As we head towards Christmas and New Year job searching is probably one of the last things on your mind but you may find yourself with with some free time over the holidays that you might be able to utilise. Here are our top tips on how to get yourself job search ready for the New Year!
Check Your CV
Your CV needs to be regularly reviewed and updated, so print a copy, sit down and read it with fresh eyes. Think about the job your are looking for and check to see if your CV demonstrates the skills and experience you will need to be a good fit for that job. Remember that employers and recruiters will look at several CVs so ensuring the first quarter of the first page grabs their attention is key. You can do this by creating a focused and informative profile to sit at the very top of your CV. This needs to be adapted for each job you apply for to make sure all of the key requirements of the job description are reflected.
Depending on when your first wrote your CV your job role may have changed or developed. You may have worked on a project, or achieved an award or even smashed a sales target. These are all good pieces of information to include on your CV if they are relevant to the new job you are applying for.
Your CV needs to be easy to read, so the use of bullet points and short paragraphs are recommended. Make sure you give examples of how you use your skills. It’s not enough to say you have ‘excellent customer service skills’. Something like ‘providing advice, discussing concerns and explaining product benefits to customers to ensure their needs are exceeded’ better tells the reader what you actually do to give that high level of customer service.
Double check your contact details. Is your email address professional? If not, set up a new one just to manage your job applications. This will also help you keep a track of your applications and job search related correspondence.
Have A Social Media Clear Up
Has you face been included in a few too many Christmas celebration photos on Facebook? Over half of employers screen candidates social media profiles as part of the recruitment process according to recent research. It’s not just those incriminating photos they are looking for, it’s posts that are discriminatory, negative posts about employers and even general poor communication to name but a few reasons why employers decide not to hire someone.
Have a good look at all of your social media profiles. Check your main photos and then have a look at your privacy settings to make sure only the people you want to can see your posts and comments. If you haven’t already got one, now might be a time to create a LinkedIn profile. The site is also a great place to research companies, interviewers, recruiters, and hiring managers, to before making job applications and attending job interviews.
Sit Down and Have A Read
Most job sites have a careers advice blog page so why not sit down and have a read through some of them. There are also some great books out there that could give you a boost with your job search. Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again from James Reed at reed.co.uk has some great examples of how to tackle those tricky interview questions. Generally doing some research and reading potential employers blogs and news articles will give you a good idea of what working at a company is like, what they expect from their staff and the general ethos and culture of the business. Is this the company for you? Can they offer your the sort of job you are looking for with the right level of responsibility and development opportunities?
Get a New Wardrobe
The post Christmas sales can be a great time to get your interview outfit organised. We always advise going to an interview in business attire. Even if you know the company has a relaxed dress code, making the right impression is a must so don’t assume it’s OK to dress casually at your first meeting. You should hopefully be able to pick up a bargain or two; a few items that you can pull out at short notice and also remove the stress of deciding what to wear when that interview call comes!
Enjoy Your Time Off
Of course most importantly take time to relax and enjoy the Christmas holidays. The lead up to the holidays can be a stressful time so take a few days to forget about work and enjoy yourself. Having a few days for self refection and re focusing with help you feel more positive about what the New Year might bring and how you can make a career change that is right for you.