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.