So that’s it… Christmas is over and 2019 has officially begun. We are already nearing the half way mark in January; a month typically associated with misery and dread as the holidays come to an end, the weather drops to freezing and the warm summer months seem like a lifetime away. Well that’s one way of looking at it… Or you could look at it from a positive point of view and see the new year as a fresh start. For many, this fresh start could mean looking for a new job or changing career paths completely and what better time to do this than the month of January; a time when excuses are fought and more importantly, business owners and hiring managers are actively recruiting.
In order to make a somewhat daunting task as easy as possible, I have complied a list of top tips to follow during your job search:
First things first, you need a plan. Take some time to sit down and think about the types of roles you are going to apply for. If this is something you are not 100% certain on, seek professional guidance or speak to those close to you and ask their opinion on whether they believe you would be well-suited to the role in question. Once this is decided you can then choose which companies you are going to target and how best to go about this. Finally, set a time scale. Decide on a date you ideally hope to have secured a new role by and work backwards; include application deadlines and allocate tasks that you want to achieve each week and if time allows, each day.
Every application you send should include a tailored CV that is specific to the role, company and industry you are applying for. A time-consuming process yes, but a task that is imperative if you wish for your application to be considered. Match your CV to the specific job description for the role you are applying for and conduct your own background research on the company; you can then include elements of this in your CV and if applicable, your covering letter.
Research, research… research. This is important for every stage of your job search. Before you begin exploring specific roles, ensure you have conducted thorough research into the roles and industry you are applying for. Is the role you are hoping for within your reach, in terms of your experience and skillset? If the realistic answer is no, think about what you can do to make it accessible. This could include volunteering, completing online qualifications or gaining additional experience. When you reach the next stage of your job search and applications are completed, research needs to be conducted in preparation for interviews. Practise interview questions, learn about the company’s history and their plans for the future and use self-awareness and reflection techniques to identify your key strengths and link these to the role you are applying for. The more you know about the company and the role, the better chance you have of convincing the recruiter that you are their ideal candidate.
LinkedIn is a brilliant tool to use to assist your job search. Profiles need to be complete, with a professional and approachable image and contact information should be clearly available. You can use the tool to directly connect with potential employers and organisations. Conduct some research into who the directors and hiring managers are of the company you are interested in and contact them directly as they will know what gaps they have in their workforce. Send a connection request, accompanied with a well thought out message detailing who you are and why you have sent the invitation. Following this, effort should be made to like and comment on their articles, posts and the posts they interact with. Clearly over-stalking should be avoided, but once you have done this for a period of time, your name will have been noticed by not just the person being targeted but other industry decision-makers, and you will then be in a stronger position to ask the person in question for the opportunity to speak about potential employment opportunities.
Facebook and twitter can also be excellent resources to help your job search. Check these sites regularly to keep up-to-date with the latest job vacancies and industry updates. However, be aware that recruiters and hiring managers check social media; use these channels to promote yourself and your talents, don’t let drunken stupidity ruin your chance of success.
Last but certainly not least, never give up. It can be hard to keep the momentum in your job search going, especially if you face a series of rejections, but if you persevere you will get there in the end.
‘Nothing worth having comes easy’
In the end, all your hard work will be worth it… Just keep going!