With the perennial period for heightened jobseeking fervour looming large, New Year career-changers should be putting measures in place now that will afford them the edge once all the turkey sandwiches have gone. If you’re serious about a move – or feel you may have no choice – getting yourself prepared to apply for jobs and be found by prospective employees involves a bit of proactive planning.
Here are four ways you can get ahead of the competition in the race for the best New Year jobs:
1. Bullet-proof your personal brand
Whether you like it or not most prospective employers will check you out online before inviting you in for an interview – and that’s assuming they haven’t found you online in the first place, of course.
This means the way you look and behave online is just as important as the form and structure of your CV. If not more so.
From LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter and all the many hangouts in between, you need to ensure the content you post is relevant to both the industry you want to work in and the type of company you want to work for. Strip out anything that may cause conjecture but don’t denigrate what defines you and your values. For some this may be pretty tough but it’s totally worth it.
2. All-Star your LinkedIn profile
Of all the public places you need to get straight, LinkedIn tops the lot. It’s the most visible, the most comprehensive and, as a result, the most work-related. Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV and for jobseeking purposes you should treat it as such. This means being informative yet concise and all-encompassing.
To ensure you’ve covered all the major career-related bases you need to max out your profile strength. There are five stages of profile strength: Beginner, Intermediate, Advances, Expert and All-Star. The latter is your aim and will ensure not only that you’ve highlighted rudimentary aspects (name, job title, personal profile, employment history, skills and recommendations) but also that you’ve some content and engagement up there, too. And this is essential to your progression through the jobseeking process.
3. Realign your recruiters
Whilst a brilliant online profile helps you to get found, don’t underestimate the power of a good recruitment agency. Recruiters specialising in a niche skill or sector ought to know their stuff better than anyone so will have a broader pick of roles suited to you.
A common jobseeker mistake is to register with a multitude of agencies with the expectation that this will increase the number of opportunities. This is good in theory but rarely works in practice. By adopting the ‘more is more’ attitude you will mismanage your expectations which, as frustration grows, will result in you missing out on openings.
Get your ducks in a row by selecting up to three recruitment agencies relevant to your sector, no more. Take time to look through their website, understand what they do and how they do it. The best ones will display transparency around their services, often showcasing their clients. Check out ‘about us’ and ‘meet the team’ pages, too, since this the sort of personalisation you’d expect from a good, contemporary, recruiter.
4. Be the first to know
Job boards are a fantastic resource for a multiple array of opportunities. One of the best features of a job board is the ‘jobs by email’ service, which allows you to select key phrases and terms aligned with your career expectations and receive jobs relevant to these straight into your inbox.
For example if your next move is within marketing you should sign up to the ‘jobs by email’ service offered by specialist job board OnlyMarketingJobs.com, where you can register for up to five different terms and have these jobs dropped to you as soon as they land on the site. This means you’ll be the first to learn about them, affording you a head-start in the application process.
So if a New Year job-hunt is on the cards, don’t delay. Get ahead of the competition and start planning now!