The New Year is traditionally a time when we take stock of our lives and strive for change. For many people, that means a new job. However, with competition for that dream role at its fiercest in January, Arran Stewart, director at MyJobMatcher.com offers jobseekers a head start with his seven top tips for success:
1. Make sure your CV will make the ”yes” pile
Your CV is still one of the most important tools you’ll ever have to clinch that job. It’s your responsibility, and no one else’s, to make sure that you maximise your chances of catching the eye of employers and recruiters.
It sounds obvious, but take the time to ensure that your CV accurately reflects the required skills of the job you are applying for. Bring out your relevant experience and relate it to the job – also craft a quick, clear and concise covering note to accompany your application. All it takes is a little bit of effort to tweak your CV and it could be the key to opening the door to your next job.
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and ask yourself what they want to see and how your CV will get them excited about you?
2. Tread carefully online – without a traffic cone on your head.
Most employers and recruiters will have a look at your digital footprint - sometimes before ever contacting you about your application. If you have a million selfies sporting a traffic cone on your head as your Facebook front page what conclusion do you think someone will draw?
It is both positive and negative that our digital footprint impacts first impressions of who people really think we are – the best candidates use this to their advantage and tailor their online profiles to the sector they are targeting.
Get your personal "in the pub” profile locked down to your mates on Facebook, don’t be a twitter twit and keep your professional profile on LinkedIn in tip top shape as. The latest industry research suggests that 50% of Fortune 100 companies hire here.
3. Job seeking can be a numbers game but don’t get trigger happy
You won’t simply apply for your dream job one day and get it the next. Unquestionably, job seeking is about setting a number of good horses running and making sure you get the right ones home!
By all means apply for the jobs you think are best and most relevant to you, but be mindful not to simply apply for everything and anything you find as you can ultimately end up reducing your chances of finding a job.
You don’t want to devalue yourself by landing on every desk at the same time or, even worse, the same desk more than once.
Nothing puts an employer off like the smell of desperation. Stay proud in your search; remain sensibly selective in your job applications and never devalue yourself by getting trigger happy and firing your CV out everywhere.
4. Be careful of recruiter jargon and buzzwords
Like it or not, online jobs have inevitably been written by recruiters who are working in sales-driven environments and who are rightfully desperate to fill roles for their clients. As a result of this they quite often succumb to the desire to, shall we say, "over-egg” a role as highlighted in this recent quiz in the Guardian.
The danger here is that although you may consider yourself, say, a "Marketing Manager” and not a "Growth Hacker” – you need to invest the time to understand some of the en vogue terms being used by recruiters in order to ensure that you open yourself up to the best and most relevant roles.
It is also sensible to mention these terms in the content of your CV – even if only in the summary. The reason? Well a lot of recruiters search for people online and obviously key words drive a lot of databases – and after all, if it’s a great job with the right package do you really care if you are called a "Growth Hacker”?
5. Let technology shorten your odds
Always let technology shorten your odds and do the leg work for you - you wouldn’t go out to get 15 separate insurance quotes in order to find the best one – so where it exists, use technology to make your job seeking simpler.
Remember that when you search a traditional search engine such as Google or Bing you will only find what is rated and ranked by that search engine – this is often affected by clever SEO and the amount of budget someone can spend on PPC or adwords to "get found”, so the results are invariably biased.
Take the time to go through to pages three and four, rather than just the top ranked page, as you normally would. Even better, let technology do all the searching for you. Sites like MyJobMatcher.com receive hundreds of thousands of jobs from all the best job boards and then match your CV to the most relevant, eliminating bias and sending you daily alerts with relevant new job matches.
6. Don’t forget, it’s all about people
At the end of the day, people hire people. Your CV will only take you so far and where applications are flying in thick and fast a quick phone call to a hirer to confirm receipt of your CV and willing to answer any immediate questions will find you elevated to the top of the list. At the very least they will be aware that you are willing and able to become their next great hire!
7. Don’t ever give up!
Finally, job seeking can at times be a dark and depressing place. But, like all things in life, don’t give up - not ever, and always keep true to your motives. In the end, perseverance, savvy and helping hand from technology will get you there – happy job seeking!
For more information on jobseeking visit www.myjobmatcher.com or follow @MyJobMatcher for helpful tips via Twitter.