New Year, New Me! It’s that time of the year when we start to think about what we want to achieve in the next 12 months. The festive season has now ended and most of us had to return to the harsh reality of work this week. Early morning starts and long commutes to work can only be made worse if you are stuck in a job that you hate! For many January is usually the best time to think about getting a new job and making a fresh start.
We give you 12 tips to get yourself ready to nab that dream job!
1. Pimp your CV – Your CV is one of the most important documents you’ll ever write. After all, there aren’t many jobs you’ll get without one. Take time to update your CV with any additional experience in your current role or any qualifications or training that you have done in the last year. It’s important that it contains only relevant information so keep it to 2 pages max, tailor it to the job you’re applying for and get someone you know to check over it.
2. Networking – It’s time to make networking your best friend. It can seem really scary but with 40% of jobs not being advertised, you need to be in the know for when they come up. Make a list of who you know, identify your existing networks and make yourself known.
3. Check your spelling – You may be surprised to hear that a single spelling or grammar mistake could land your application in the bin-recruiters can be ruthless. Proof read, proof read, proof read, and NEVER rely on spellcheck.
4. It’s all in the name – As far as anyone knows, there is no-one in this world called Sir or Madam, so don’t address an application to them. Find out the name of who will be reading your application and you’ll have instant brownie points, as most people don’t bother.
5. Look the part – When you go for an interview, first impressions are crucial and this includes the way you dress. You don’t need to go and spend a fortune on Chanel but get yourself a perfect interview outfit and you’ll not only get the thumbs up, you’ll feel more confident too.
6. Volunteer – Volunteering can give you the edge when applying for jobs and it’s great at making you more employable. Not only does it give you new skills and experience, but it is also great for making new professional connections. Not to mention making you feel good! You could try sites like do-it or vInspired for a range of opportunities.
7. Clear up your social media – It’s time to think of every future boss as a James Bond type spy. They’ll be Googling you more than you Google yourself and if they don’t like what they see, it could cost you the job. Check your privacy settings on Facebook, make sure your twitter is professional and get rid of any pictures of yourself face down in a kebab at 2am.
8. Job boards – There are hundreds of job sites out there, from general sites such as Monster and Indeed to industry specific sites. It can all be a bit of a minefield so try to make your search as targeted as possible. Use different keywords in your searches and set up job alerts.
9. Recruitment agencies – Recruitment agencies often get a bad rep, but choose the right one with a consultant you trust and you could reap the rewards. Many companies will only advertise through an agency so you could get access to jobs you wouldn’t find directly.
10. LinkedIn – Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online CV so it’s important that it looks professional and stands out. It’s also great for networking and most company’s post their jobs on the site so if you’re not on it, get on now!
11. Get a kick ass covering letter – Everyone knows that cover letters are pretty much the worst thing about looking for a job, but they’re essential for showing an employer who you are. Research the company, tailor it to the job description and for Pete’s sake don’t address it ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ (see point 4)
12. Research is key – Whether you’re writing a CV or covering letter or going for an interview, knowing your stuff will give you a head start. Companies want to know that you want to work for them and that you aren’t just firing off CV’s (which you probably are!) so you need to stand out by knowing more than just what’s on the home page of their website.
Good Luck Ladies!
Written by Helen Poole
Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenRoseP