You’ve polished off all the mince pies, wedged a small forest of wrapping paper into the recycling bin and slowly recovered from your extended festive hangover. As we settle back into those familiar daily routines after the Christmas break (a few pounds heavier and a few quid lighter), your thoughts are probably turning to your job search...
Chances are you parked the whole thing in December, promising yourself you’d start again in earnest in the New Year. Well, we hate to break it to you – but it’s 2020 and it’s time to take the employment bull by the horns (that’s an ITV reality show right there).
Here are the five things you need to do right now:
1. Update your CV
Yes, we know you know this one – but have you actually done it? Even if your CV is factually correct, is it laid out clearly? Have you highlighted your key achievements like the glowing winner you are? Your CV is your ultimate wingman in your job search – it should hold you aloft to the sound of a choir of angels. If yours doesn’t get you through the door for a job you’re qualified to do, then you need to revisit it. Here’s a quick guide from us on what to include.
2. Update your profiles
We’re thinking LinkedIn mostly, but we’d suggest you consider all your social media platforms, especially those you use to talk about your work or industry. If your CV has done the job of getting you noticed by a potential employer, don’t let your LinkedIn profile bring you down. You don’t need to spend ages on this – just make sure it matches your CV (in terms of job history), you've put something in every section and you have a couple of recommendations and skills. If you’re registered as a candidate on Reed (or other job boards), make sure your profile and CV are up-to-date on there too – you could be missing out on opportunities because you aren’t showing up in the right searches.
3. Register with the right recruitment agencies
Obviously we’re going to say this one, but we’d hope that most people would agree being registered with an agency who understands your job search and specialises in your preferred areas of work should make a huge difference to your chances. Essentially, we act as your representative in the world of work – looking for the right role at the right salary in the right location, and then we coach you through the whole process and even help to negotiate the best offer on your behalf. Don’t wait until you see a potentially suitable job advertised by a recruitment agency before you register – get in there early! We can tell you about new roles the moment they arrive with us – far sooner than when they hit the job boards.
4. Apply for the right roles
As much as it’s great to be ambitious in your desired career progression, you also need to be realistic. If you’ve got less than a year’s experience in any sector or industry, it’s unlikely you’re going to be considered for a significantly senior position. If you’re a whiz in one industry, it doesn’t mean you can sidestep (or forward step!) into another. Yes, being ambitious and confident helps (a lot) - but applying for roles you’re not qualified to do is a total waste of your time. If a role is in your industry and is a bit of a stretch as your next step, definitely scope it out – you'll soon find out (from a quick call to the recruitment agency or the company itself) if they’d consider you. The worst thing you can do is send blanket applications left, right and centre to any role that vaguely matches your requirements. Be specific, be thorough and – above all - be relevant.
5. Be open to feedback
Whether it’s from friends, family, colleagues, interviewers, recruitment agencies, the old lady in the bus queue, it’s hard to hear any kind of negative feedback about your job search – but generally it’s being delivered with your best interests at heart and will likely contain all the clues you need to make the next job application the one that lands you the deal. So instead of shrugging off a rejection as their loss (even if that might be the case), try to be open to what people are saying to you – it could be just the advice you need!
Of course, no Amber blog would be complete without a mention of what we can do for you. If you’re planning to action no. 3 and you’re not already registered with us, you can do that here. If you are, please give us a ring to say hello and update us on your search – it helps to know where you’re up to (and, to be honest, we just like talking to people).
Let’s hope 2020 is the year you land the job of your dreams!