Wondering how to kick start your job search?
As seasoned recruiters we have complied our advice on what you should be doing to secure your dream job:
- Do your research
Before you even start updating your CV, think about your ambitions and career aims. What do you want to be doing in 5 or 10 years’ time? How are you going to get there? What's the first step in achieving your aim? What sort of company do you want to work for? It's important to be clear about what sort of position you are looking for so that you can target this in your job search efficiently & effectively to maximise the results.
- Decide on a direction
Once you have reviewed your career & aims, decide on a direction. Whether you want to remain in the same type of role as your current one, or you want to change industry sector, consider your skills & options carefully and decide on one or two areas in which you’d like to work in. Be honest with yourself; assess your skills and experience in relation to where you want to be to see how realistic your aims are before proceeding.
- Get outside advice
Chat to trusted friends & colleagues for their thoughts on what you are good at, as well as insights into alternative sectors or roles and what the reality of these are actually like. Recruiters are also great to speak to as they have very current market knowledge about what's required for particular roles and what each sector jobs market is like at present.
- Spring clean your CV
Read your existing cv thoroughly and update with your latest role, skills & achievements. Don’t forget to revise your personal statement too, what might have been correct 2 years ago may now have changed & need revising to reflect your career path & ambitions. For more CV tips click here.
- Get feedback
Ask friends if they will spend a little time reviewing your updated CV. When you’ve been working on something for hours it’s easy to miss glaring typos, so an extra set of eyes going over it is a must. The best people to ask are those already working in sectors or positions you’d like to apply for. Ask “If you were me, what would you change?” but do bear in mind there’s no such thing as a perfect CV, it's surprisingly subjective.
- Draft a cover letter
You can then use this as a template to modify each time you apply for a role. It's a great opportunity to give some extra information about yourself to potential employers.
- Clean up your existing social media profile
Make sure all your existing social media accounts are an accurate reflection of you, LinkedIn is especially important, but don't forget employers often check out Facebook & Twitter profiles to give them insights into your personality. Delete anything unfavorable. Remember to keep your profiles truthful and up to date, especially LinkedIn. For more advice on Social Media click here.
- Put your cv online.
Most recruiters now search online job board databases for great candidates so it’s important to get yourself on there if you’re not already. It also creates a good impression if your CV is available to download. Make sure you use a universally accepted format such as PDF or Word-compatible document. It should also contain keywords relevant to your ideal job. Don’t forget to download it yourself & test that it prints out the way you expect it to.
Both in person & online. The more contacts you have, the more people know about you & your work, the more opportunities you’ll get to hear about on the grapevine. Opportunities can arise through someone you know recommending you for a vacancy or a business that you’ll be the right fit for.
- Leave no stone unturned
Search for advertised positions on online job boards, search in trade publications, use a specialist recruitment consultancy, as well as target companies that you’d like to work for. Cast your net far and wide to make sure you find the best opportunities out there.
- Be professional
Treat your job search like a job in itself. Especially if you are unemployed, sustaining momentum is important. Perfect your resume, research potential employers and look for new places to submit applications to regularly. Make sure you are easily contactable, the mobile number you use on your CV should be one you can answer immediately or that has a voicemail so you don’t miss vital calls. Make sure you have a personal email account that you can check easily, there is nothing more frustrating than a fantastic candidate that simply doesn't respond to voicemails or emails.
- Be proactive
Don't just apply to companies that have just advertised. Give your recruitment consultant a list of companies you’d be interested in working for. It’s likely that your recruiter has connections within the business and can contact managers directly, asking about opportunities or introducing your details into them. Connect with relevant people on LinkedIn and follow the company pages to demonstrate your interest in their company.
Always follow up on applications made if you haven't heard anything back. This highlights proactivity, and gives you a chance to show your enthusiasm for the role.
Be prepared. Dress the part. Be on time. Think about common interview questions you might be asked in advance and rehearse your responses. Know your CV inside out and have an explanation for any gaps in your career history. Create your own elevator pitch about who you are and what you do, and most importantly why you want this job. Don’t forget to use the interview to find out more about the company and the position to make sure it’s not just a good fit for them, but the right next step for you. For more interview tips click here.
- Be organised
Keep a record of all the jobs you apply for and interviews you attend. Keep feedback details as this will help with future interviews. If you are using recruiters make a note of the name of the agency and the consultant you're working with for each role. Things can get confusing and it doesn't reflect well if you are disorganised.
- Don’t give up!
Your next career move is out there someone, it takes time and dedication to find it sometimes, but perseverance & determination always wins through in the end. Good luck!