THE BLOG

How to Make Your Job Search a Success

20/03/2014 11:46 GMT | Updated 19/05/2014 10:59 BST

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The economy is now picking up, it’s official.  So why is it that work is still grim?  You are shouldering the burden of the last redundancy programme or the recruitment freeze, everything you do is scrutinised critically, and budgets are still tight. 

Time to get a new job.  Here aThe economy is now picking up, it’s official.  So why is it that work is still grim?  You are shouldering the burden of the last redundancy programme or the recruitment freeze, everything you do is scrutinised critically, and budgets are still tight. 

Time to get a new job.  Here are a few tips to help put a smile back on your face.

1. Decide what you really want out of life.

Do you really want a job doing the same thing that you do now, but for a different boss?  This is the perfect time to re-evaluate your life rather than just changing the scenery.  Think seriously about where you want your life to go.  Get Rus Slater’s book “Be Your Own Career Coach”; it has some excellent ideas and exercises to help you to make this move a really positive one for you.

2. Get your marketing materials right

These days it isn’t just about having a good CV.  Think about the other places that recruiters can either

a) Find you

b) Check up on you

Online reputation is critical in jobsearch.  “Google yourself” (this is now acceptable under new EU Equality & Diversity Rules).  Make sure that your profiles are updated on LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other social or business networking sites.  Don’t ignore Facebook by the way; though LinkedIn carries twice as many job ads than Facebook (according to this survey), over 40% of employers are reported to search or check Facebook when looking for staff, so it is worth maximising it.  Make sure that your profiles are as positive as possible; if you have a profile on LinkedIn but no endorsements, ask your colleagues, former co-workers, customers and team to endorse you.  Research industry specific networking sites that are relevant to your career, once you find them, build profiles on these as well. Brand Yourself offers a great free account to help manage what comes up when people search you on the web, alternatively there is a useful resource on Slideshare to help with your online reputation.

You need a good CV. “Good” means relevant; so tailor it to each and every employer application you send!

3. Use job websites and recruitment agents

You probably can’t avoid having to throw yourself into the melee of traffic that is the “recruitment industry”.  There are two types of job website; the versions where every type of job under the sun is advertised~ eg Monster, JobSite and CV-Library.  These are good since they are often the first to come to mind for large recruiters.  Don’t forget the more specialist websites that aim at particular industries, such as InAutomotive, or disciplines, such as Simply Sales or even regions, such as Essex Job Site. The benefit of these is obvious; you don’t have to look through thousands of irrelevant jobs to find the appropriate ones.  Use all three, check them regularly and think laterally; if you just set up a daily search you will find that you miss some really good opportunities simply because the recruiter put it in a slightly different category! 

Recruitment agents deal with hundreds of faceless people’s CVs every day.  For an an agent to remember you, you must keep in touch regularly. If you become a pain, you never know, maybe they’ll make an extra effort to get you a job just to stop you calling them!

4. Networking works

Even in the digital age people still like to do business with people they know personally. Slater suggests using networking to help you decide what to do as well as helping you to actually find a job, so it can be a valuable throughout your job search. There is a handy little “how to” guide here, but frankly it is a topic that deserves a whole post of its own.

5. Be persistent!

As we come out of recession, everyone is circumspect about screwing it up.  Although there are budgets available for recruitment, no one wants to be the manager that tips the scales back by recruiting a mistake.  You are going to get a lot of ‘no-thank-yous” and probably quite a few total silences as well. Even if you make the shortlist, it may not all be plain sailing; a recent report said that one job has run (so far) eight rounds of interviews.  These are with the same slowly reducing pool of candidates.  So far these hapless, but determined, people have had to prepare two papers, make two presentations and also undergo a battery of psychometric tests.  When the decision is eventually made I bet the rejects feel as much relief as the successful candidate will feel elation (or will he or she be scared off by the thought of a micro-managing boss who can’t make a decision?)

Good luck with your jobsearch!