New Year Resolutions for Your Job Search in 2016

For many of us, ‘looking for a new job’ is one of our top New Year resolutions, along with ‘going to the gym’, ‘healthy eating’ and ‘spending less’.

Unfortunately, we can’t help you with your fitness programme or household budgets but we do understand recruitment and we hope the information below will help you in your job search in the year ahead.

Plug your skills gap

We hear about industry skills gaps in the news more and moBlackboardre but what about your own professional skills gaps? First of all, do you know what skills employers in your sector are looking for? If not, ask your recruitment consultant for their advice, or look at job adverts and job descriptions to understand what hirers are focussing on most.

Once you know what those ‘in-demand’ skills are, be honest in identifying which skills you feel confident in and which areas you could improve upon.

Of course, having the opportunity to develop your skills may be your motivation to move job in the first place, however it is worth considering if there are some areas you can build on to help you make that next move. For example, in your current role, can you develop your skills by working in a different way, taking on additional responsibilities or working with different people? Alternatively can you take up volunteer work or use social activities to develop these new skills? Building your knowledge, experience and capabilities will not only make you feel more confident, you’ll have much more to show in your CV and at interview.

Avoid LOL* summaries

*LinkedIn Out Loud

If you missed the LinkedIn Out Loud videos earlier this year, they are worth taking a look at. But beware; they have a high cringe factor!

Your ‘summary’ is a key element of your LinkedIn profile but many of us find this particular section quite difficult to perfect. Good advice from Personal Brand expert, Jennifer Holloway is to write a summary that “shows your human side and includes at least the odd toot of your trumpet about not just what you do but who you are” and “Read aloud your summary to test how it sounds, aiming to hit the sweet spot half way between too bland and too OTT.”

Choosing the right words

With the continued increase in the use of technology within recruitment, the right words on your CV don’t just need to grab the attention of hiring managers and recruiters but need to be easily picked up by keyword recognition software too.

To find your CV on a job site database eg s1, or on an in-house candidate database as held by all recruiters and many employers, keyword searches are often used to find suitable candidate details. These could include qualifications, skills, specific technologies used, languages or soft-skills etc, so make sure your CV has the right words so you are easily found.

Additionally, it’s worth tailoring your CV for specific applications to make sure it includes the words and language used by recruiters/employers in their adverts and job descriptions, making it easy for them to see that your experience and key skills match with what they are looking for.

Don’t give up on your day job

Once you’ve made the decision that you want to move on from your current role it can be easy to become demoralised by the fact you are in a job you no longer want to do when in fact your current role may hold the key to your future career success.

There’s the obvious point that offers of employment may be conditional on references from your existing manager/employer so turning into a demotivated or less effective employee while you look for new opportunities may have future implications.

However in addition to this, it’s important to realise just how easy it can be to bring your frustration and negativity to an interview when you are asked about your current job, which can unfortunately be a real turn-off for potential employers. So, when you are writing your CV and preparing for interview instead of focussing on the reasons you want to leave, think about what your time with your current employer has given you in terms of skills, experience, training and knowledge and use that as evidence to demonstrate your suitability for the new challenges and opportunities ahead. It may be time to move on but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a positive story to tell.

Nervous? Don’t keep calm…..get excited!

nervousMany of us get nervous before interview but did you know that despite all those posters advising us to “keep calm”, research has shown that we might be better telling ourselves “I am excited”.

140 participants took part in a study at Harvard Business School where they were told to prepare and deliver a persuasive speech in front of a committee. They were then advised to recite “I am calm” or “I am excited” before delivering their presentation. The results showed that those who told themselves they were excited gave a much more persuasive speech in a relaxed manner than those who had recited the mantra to “keep calm”.

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If you’ve got hints and tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments below or email us at 

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