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How to be proactive in job searching

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist

Looking for a job can quickly become a frustrating experience if it doesn?t lead to any results. One of the main reasons people can become so despondent when job-hunting is because it feels as if you have no control over the process. The decisions are out of your hands and you?re left in employment-limbo, waiting for a lucky break.

If your job search is starting to feel like a sparring session with Mike Tyson and the repeated blows are denting your spirit, don?t worry. It?s time to get proactive, take back control and make things happen for yourself. But where do you start?

Follow our five steps to help you become more proactive when looking for a job?


It?s important to concentrate your energy on jobs that you really want. Don?t get caught in the trap of applying for anything you come across online. It?s a waste of your time and you?ll end up putting less effort into the application and get knocked back anyway.

If you don?t know what job or industry you want to work in, go back to basics and think about the things that you enjoy and are good at. For example, if you love music then start conducting some research into the music industry. You?re likely to find out about jobs and career paths that you?ve never even heard of. Once you?ve done plenty of research and are settled on a specific job, company or industry, you?re ready to begin a proactive search.


You should always begin your job search by thinking about the people you know already. Think about family, friends, teachers, past employers, even your neighbours. Ask around, you may find that someone knows someone that knows someone who works in the industry you want to get into, and they might just be able to help you get your foot in the door. 


If you only ever apply for jobs that are being advertised then you?re competing with all the other people who are doing the same. There are a huge number of companies who don?t advertise their jobs and don?t want to pay recruitment fees. These jobs are much harder to find, but they come with far less competition, as most people won?t bother to look for them.

Finding them is all about determination and persistence. When you?re researching companies, don?t be put off completely if they aren?t advertising any jobs. Give them a call anyway and explain why you?d like to work for them. If you?re lucky they might have a job opening that they haven?t advertised, and, if not, they?re likely to be impressed by your proactive attitude and may try and help you out. Always be polite and professional, but don?t be afraid to ask if they know of anyone else that you can speak to.


The vast majority of people never follow up on their application. Give yourself an extra advantage by calling to ask for an update. When employers have a large number of CVs to go through, a friendly and polite conversation may ensure that your CV gets to the top of the pile.


The world of work revolves around people. It will be a person that employs you and it will be your relationships with people that drive your career forward. Networking is simply the term used for meeting people and keeping in touch with them.

There are a huge number of ways you can network, but when looking for a job your networking efforts should focus on the kind of people who can either employ you directly or give you access to those who can.

Start by thinking about where those people might be, what they will be interested in, and how you can connect with them. For example, if you want to work in fashion, start attending fashion shows, join fashion interest groups online, and get involved in fashion-related conversations on social media.

Proactivity when looking for a job may not always come easy; it can take time and guts. But it?s precisely those reasons that stop most people from doing it. Become one of the ones that do, and you?ll drastically increase your chances of finding a job that?s right for you.

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