10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now

job hunting tips african woman in floral dress

Job hunting can be a daunting exercise. Updating your CV, going for interviews and endless discussions can take it it’s toll.

Not much fun is it? There are a few things that trip people up, that I am going to share with you.

Here are ten job hunting tips that you may not have heard of before.


10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now



1. Set job hunting objectives beyond money

Think through what you want from a role in broad terms. Such as:

  • Income (obviously this is important)
  • Exposure and Growth
  • Industry
  • Role responsibilities and so forth


I emphasize ‘broad’ terms because sometimes life can throw you an opportunity you have not thought of before. So, be open-minded.

Tip: When job hunting it’s essential to factor in pay. Equally so there are other things besides money that you need to weigh up.


2. The ‘can we have a copy of your payslip’ dilemma

Always a tricky one.

The recruiter will request your payslip to understand how your current package compares with the salary range of the job.

The payslip provides a confirmation of job title as well as actual benefits. (To be frank, most people cannot decipher a payslip properly, they don’t know how to compare ‘apples with apples). HR speak!

Often, a candidate is hesitant to provide their payslip.


Candidates feel it is unfair to look at what they have previously earned to justify their new salary. Especially so, if they are currently making on the lower end of the range.

My recommendation is to give your payslip.

However, be very clear that you want to discuss the package in line with the role’s level or responsibility and your experience.

If you refuse? Well, it might make negotiation difficult. However, I don’t think it should negatively effect your chances of getting the job.


3. Fix your ghost-town LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect your CV and more. Do not be that person that gets put on the ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile because your LinkedIn profile is a ghost-town, abandoned three years ago when you last updated it.

Be that person whose profile lands on top of the pile.

Here are six steps update your LinkedIn profile.

By the way, my philosophy is that LinkedIn is not purely a job-hunting tool. It’s a branding tool, that can establish your online presence and showcase your work.

[bctt tweet=”LinkedIn is not only for job hunting. LinkedIn is a personal branding tool, don’t let it become a ghost town.” username=”cherralle_”]


4. Ditch that old CV

Do not ever submit a CV in word format (unless requested). Your CV should always be sent in PDF format; it just looks more professional.

Keep your CV in word so you may tailor it to each job you apply for, however, convert to PDF before submission.

Here are 6 Hacks to transform your CV in 20 minutes.

A couple of basic principles:

  • Adapt our CV to the role that you are applying for.
  • Use key phrases similar to the job description in your CV (this is to get past the initial filtering that recruiting software does).
  • Highlight key experiences that are relevant to the job.
  • Add stats and numbers where possible to demonstrate achievement.
  • Remove ‘fake, fluffy and happy speak’. Just speak plainly.


5. Networking simplified: Talk to people who do what you want to do

Kick off your networking initiatives, by talking to people who are doing what you want to do.

Simple as that. ‘Informational interviews’ can open the door to more connections. End off each conversation with ‘if I want to explore roles in your company, what would be the next step?’. Be genuine.

I recently came across this tip when I read Designing Your Life.

Include networking as part of your job hunting endeavours in a fun way.

I stress and break out in sweat when I hear that I need to ‘network’! I hate ‘networking’! But I LOVE talking to people, listening to them and having a conversation. Throw away ‘networking’ and just listen.

[bctt tweet=”Networking tip: If you want to be more interesting, be more interested in others.” username=”cherralle_”]

6. Be yourself in the interview and don’t ‘fake speak.’

Be a human being and let your true nature shine through.

Interview preparation is necessary. However, always ensure you are presenting your true self in an interview.

Write down 2 – 3 work experiences, which showcase the best of your qualities and achievements. If you have these 2 – 3 stories down it should cover the most significant questions in the interview. Within each story highlight the parts that relate to the question.

Here is a guide to 8 tricky interview questions and how to go about answering them.

When I say ‘fake speak’ I mean don’t say stuff like ‘I drove a transformative agenda, blah blah blah’. You see, I can’t even type it out, that’s how boring it is. Share practical examples grounded in real life.

7. Give your references a heads up before starting your job hunt

I cannot tell you how many times a candidate is left hanging due to:

  • the recruiter ‘can not reach the reference despite trying ‘ or
  • the reference had nothing nice to say about the candidate (yep this happens!)


Follow these three steps to get a decent reference:

  • when you are adding someone as a reference, ask them if they are okay to do this for you. Do not assume someone is okay with being your reference.
  • when your recruiter lets you know they are about to call the references (within a day or 2), let your reference know
  • please put people on your reference list who liked working with you

[bctt tweet=”Always check first if someone is okay with being your reference. Never assume they are okay with this role. It will come back to bite you in the process #JobAdviceSA” username=”cherralle_”]

8. People don’t read; therefore cover letters should be short and sweet

Let me just lay this down.

Do not include a cover letter if you are not investing a little time into adapting it to the role and company that you are applying to.

A cover letter provides you with an opportunity to write a brief story about why you are the best candidate.

Trust, me when I say. Do not submit a cover letter if you have not invested into adapting it. It is a complete turn off when a cover letter is a copy and paste job. Herewith an article about cover letters with examples.

9. Say Thank You

As a standard courtesy, send a thank you note afterward to the hiring manager. If you do not have the contact details for the hiring manager, send it to the recruiter and ask them nicely to pass it on.

10. Clean up your dodgy Instagram (and other social media profiles)

The basic rule of thumb: do not post anything that you do not feel comfortable with your grand parents, parents, boss, colleagues seeing. Simple as that. Craft a favourable online presence (the real you).

Bonus Tip:

Do not be a ‘ghost’ online. Having no online presence may be just as harmful as having a negative social media presence. Developing a positive online persona is no longer optional. It is a must.


Tell me, what do you struggle with when you are on the job market?

Check out our career resources:

8 Career Tips To Throw In the Trash And What To Do Instead

6 Ways To Add Self-Care To Your Work Routine

Dear Working Mother – Here is How To Leave Work On Time

Author: Cherralle

Mom, wife and career loving parent. This blog focus on career and work life topics for mothers.

8 thoughts on “10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now”

  1. Great tips, especially the part about tailoring your CV to the job description.

  2. Great post Cherralle! Very very useful!
    The job market remains competitive, and only the most prepared job seekers are going to enjoy success in the new year.

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