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

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

8 Tricky Interview Questions and How to Knock Them Out the Park

Job Interviews can be nerve-wracking and tricky interview questions can make one nervous. Having a solid CV and a decent LinkedIn Profile is what got you the interview, now you need to ace the interview.

You do need to allow your unique personality to shine in the interview. However, it will be in your best interest to prepare for some of the more trickier questions.

[bctt tweet=”8 Tricky Interview questions and how to knock them out the park! #1 what is your biggest weakness?” username=”cherralle_”]

Here are 8 Tricky Interview questions and how to knock them out the parkjob search interview questions



1. What is your biggest weakness?

I once sat in an interview where someone responded “nothing; I really cannot think of anything.”


You need to show the interviewer that you are a self-aware person. Also, think about what you share in the context of the job. If it’s a finance job, and attention to detail is paramount, don’t share that as a weakness(although should you be applying if it is?).

Do this: Confess the weakness.

Then add a Recovery – how you are turning the weakness around.

Say something along the lines of: “I can be impatient at times, and I press for results quick. I come across as impatient as I like to get things done quickly. However, once I received the feedback, I have learned that different people work in different ways and may not have the same priority I have. I am now much more open to understanding where others are coming from“.

See, a weakness that is also a strength in disguise.

2. What are your greatest strengths?

Be very specific. Pick a strength that is highly relevant to the job and company. Describe it regarding a behavioural trait and share an example of you have used this strength to impact your work environment positively.

Don’t say ‘communication skills’.

Say: “I invest in building relationships through adding value. And so, I understand how and what to communicate to and use that to influence others.”

3. Why are you leaving your current company/ role?

Firstly do not bad mouth your previous employer. Irrespective of what happened, you don’t want to bring negative energy into the room. And besides, you will come across as a negative person.

Instead, focus on the opportunity you want now.

Don’t Say: I hate my boss/ company.

Say: “I would love to expand my career with your company OR I am excited at the prospect of focusing on working on end to end delivery whereas I am only currently doing one part.”

4. Why do you want this role?

Anchor the answer to this question in your research. Remember, you must research the company and the job beforehand. Focus on the key deliverables and requirements of the job, and map your own experiences against this.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t blow it – do your research of the company & job before the interview” username=”cherralle_”]

Don’t Say: Well, the job looks fascinating.

Say: “I have read up on your company and the work conducted in the engineering department is phenomenal. It is considered leading edge, and I would like to be a part of it. My experience in process mapping can add a lot of value here.”

You need to link what you have read to what value you could bring to the company. Be sincere.

5. How do you deal with pressure in your current job?

Use this as an opportunity to showcase your drive and how you organise yourself (and others).

Don’t say: I just cannot cope well with pressure.

Say: “Pressure keeps me focused and drives me. It keeps me on my toes. There are times when too much pressure can lead to stress, however planning and prioritization is essential.”
Share an example demonstrating how you dealt with  a stressful time at work.

6. Tell me a bit about yourself?

Don’t ramble on about your whole life story, the hiring manager already as your CV.

Share two personal things about yourself that reflects your human side. Then go into what you are doing currently professionally, how you go there and then land it with what you want to do next (get this job!);

7. What do you like to do in your free time?

Again, very important to show your relatable side. Don’t be too casual though.

Don’t say: I like to hang out with friends on weekends

Do share something a bit meatier; it is an interview after all. Share things such as ‘I am an avid reader’ or ‘I run/garden’ and why those things make you tick.

8. Do you prefer to work in a team or by yourself?

Be careful of this one, because it depends on the job situation. However, even if the job calls for either one of these, you need to be able to express that you are okay in both cases.

Don’t say: I prefer working by myself, people just get in the way of getting things done.

Say: “I am equally comfortable working independently and working as part of a team.”

Go ahead and share an example of where you had to work in a team and when you had to work by yourself and the results of each.

As you can see, attending an interview does require preparation. However, it does not need to be daunting.
Herewith a nifty infographic with six steps to take an interview to help you prepare for any interview.

Share this post with a friend who needs it!




7 Things To Look For in a Job (besides salary)

When looking for a job, salary is a critical element in your decisions making. However, a trend is emerging that people are assessing other features over and above salary.

Also, by continuously making decisions based on money as the only driver, it may lead you down a career path that leaves you unfulfilled. Here are seven things to assess when looking at a job.

Related Post: You Worked So Hard this week! 5 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself on the Weekend

7 Things to look for in a job (besides salary)

Opportunity to grow

Understand what prospects the company has for your future growth. Is there an opportunity to grow and expand your skill sets in the role? Are training and development opportunities made available to its employees? Understand the answers to these questions if career growth is important to you.


