The start of a new year is an ideal time to look for a new job – you are fresh with enthusiasm from making New Year’s resolutions and you’re ready to make changes to improve your life.
Before you dive head-first in to your job search use this opportunity to focus more clearly on where you would like to head career-wise in 2016 and have a think about the following – the role you are currently in and the company you work for.
1. Most people don’t leave a company they leave a boss –
If you like the company you work for but not the role are there any other jobs which you could apply for internally? Could you speak to someone about moving internally and progressing your career within the company?
Stability on your CV is everything so to see at least two years on your CV is a lot more credible than brief spells in many jobs on your CV. If this is not a feasible option then -
2. Look back over your previous job-hunting effectiveness –
If you’ve been job-hunting for a while then this may be the time to reassess your approach and inject some new strategies in to your job search.
Try to pinpoint what you did or didn’t do that probably lost you the opportunity and make a decision to remedy that part of your job-hunting.
3. Go through your CV – look at how to improve it and how to represent yourself in a stronger light. What areas are you under-selling yourself in? Just as some people exaggerate their values, quite a few more people make the opposite mistake of downplaying their skills and accomplishments. Think about what you have done so far and look for transferrable skills and experiences that you can offer a new employer – this will help you to step out of the rut of staying within your same job type and will open up many more job possibilities. Stick to the truth, use concentrate examples to back up your transferable skills and move yourself beyond your current or previous job description.
Have someone else read through your CV to pick up on mistakes and to check that it is making sense in the most concise way possible. If possible, have someone familiar with the industry you’re aiming at working in read through your CV to see if it would make their radar pick up.
It is important not to be defensive about needing help from other people to prepare yourself as best as possible for the job market; find people you can trust and who resonate with you and you’ll receive invaluable guidance.
4. Consider whether you need to brush up your professional or technical skills – this might be a great time of year to enrol in courses that build on or extend your existing knowledge, as a way to improve job prospects. If you’re already working, look for courses offered within your organisation.
5. Start looking for suitable positions – the broader your potential job pool, the better chances you’ll have at finding a new job this new year. Don’t be shy at selecting as many relevant jobs as possible that match your skills set and are realistically doable for you.
• Think beyond where you live – if you are prepared to relocate from where you live currently you widen the potential job pool even more.
• Network more – networking is important for finding new jobs, and people are more inclined to feel positively about someone they’ve met and connected with positively than only knowing a cover letter and CV.
• Take great care with your cover letter – one size fits all cover letters are the least likely to get you the job. Remember spelling errors really irritate some people – particularly if their name is spelt wrong!
6. Prepare well for interviews – common interview mistakes include dressing down, not knowing much (or anything) about the place you’d like to work for, and poor interview mannerisms. Role plays will help to build confidence.
7. Be Patient - While this is your New Year's resolution, changing or getting a new job can take time and much of the year may pass before you find a new job. Provided you're expecting it to take time, you're less likely to fret and more likely to persist, which is important in ensuring that you don't lose sight of what you really want from your resolution to get a new job.
8. Plan a timeline. While you're still feeling enthusiastic and full of renewed vigor about the New Year, making a plan for the coming year's job search is useful because it can determine your goals for job-hunting this year and it will serve as a reminder of where you're headed should you find yourself feeling off course later during the year.
9. Think and stay positive about your abilities and the available jobs. This is a job hunters market and you will be a valuable asset to any company and this is how you need to think about yourself. If you have been job hunting for a time, use the vibe of New Year to reinvigorate your search and get back into the swing of searching further afield with eagerness.
It is important to keep in mind that your attitude and posture will impact the way that a potential employer feels about you, so if you are not feeling positive this will come across in interview. Use this time to spruce up your image by getting a new haircut, buying something new to wear to interviews or change something about your clothes, fashion style or make-up that represents the slightly wiser you for 2016!