The New Year represents a time to take stock and for many people this will involve looking for a new job or getting their career on track.
January is also a good time to look for a new job because many businesses have budgets and financial years starting in January and this can involve recruiting more people or expanding their operations.
The top ten job hunting tips for the new year to help kick start your career
- Focus, focus, focus - decide what you want to do but don’t apply for everything and be clear about the type of job you may want. Also, be clear about the type of Company where you may want to work - the culture varies massively between public and private sector, small and large companies and also, many smaller local Companies are family owned and this can be quite a unique working environment which will not suit everyone.
- Be sure about what you would like to do – avoid applying for roles for the sake of it because not only will you be wasting your time, you may also be wasting the time of a Recruitment Consultant if you’re working with an Agency. Be clear and specific about your search.
- Meet the criteria - Most jobs will specify minimum criteria in terms of skills, knowledge and competences – if you clearly don’t meet the minimum criteria, don’t apply so take time to read the job and person specification.
- Don’t waste people’s time over salary – nothing is more infuriating for an employer than when a candidate goes through the whole process and withdraws towards the end because of salary. Be clear about the salary and if your salary expectation is significantly greater than the salary that is being advertised, don’t apply.
- Research – the availability of websites and social media means that it is easy to do research about the Company that you are going to meet. Take time to understand what they do, who their customers are, where they are based and if they are part of a bigger group, find something out about the parent company. By doing research and knowing a bit about the Company, you are showing interest, initiative and commitment to the process. You may do your research and conclude that you may not want to work for a particular company because it has a poor reputation so research is important and it’s easy to do.
- Spend time on your CV – your CV is a vital part of your job search because it should tell a “story” about you, your career and work history. Spelling and grammar mistakes are inexcusable - it shows a lack of attention to detail and that you’ve done it in a rush and didn’t bother to spell check. Many employers just ignore CVs that are littered with spelling mistakes so spend time getting it right. Also, on your CV don’t just do a bullet point list of what your job involves – focus on your achievements. Everyone knows that an Invoicing Clerk processes invoices – so don’t state the obvious! There are countless CV templates on line and you can also get professional support to write a good CV. (Check out a couple of our other blog posts that may help 'How to write a great CV' and 'Get your CV over the line'.
- Interview availability – if you’re going to get a job, you need to show commitment to the process and this will mean making yourself available for interviews. Employers will use all sorts of processes these days which may include assessment centres but will often accommodate skype or out of hours interviews.
- Dress appropriately for interview – be smart when you present yourself for interview. It is unbelievable that people put so much effort into the recruitment process and getting a new job and destroy all that good work by turning up looking scruffy and untidy for interview.
- LinkedIn - Some employers will receive a CV and will look to see if the person has a LinkedIn profile so ensure that your LinkedIn profile and picture portray you in a professional light. Pictures from holidays or drinking sessions at the pub should be saved for Facebook or other social media platforms - they don’t belong on LinkedIn.
- Social presence - Finally, whether you like it or not, some employers look at social media pages of potential candidates because it gives them an insight into you and your personality. Think before you post anything using public settings. Unsuitable pics, inappropriate shares and excessive use of expletives and swear words is not going to endear you to future employers.
Whilst Recruitment has changed considerably since the advent of social media, it still relies on some traditional principles - namely – first impressions count and you will only get one chance to create a first impression.
And, preparation. Don’t leave anything to chance – prepare for the interview, take advice and your effort and hard work will be rewarded.
This is a guest blog written by Adrian Berwick at abcommercialhrsolutions.com
If you’re looking for a new job and want to kick start your career, talk to us here at Vanilla.
We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market harborough, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms - Sales, Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, HR and Office.