Does the role allow you an opportunity to work in a flexible way? It is important to have space in your life to work towards your personal goals too. Whether for you it is your role as a parent, volunteerism or your yoga!

 Employee perks

Perks associated with the job can make a significant impact on the overall benefits. Example, daycare, preferential rates, pension funds, etc. Do not underestimate the impact that perks can have on your total package or your lifestyle.

Related Post: 6 Hacks to Transform Your CV in 20 Minutes

Company culture

Is the culture friendly, and open? Does it have a small start-up vibe or is it a more corporate environment? Understand where you fit in best and what environment you need to deliver at your best.

[bctt tweet=”Company culture is a key consideration when evaluating if a job is for you, do not underestimate it” username=”cherralle_”]

Your team

Who are your colleagues? Are they supportive and engaging? You will be spending up to eight to nine hours a day with your colleagues, make sure you like each other.

Alignment of values

Does the work you align with your value system? You want to see an alignment between your values and that of the company. Walking into a job every day and feeling that you are going against what you stand for is not a way to live and work.

The work is just ‘good fun’

Doing work that you love and excites you is a factor that can sway you towards a particular job. Being engaged, fulfilled and energised doing what you do is an achievement.

Do you know how you know your job is fun? It is when YOU LOVE MONDAYS!

Over to you, is there any factor you believe is essential when evaluating if a job is a fit for you?

Further Reading: 8 Career Tips to Throw in the Trash and What To Do Instead

How to Stop Networking And Start Building Relationships

When I hear the term ‘networking’ I want to run a mile, being naturally an introvert the language creates discomfort. I know that networking is a critical aspect of building my professional and personal network. But I still picture it as an awkward scenario whereby I am standing around making small talk.

What helps is when I frame networking as follows: a group of people with shared interests and passions, who are coming together to share their passions with each other. It is about building and investing in relationships. Networking is not about ‘who you know’ and how you can ‘score favours’. It is the art of establishing a circle of people around you that you add value to and they do the same for you.

[bctt tweet=”Networking is not about scoring favours, it is about how you can add value to those in your circle” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: 6 Hacks To Transform Your CV In 20 Minutes

How to Stop Networking and Build Relationships

Be Intentional

When networking, it’s important to not come across as just ‘wanting’ something from the other person. However, it remains  important to know who are the people in your space and to identify the ones you want to get to know. Remember that we all only have a certain amount of resources (e.g. time) and you want to spend it wisely.

Do Social Research

Conduct brief social research on the individuals you want to add to your network. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter or any blogs they write. In this way, you may learn some relevant information about people. You will also get a glimpse into what their interests are.

Add Value

Know how you add value to others. Go with the intent of understanding how you may help and add value to others, and then these individuals may help you in the future. If your intent is to ‘network’ to get favours and jobs, you need to change this. People can pick up if you are trying to use them, hence focus on the value you bring to the table.

[bctt tweet=”People can pick up if you are trying to use them, hence focus on the value you bring to the table” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: 7 Leadership Lessons From Game Of Thrones Season 7

Treat All People Equal

It may be tempting to ‘overlook’ someone who you may deem as unimportant. However, each person is unique and has their own value. If someone engages with you, who is not the director of something, do not brush them off, engage. You will be surprised what you can learn by building relationships with a diverse group of people.

Be Interested to be Interesting

The more interested you are in others, the more interesting you will come across. As human beings, we love to be listened to and acknowledged. Connect with a person through showing genuine interest in them. Listen carefully when they speak so you can engage on where they are coming from and contribute meaningfully to what they are saying.

When I break it down like this, it does not seem overwhelming or awkward. So next time you set up a function (or invited to one), think of not calling it a networking event and calling it what it is. The purpose of such an event should be to connect like minded people to share ideas.

Related Post: 13 Tips For Your Twenties That Can Boost Your Career

Featured Image: istock

6 Hacks To Transform Your CV in 20 Minutes

So you have not updated your CV in years. This is how you can transform your CV in 20 minutes. By the way update your CV at least every 6 – 12 months, whether you are in the market or not!

Here are 6 things you can do now to transform your CV in 20 minutes

Ensure Education is at the bottom

On the top you must reflect your actual work experience. Remember that recruiters and hiring managers are getting exposed to piles and piles of CVs daily. Ensure your best information is on top. Include education at the bottom so that the first few moments of people reading your CV are spent on the good stuff.

Having a Career objective is not necessary

A career objective is very self focused, and is not addressing the needs of the potential employer at this moment. If you want to show your potential employer how well you match the role, rather use your cover letter – which is a must. Also ensure that your voice comes through as you add your accomplishments (see next point).

