New year, new job?

CV expert Emma Alkirwi gives some advice on how to increase your chances of finding the job you want in the new year.

Line of people different ages waiting for their turn for interview.

The new year can often be the catalyst to making important changes in your life and work. Ensuring your CV and job search are as effective as possible is one key to finding the job you want. CV expert Emma Alkirwi gives her advice on how to make your job search less stressful.

Create a bulletproof plan

The best job hunts start with organisation and structure. If you break it down into chunks, you will feel much less overwhelmed by the different things you need to do.

Sit down and think about what you want:

 What kind of role are you looking for?
 Are there particular companies you are interested in working for?
 What kind of salary do you need to secure?

Then, go a bit deeper:

 What kind of working culture is most appealing to you?
 Do you require flexible working hours or remote work opportunities?
 Are there particular benefits, such as healthcare, that you would like to be included in your package?

Once you have created this list, you will understand what you want from your next position and will have a better idea of where to find opportunities that match. Having this clarity ensures you aren’t wasting time in the wrong places.

Be disciplined with your time

Set aside some time for your job hunt based on when you are most productive. Set yourself a to-do list based on the applications you want to complete. Try and stick to a set amount of time: for example, an hour in the morning or 90 minutes in the evening. This way you will remain focused.

You will feel amazing as you tick off each task! Plus, once you’re done, you can relax knowing you have fulfilled your objectives for the day and use the rest of your time for something fun.

Broaden your horizons

The world is evolving constantly – and so is the way that job vacancies are listed. Rather than stick to one traditional channel, recruiters are starting to use innovative means to publicise their available positions.

Alongside job boards, here are a few other key channels you should have a look at:

 LinkedIn ‘Jobs’ section
 Industry-specific recruitment websites
 Employers’ websites
 Recruiter and employer social media channels

Tailor your documents

This takes a lot of time, but bespoke application documents are much more likely to capture the attention of a recruiter than a generic CV and cover letter.

If you really want a role, you need to prove it in your application. Get specific about your experience, qualifications and passion within the areas of expertise that recruiters are looking for.

Sometimes you can start with a base template that you then edit for each application, but this will only work if you are applying for quite specific roles. You also need to be careful and proofread to perfection to ensure old application information doesn’t accidentally stay in the base letter. It’s a big no-no to have another company’s name in your application!

While you’re updating your application documents, it’s also a great time to take a look at your LinkedIn profile, as many employers and recruiters will check you out there too.

Our recent blog is packed full of tips to help you make the most out of using the platform as a jobseeker – you can check it out here.

Widen your network

One of the easiest ways to learn about new opportunities in your chosen industry is to network with people within it!

Take some time to connect with recruiters and people within organisations you are interested in. Or if you find that idea quite daunting, speak to the people you already know. If they have a connection with someone you would love to meet, why not ask them to make an introduction?

You can also widen your network offline. Attending industry events and conferences can be a great way to meet new people. You never know what opportunities could appear!

Collect feedback

If you are getting rejected from positions, it can be worthwhile to try and collect some feedback as to why. If the same points are coming up over and over again – or if it is happening with one kind of role in particular – then it might be worth re-evaluating your job search and planning a different course of action going forward. This helps to prevent wasted time and will get you where you want to go in the most efficient way possible.

*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is the leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services. When it comes to preparing your application documents, another pair of eyes can help pick up on the information you might have missed. Through CVGuru’s Free CV Review you can submit your CV and be sent the key improvements that could be made within 48 hours for future applications.

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