Things you can do NOW to get a new job in January!
‘Tis the season to be jolly…
’tis also the season when the vast majority of job hunters take a break and rest back on their laurels – after all no employers will be looking at job applications over Christmas and new year! Never mind the fact that sitting in front of a computer or filling in an application form is the last thing you’d want to be doing when there is so much festive fun to be had!
However the sly searchers amongst you will no doubt already know that the winding down of the world at the end of each year presents a rare and invaluable opportunity to get ahead of the competition and ensure that you are on form and fighting fit to get a new job come January. So take stock, get your head down and follow these simple tips to put you and your prospects well ahead of the game.
Update your CV
Yes, we know that it’s an unspeakably dull task but remember that your CV is probably one of the most valuable things that you will ever create. Often it is the only information that a prospective employer will have on you whilst making a decision. Now is the perfect opportunity to give it an overhaul.
We strongly suggest that you tailor your CV for every single job application that you make by comparing it against the essential and desirable criteria given by the employer. It is highly likely that they will be using this criteria to create a short-list of candidates to interview so it is crucial they can see if you fit the bill. However there are a number of things you can do in order to ensure that you have an excellent template which can then be easily manipulated to suit the job you wish to apply for. Some of the things which you should start thinking about are;
The Detail – Are you fully selling yourself and your skills? Is there any information which is no longer relevant? Have you updated your employment record? Is the email address you have given professional? Remember a juvenile email address will suggest that you too are juvenile! Is the information given detailed enough? Never make the mistake of assuming that an employer will be able to read between the lines because they probably won’t!
The Spelling and Grammar – This seems like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many CVs contain glaring spelling and grammar mistakes. Remember too that spell check won’t pick up every mistake, so go through your CV with a fine tooth comb to make doubly sure! This can also be a good time to think about your use of font – is it professional, appropriately sized, clear and easy to read?
We have a huge hoard of fantastic CV tips and advice articles so be sure to take a look before you get started!
Plan plan plan plan plan and just when you think you have planned enough, plan some more! The deadlines for most applications is likely to be be well into January, so this can be the perfect time to tailor your CV to each and every one and have them ready to go when employers get back to work. This is also a great opportunity to take some time to assess the types of roles you are suitable for and identify if there are any roles which (despite perhaps never having undertaken them before) you could potentially be great at!
Make a list of companies that you would like to work for and research who within each deals with recruitment. This should be easy to do with a bit of undercover investigation on the web and particularly through social media sites like Twitter or LinkedIn. Take the initiative to contact them in the new year to enquire about any vacancies which may be coming available and ask if they would be willing to have a look at your CV. (Never send your CV to an employer on the first contact you make with them, as they could view this as unsolicited canvassing.)
Register your CV on online Job Boards
This is a very proactive way that you can significantly increase your chances of being employed in the new year. There are loads of popular sites out there which not only allow you to apply for roles, but also give employers the opportunity to ‘discover’ you as they try to fill a vacancy. Just remember to be specific about the type of role that you are looking for to avoid any confusion.
Learn from your mistakes
Don’t be disheartened that you are entering a new year without having secured the career that you want, but rather use your failings to improve your chances next time round. Reflect on the reasons why you failed to get the jobs that you considered yourself suitable for and try and come up with improvements to your strategy. For example, you may have not been shortlisted for a role because of a poorly completed application form or perhaps you suffer from nerves during interviews which cause you to underperform. You must now decide how you plan to address these issues.
Identify your barriers to employment
If you have been looking for work unsuccessfully for a long time, now is your opportunity to assess and evaluate your strategy and identify any barriers to employment which might exist. Employment barriers can include things like transportation, childcare, ill health and so forth. By identifying what the barriers are, you will have a much better chance of finding a solution which will help you to secure the new position you deserve in the new year.
Obviously all this doesn’t mean that you should lock yourself away for the whole of the festive season. Job hunting can be a very stressful business, so it is equally important that you give yourself the chance to blow off a bit of steam. But if you make the effort to address at least a few of these key points you will certainly improve your chances of moving forward come January!
We hope you have found this useful and best of luck with your job search!