15 Jobseeker New Year’s Resolutions
Sam Wilson, January 14, 2015
So here we are! 2015 is upon us and the new year offers the opportunity for a fresh start and a new beginning.
As part of our 15 year anniversary we have put together our list of 15 Job Seeker New Year’s Resolutions to help you find a new challenge in 2015.
Refresh your CV
Too many people use the same CV that they’ve been using for years and just add on their latest employment information when needed. This is an issue as your CV can very quickly become repetitive, jumbled, overly long and inconsistent.
Take some time to rewrite and refresh your CV, make sure that the writing style is consistent and that the information is relevant to the positions you are applying for.
Update/create your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is becoming an increasing presence in the recruitment and will only become more significant in the coming years. It is therefore essential when looking for a new opportunity that your LinkedIn profile is fully up to date.
It is becoming increasingly common for employers to find applicants on LinkedIn either prior to offering them a position or even before offering an interview. Employers also use LinkedIn to actively search for potential candidates, this means that a fully up to date and detailed profile page could lead to you being head hunted.
Put together the key points for your cover letter
Like CVs, too many people use the same cover letter for every application making small minor adjustments as deemed necessary. This can become immediately obvious to the reader as no matter how much you might feel that you have tailored it, recycling the same cover letter will never have the same impact than one written specifically for that vacancy.
Put together your key experience and skills into bullet points and use this as the basis for your cover letter, this allows you to have the bones of your cover letter prepared but also make each letter different for each application. Use the Job Description and Person Specification to form the structure for your letter.
Check your social media privacy settings
As with LinkedIn, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to find candidates on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter before making an offer. This can create problems if all the good work you did in your interview is undone by pictures of you on a night out in a let’s say ‘less than dignified’ state.
Keep your profile picture clean and change your privacy settings so only your friends can see any of your other pictures and avoid having your prospects harmed by your social life.
Create a job hunt plan
Creating a specific plan for your job-hunting activity can make the whole process significantly more efficient. Set certain time aside for searching for new vacancies and other time for completing applications.
Having this focused time will increase efficiency and as a result increase the number of new vacancies you find and applications completed. Schedule some down time to relax too.
Sign up for Jobs by Email
It is obviously important to be active in your job search and keep checking to see if new vacancies have come up however there are things you can do to make you search easier.
Sign up for Jobs by Email services and let some vacancies come to you. Who knows tomorrow could be the day the right vacancy lands in your inbox.
Get a friend or family member to read through your CV
No matter how much work you put into writing your CV it is always worth getting a friend or family member to read through your CV. A fresh pair of eyes will help you spot any mistakes you might have missed as well as judging whether it reads as well as it could.
Take opportunities to network
As difficult as some find it, networking is a great way to further your career and find opportunities. Keep an eye out for networking opportunities including conferences and professional events as well as general social situations when you could meet people in the industry you want to work in.
A huge percentage of people get jobs because of a friend or acquaintance so take the opportunities to make connections where possible.
Research job roles
Are you aware of all the job roles that exist within your desired industry? You might well find that there are positions that you were unaware of that suit you more than the positions you have been applying for.
Take some time to research the industry in depth and see which roles are best suited to your skills, experience and ambitions.
Make a top 10 list
What are the top 10 companies you would most like to work for? Make a list and then take some time thinking about what these companies have in common, this could be size, location, reputation etc.
Whilst there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a job at any of these organisations, at least not immediately, it will give you a firm idea of what characteristics you find desirable. You can then use this as a way to measure any other organisations that have vacancies.
Research common interview questions
It is incredibly important to be well prepared for any interviews you get. Spending some time researching common interview questions and developing an idea of what you might say in response can be incredibly beneficial.
Make use of free advice
There are a number of incredibly useful advice services with whom you can get sound, expert careers advice free of charge. If you are unsure of the options available to you or are stuck in terms of the direction you want to go in then services such as the National Careers Service can be a huge help.
Be clear of what you want
When looking for a new job it’s important to have a clear idea of exactly what you want. Make a list of the top 3 things you want from a new position whether it be salary, location, training opportunities etc, hold these as a standard and don’t accept anything that doesn’t meet these criteria.
Research careers/jobs events
Careers and jobs fairs are great places to talk directly with employers you are interested in working for. Talking to people face to face can give you a real insight into the culture of the workplace and the opportunities that would be available to you.
There are a number of different events of this kind and doing some research and attending even one or two can help your job search massively.
Buy some new interview attire
Confidence is incredibly important in interviews and even the smallest things can make all the difference. Treat yourself to something that might give you that extra boost, it could be something as small as a tie, a shirt or even a pair of socks.
With that extra little something, you could have the confidence to walk into your next interview and secure that new challenge.