When a new year begins, we all tend to be more motivated to make resolutions, whether it’s to exercise more, detox from alcohol or join the increasing numbers taking part in Veganuary. It’s also the most popular time of year to start looking for a new job, especially when it gets a few weeks into the year and you’re not feeling any more inspired about your current role.
We have definitely seen evidence of January jobhunting motivation with an increase in visitors to our website and the number of applications coming in. After the uncertainty around politics at the end of 2019, it’s a positive trend to see that people are no longer putting things on hold and seem keen to just ‘get on with it’.
With so many people jobhunting at once, how can you stand out and keep ahead of the competition?
Avoid the scattergun approach
You may have made the decision to move on, but it’s important that you spend some time thinking about what that new role really looks like, rather than just applying for anything you see advertised. Think about whether your goal is to progress in a similar type of role or if you need a change of sector or working environment.
Ask yourself some questions - what are the company values that are attractive to you and align with your own? Do you have specific companies in mind? What sort of manager do you want to work for to help you succeed? Will the role you are looking at help you move towards your longer term aims?
If you’re unhappy in your current role, it’s easy to skip this step in an attempt to escape as quickly as possible, but you don’t want to be back in the same situation in six months’ time.
Spruce up your CV
If you haven’t reviewed your CV since you were last jobhunting, chances are it’s in need of a bit of a facelift. Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every week and they all look very similar, so spend some time perfecting your personal profile to demonstrate your key strengths.
Try to incorporate the outcomes from the questions you asked yourself above to make it clear exactly what you’re looking for next. If you identified values that are important to you, give examples of how you embody these to show that you would be a good cultural fit for the business.
This will also mean that you’re tailoring your CV to each role and this will instantly help you stand out to the person reading it.
Nail the interview
Once your efforts have got you shortlisted for an interview, keep the momentum up. Do your research about the business – confirm who will be interviewing you and find out what you can about them, clarify the type of interview you can expect and prepare yourself. Is it an informal chat, a competency-based interview or a formal assessment?
Think of a wide range of examples from your career history that demonstrate key skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, handling conflict, using your initiative, etc. In a stressful interview situation, it can be hard to think on your feet so the more time you spending practicing these beforehand the more likely you are to remember them at that key moment.
Often burning questions will come to mind as the conversation develops, but it’s always advisable to think of a few before you go in to avoid any awkward silence when you’re asked at the end if you have any questions.
Not sure what you should be asking? Read our advice here
When you get offered a job, negotiations over money can be a bit sensitive. If you’re using a recruitment agency, your consultant will handle this for you to remove any stress. Be honest with them about your expectations and what figure you would be willing to accept.
If the salary is quoted in the job advert, this is not likely to be open for much negotiation. Where an advert states the salary is ‘dependent on experience’, be ready to give examples of times that you’ve taken on additional responsibility at work or that prove your drive and ambition.
If you need more in-depth advice on any of these subjects, call us on 01780 480530 for a confidential chat.