High up on many people’s list of New Year’s resolutions is finding a new job. A better title, more money, ditching the annoying colleagues—what’s not to like?
But how can you turn that well-intentioned resolution into results? Here are some tips to help you on the road to career contentment.
Make your CV sing
When competition is high for a role, you don’t want to fall short on something so fundamental as your CV. These one or two pages are the window through which you are selling yourself.
Really think about how to sell your skills and experience, but be careful not to oversell yourself — it’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. You might end up sounding silly, not serious.
To make yourself stand out from the crowd, use a template with a customisable design and get a friend with a keen eye for style to look it over.
Don’t go over the top, but creating a unique CV that isn’t just a block of text will catch a recruiter’s eye.
It should go without saying, but make sure your CV is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Nobody wants to employ someone who works well in a team but not on their own.
Fill in the skills and experience gaps
If adverts for the roles you really want ask for skills and experience you don’t have, the answer is simple — acquire them.
These are gaps you need to fill to be successful in taking the next step in your career and there is no getting around it.
Sit down and think seriously about how you can develop these skills and gain the experience in your current role or outside of the office.
Perhaps your boss will let you take on some more responsibilities. Volunteering opportunities are another great way to upskill and boost your CV.
Then get on with it — no excuses. If it’s a role you truly want, you will put in the extra effort to get the reward.
Make job applications part of your routine
Applying for jobs can feel like a job in itself. But you just have to get on and do it.
A good way to make sure you put in the time to apply properly for jobs is to build it into your daily routine.
Set aside an hour or two a day, before or after work and at weekends, to sit down and apply for the jobs you want.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to submit well thought out applications. Your cover letter or email should address the points in the job advert.
It’s a chance to bolster your CV by pointing out how your skills and experience meet the specific requirements set out in the job specification.
Too many people rush through this process without giving it the thought and attention it requires. The cover letter is the first thing a recruiter reads—so make it count.
Be bold and network
Contacts can be incredibly important in securing a new job. If your face is familiar, it’s a fantastic head start against the other candidates.
Research who you need to know in your target company or sector and get out to the big networking events they’re likely to attend.
Meeting people who can put in a good word or give you a heads up on new roles will give you a serious advantage. So don’t be shy, put yourself out there and network, network, network.
Prepare properly for your interview
When you get an interview, always put in the time to think about the questions likely to come up about you, your CV, and how you would approach the role—including its challenges.
Search online to see if others have interviewed for a similar role and given insights about the process.
Don’t ever try to wing it without any thought or preparation at all—you don’t want to be caught out mid-interview by a question you didn’t see coming.
That awkward silence or fumbled answer could cost you the job.
Get friends and family to play the role of interviewer and ask you tough questions.
You should also get them to come up with their own surprise questions to test how you cope with being caught off guard.
Make sure you go into an interview confident about what you want to say and how you would answer the difficult questions.