There is nothing worse than being stuck in a job you hate. It can have a negative effect on your mood, your health and your finances.
And, for many people, the new year is the time when they resolve to make a change.
But how to give yourself the best chance of success – and, most importantly – avoid finding yourself in another role where you feel unfulfilled and frustrated?
We’ve teamed up with online jobsite Glassdoor to offer seven simple steps that will set you well on your way to finding your dream job in 2018.
1. Sign up for job alerts on your mobile
Don’t risk getting caught out by your boss or one of your colleagues by using your work computer for job hunting.
Chances are, your company probably doesn’t monitor your online activity, but at the end of the day, the work computer is not your property and you shouldn’t leave it to chance.
Download an app and sign up for daily job alerts so you get fresh leads in your inbox. You can discreetly scroll through jobs without someone peeking over your shoulder at your desk.
2. Find the best companies according to those who know them the best – employees!
You can filter your job search based on employee ratings, for instance, limiting the search to 4 stars and above if you want.
They key thing here is that you can avoid nightmare workplaces by spending time getting clued up on what current employees think.
Have a read of the comments and get a feel for the culture to see if you would be a good fit before you waste your time doing phone screens and interviews.
You can look at company ratings over time to see if they are getting better, staying the same, or dropping. You can also narrow down reviews to a country, city or job title, to make it more relevant to you.
3. Understand the company mission and values
Found a company you like? Then do your homework first, before you fire off an application.
Make sure you understand the organisation’s mission and values so that you can reflect those points in your application and demonstrate that you are aligned.
This will also come in handy once it comes to interview stage, since you are bound to get asked.
Make sure that the company’s mission and values align with your own personal outlook and beliefs.
4. Create a tailored CV
Yes, it is more work, but you need to put in the groundwork to stand out from other applicants.
Make sure you create a tailored CV which shows you have all bases covered when it comes to the job description.
Does the job require languages? Then put that front and centre. Do you need to show evidence of managing budgets? Then make sure it is the first point under your most recent job experience.
Don’t make the recruiter have to hunt around to find what they need.
5. Don’t forget a really good cover letter
Cover letters are your opportunity to show that you have the background and knowledge needed to do the job well, but also that you are passionate, charismatic and well-informed.
Make your contact information really easy to find and make it clear in the intro that you know who the company is, what they do and what they care about.
In the body of the letter, incorporate keywords directly from the job description and wherever possible, include concrete metrics that illustrate the results you’ve achieved.
Remember: cover letters should be clean and easy to read – leave the intricate designs and crazy fonts for party invitations.
6. Get prepared for interview
Practice real interview questions that others were asked and even see what different types of interview other candidates had to go through.
As well as anticipating what you might be asked (and how to answer to answer those questions) you need to prepare what questions you want to ask the interviewer/panel.
Remember, the interview is an opportunity for you to learn about what the company can offer you in terms of career progression, workplace environment, what challenges it may be facing. Make sure you get to know the interviewer by asking their views on what they enjoy most about working for the organisation, what a typical work day looks like for them and their greatest accomplishment with the company.
7. Research pay and benefits
Most job descriptions don’t come with salaries. So how are you supposed to know what to pitch for?
Learn what is fair pay for your role on Glassdoor or Payscale by researching average salaries on offer at companies you are interested in and at their competitors.
You will be far better prepared for any pay negotiation if you are offered a job once you have done a bit of research first.
Then there are the benefits. Is pension important to you? Then check out whether your prospective employer offers one and what employees think of it. Likewise, if you are keen on a bike to work scheme, flexible working or healthcare, check them out first.