Why searching for the right kind of job is like planning a holiday

Tara O'Mahony 24.05.2017

I have found myself recently downloading apps such as Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Skyscanner etc. in order to plan a week away in the summer months, however I have realised that I need to be more prepared and know exactly where I want to go and budget for that kind of holiday... A trip to Tenerife is very different to hiking in the Alps!.

Searching for a job is like trying to plan this holiday and here are 5 easy steps that I have learnt to do this:

1. Identify what it is that you are looking for   

Am I looking for a sun holiday by the beach where I sip on cocktails for the week, or an adventure holiday where I don’t have a minute to relax?

Likewise, if you are looking for a new job and new beginnings, you need to sit down and figure out what it is you are hoping to get from a role:


It is best that you figure that out first before you find yourself in a new position that doesn’t really fulfil what it was that you were looking for in the first place.

From this, I have decided that I would like to chill by the pool and relax for the week in Tenerife. Step one... CHECK!

2. Ensuring all documents are up-to-date

What use is a passport to me if it is out of date?  Luckily my passport is issued until 2022 but I won’t lie, I seem to double check this every time before I book something.

As a recruiter, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have received a CV where it says that the candidate is in their current employment until ‘present’ however when I would call them, it turns out that they are not working in that position anymore. Make sure that your CV is updated and has all the relevant experience included.

3. Be selective and make sure that you are reading the T&Cs

Pretty much all the time, I tick the Terms & Conditions box without having a look at what it is all about and presuming everything will be fine. Luckily this has worked out for me, however I would be 110% sure to look through all of that before renting a car to travel around Tenerife.

Similar to job ads, you need to make sure that you are reading the job specs and ensuring that you would be suitable for the role before applying. So many times I have received CVs for job ads that have nothing in common with the job spec.

Read those T&Cs!

4. Plan some sort of organisation system 

Before my holidays I need to be somewhat organised, which for anyone who knows me realises is not an easy task. I will need to research accommodation and activities, plan what I am going to bring and try to budget the next coming months to get the best out of the trip.

Likewise when applying for roles ensure to:

  • keep track of positions
  • who you have been in contact with
  • the different processes that you are in


There is nothing worse than speaking with a candidate, asking where they have submitted their CV and the response is ‘I don’t really know’. This can take quality out of your application. This won’t be an issue if you have taken in step three above.

5. Be ready for the questions and calls 

Who are you going with? Where are you going? How much was it?

Once you have started your job search and applying for jobs, be ready for the phone calls from recruiters and companies – be excited and prepared for this as it is the start of the trip for you.

Fingers crossed that I have somewhat motivated you to start thinking about your job search and if I have got you thinking about your summer holiday, that’s a bonus!

Tara O'Mahony's picture
Consultant | Science Recruitment