Only have 5 – 6 Bullets per job

When listing your experience, limit the bullet points to the key impacts you made in that particular role. Add actual outcomes and accomplishments. Do not copy and paste the job description of your role in your CV. This says nothing about you and your contribution.

Run a spell check

Ensure you do a quick grammar and spell check, it makes a world of difference. Recruiters are reviewing piles of CVs per day and grammar and spelling errors are a huge turn off.

Save as PDF with a proper file name

Saving it as a PDF means that it will remain in a consistent format as you forward it on. If you leave it in word the formatting could be impacted, as people open it up from different screens. Oh, and name your CV correctly (Jon Snow 2017).

References are available on request – remove

This goes without saying and so there is no need to state this in your CV and waste space.

Bonus Tip: Last but not least, update your LinkedIn

Ensure your LinkedIn Profile is on point as potential employers will definitely be visiting your profile. Herewith an overview of how to step up your LinkedIn game.

The above will help you if you are in a bind, however, you do require more than 20 minutes to properly update your CV.  You require focused time to reflect on your impact and accomplishments and to add your voice and personality.

Good luck! Any other quick tips that you think may be useful?

Further related reading:

The Muse: 20 Basic Resume Writing Rules That Will Put You Ahead Of The Competition

How To Get The Feedback You Need To Ace Your Career Goals

Step Up Your LInked In Game – 6 Tips For The Savvy Professional

{Working Mom Hack} Asking For What You Want At Work…The Right Way

Image Credit: pixabay

Up Your LinkedIn Game – 6 Tips for the Savvy Professional

Do you only think of LinkedIn as a place for you to dump your CV? Think again. Whether you are looking for work or just wanting to maintain your professional brand, LinkedIn is one of the most important social networking tools for professionals.

Have you loaded your profile on LinkedIn  ‘half heartedly’ or  have not yet created one at all?  Don’t worry, I got your back, here is how to up your LinkedIn game now.

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

A LinkedIn picture is worth a thousand words

First impressions last, and your profile picture is your first impression.

Project an image on LinkedIn of someone who is open, reliable and trustworthy. Even LinkedIn gives the following advice: no party animal pictures, no baby and mommy pics, no pics showing us how much you love your cat.

Tip:  Have a professional profile picture taken. If your work is more informal, still have a professional picture taken but in a more relaxed environment.

Write a comprehensive and captivating summary

Your experience summary is critical, this is where you provide an overview of the value you bring, and it entices people to want to know more about you. Include your most notable achievements, a summary of your superpowers, and close with what makes you unique. Consider how many profiles a recruiter will read in a day, make your summary is ‘scannable.’

Tip: This entails writing copy that is light, not text heavy, and uses subheadings and bullet points where appropriate.

update your linkedin profile

Be searchable

Think of LinkedIn as a mini Google, and so you need to be ‘searchable’. Use key words in your profile that is related to your job and skill set so that the right people may find you and so that LinkedIn can make suggestions personalised to you. Be descriptive (don’t make stuff up) and as succinct as possible using key words.

Tip: Use your key word e.g. Visual Design, in your title, and throughout your experience summary and through every element of your profile.

Related Post: The Side Hustle: 6 Things You Need to Start Now

Claim your custom LinkedIn URL

Grab your custom link URL, here with the steps from LinkedIn. Go to profile, edit profile, and edit profile URL. The standard allocated URL from LinkedIn is https://www.linkedin.com/in/name-surname-893a6954/. When you claim your URL you can drop the hyphen and numbers at the end. It just adds a nice finishing touch to your profile. Also it looks neat when you put it on your business card or email signature.

Tip: Claim your name as your URL  it just makes your life so much easier.

Network, network, network

Aim to have at least 100 professional connection on LinkedIn. These need to be meaningful connections, of colleagues, business partners, and clients. Also, you may also search for groups which are relevant to your job, industry, and passion and join these. Joining groups will allow you to further build your professional network.

Tip: Join the Alumni network from your university or college, this is good way to build an authentic network on LinkedIn.

Endorsements and Recommendations

Endorsements are ‘virtual’ likes that any people can tick for your listed skill sets. However, a recommendation is a personal reference from one LinkedIn user to another. You may request a LinkedIn recommendation from LinkedIn itself, and these are the steps. A LinkedIn recommendation is a powerful way to add value to your professional brand.

Tip: Reach out to coworkers, bosses, clients whom you delivered excellent quality work for and request a recommendation.

An updated LinkedIn Profile is critical

Today, having a LinkedIn profile is not optional – it is pretty much expected that every professional will have an up to date LinkedIn profile.  It is really dodgy if you don’t have one!

Related Post: First Time Manager? 6 Smart tips for new managers


%d bloggers like this: