Prepare yourself for a successful job search whilst your CV writer does the work.

You've ordered a professionally written CV and are eagerly awaiting your finished product. It can be an anxious time, especially if you're keen to start applying for jobs as soon as possible.

Don't worry ‒ the draft will be with you before you know it, and there's plenty of productive groundwork that you can do right now. Your new CV will be worth the wait, so make sure you're ready to go as soon as it's finalised by taking these steps in the meantime:

Define your goals

At the earliest stage of your job hunt, it's vital to identify exactly which roles you're interested in applying for. You may find that it helps to write down your job-hunting goals, even if they may be very obvious to you; it will help you to stay on topic through the highs and lows of job hunting. It may also make the goals seem more tangible and achievable.

Create a list of target companies

Next, do some research into companies that you might like to work for. Make a list and follow them on social media so that you're up to date with their latest news and can find out about vacancies at an early stage.

You can also use social media (particularly LinkedIn), to find out whether anyone in your network either works at ‒ or has connections to ‒ these target companies. A personal introduction or some inside information will certainly work in your favour!

Track your applications

Now is a great time to set up a system to track your applications. When you submit, it's wise to record information such as contact names, company, job title, a link to the advert, date of application, date to follow up and outcomes.

Sending off one application at a time and waiting to hear the result before you send off another will drag your job search out considerably – many recruiters these days are infamous for not even sending automated 'thanks, but no thanks' emails, so you'll be left hanging forever with that approach!

Submit multiple applications and stay on top of them by having a tracking system in place from the off.

Identify suitable job boards

There are many online job boards these days. There are the larger generalist boards, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, reed.co.uk, etc. But there are also plenty of niche boards catering to specific industries, like Caterer, Technojobs and Charityjob.

Whilst you wait for your professional CV, do a bit of research to find the boards relevant to your sector and goals. You could even begin the registration process so that all you need to do is upload your final CV when it arrives.

Audit your online presence

Many employers will check out your social media profiles or Google your name when considering your application, so use the time before your draft arrives to check that they're all in order and telling the story you want recruiters to see.

That doesn't mean you should remove all traces of personality! Just make sure there are no major faux pas present that could come back to haunt you, and check your privacy settings if you're unsure.

LinkedIn is a great space for networking and job hunting, so spend a fair chunk of your social media audit making sure that your profile is complete and presenting the very best version of your career. TopCV can help you with this if you're unsure what's required.

Start looking for jobs

As you wait for your new CV, dip your toes in the water and find out what the jobs market is looking like. What's available in your field?

If you find anything of interest, bookmark it so you can apply as soon as your CV is ready. Additionally, you can try to find out the name of the HR manager so that you can go directly to them with your application and any questions that arise.

Tap up your network

The majority of jobs these days are secured through networking and personal referrals. Contact people in your network so that they're aware you're job hunting and have you at the top of their minds should an opportunity arise.

Don't, however, make it all about you. You're much more likely to get a positive outcome if you can pitch your approach in terms of what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you.

Even if a contact is unlikely to be able to help directly, they may be able to assist in terms of recommendations and endorsements on your LinkedIn profile. Give generously to others and you'll find you get plenty back in return.

Line up your references

Who will you be asking for references? Do they know that?

If you have referees in mind, it's polite to ask them if they'd mind vouching for you and to warn them that they may be asked for references at some point soon. Clarify with them exactly what you're looking for and the requirements of the role so that they can tailor their reference accordingly.

You should not include their name and contact details in your CV, however. Firstly, they won't appreciate your sharing their personal information (particularly if you plan to upload your CV online). Secondly, they'll soon stop writing such glowing references if they're constantly approached regarding roles that you ultimately aren't offered.

Save their details for as late as possible in the recruitment process – ideally only when you are specifically asked for them.

Have a cup of tea

Well done! You've done the groundwork and set yourself up for a successful job search. Sit back, grab a cup of tea and anticipate the career ahead of you whilst your CV writer concentrates on making you look like the ideal candidate.

If you want to take your job search to the next level, learn more about working with a professional CV writer.

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