Person on laptop at desk

Looking for a job can quickly become a frustrating experience if you fail to make any immediate progress, mainly due to the fact that you can feel as though you have very little control over the process. But why can being proactive help you on your way?

Some sectors, such as the arts and the media, are open to speculative applications and rely on them to fill work experience opportunities or internships. Sometimes there is never going to be a vacancy for your ideal job role, so you have to make it happen.

Taking back control of your job search comes from taking responsibility and being proactive, so you can make things happen for yourself. But where exactly should you start?

Focus your energy

It can be easy to fall into the trap of applying for most of the jobs or schemes you come across, even though they do not really match your interests or expertise. Focusing your energy on jobs you really want is a much better strategy.

If you can’t find any roles that you like, then start looking for companies that require that type of role. For example, if you want to be a writer, look at media outlets, newspapers, press agencies and publishers and try and get in touch.

The introduction of social media – LinkedIn and Twitter in particular – means it is now easier than ever to interact with people and network. A simple search can introduce you to the team manager at the company you want to work for – finding the right role is all about persistence and determination, so do not give up if you do not get a reply.

Think bigger than an application

With the competition for vacancies so high, it is more important than ever to go above and beyond if you want to impress and attract the attention of employers. Make a note of what jobs you are applying for and make sure you are following up if you do not hear anything back within a week or two.

Even if it turns out you were unsuccessful, try and open a line of communication – you might find that a firm can offer you a week’s work experience, or may keep you in mind if anything comes up in the future.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery graduates and see how they can help get you started