Have you decided that now is the time to move on with your career? Prospects are looking good, with many employers reporting plans to recruit this year. But there is also talk of a pent up demand in the market - many people have been waiting for the right moment to make their move and competition could be tough.
If you have not applied for a job in a while you may be surprised by how easy it has become. There are lots of good job sites online which will allow you to upload your CV and send it off at the click of a button; social Media has come of age in recruitment and the amount of career and company information online is almost overwhelming. The result is that it has never been easier to apply for a job, but you will also have to do your research and bring your best game to the table.
Make it easy on yourself by preparing for the change with this 5 Step Checklist:
- Carry out a Skills Audit.
Be honest with yourself and write down all your skills – starting with the things that are your real strengths. Make sure these match up with the skills being asked for in the job spec of the role you are applying for.
- Are you in the right shape?
If you’re feeling sluggish try to sharpen up both mentally and physically in preparation for finding the right move. Taking on a physical challenge or simply going back to the gym can give you a real boost – we think much more clearly when the oxygen is pumping. A phone app like Elevate can give you a mental workout to help you get your brain back in gear.
- Is your CV up to scratch?
Your CV really needs to work hard for you - communicating the skills and experiences you identify as part of your audit. Make sure the key information is at the top – what is the first thing you want them to know about you? Then clearly articulate what you have done and describe your achievements in detail to impress and help you to stand out from the crowd.
- Is your Social Media fit for 2016?
You need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, with testimonials and a good photo. Does it contains the key words employers might be searching on? Now check that you have clicked the right preferences so that everyone can see it! All of us have some social profiles that are mainly for our friends – just make sure that the professional sites like LinkedIn are just that – professional. And ditch the cute, jokey and blokey e-mail addresses - keep it business like.
- Would you know straight away what the right job looks like?
Take some time to get clear on what you are looking for. Things like location, salary, culture and sector so that you don’t waste time with jobs you don’t really want. Then try to apply only for these. It is very easy to fire off CV's in all directions, but your chances of success will be higher if you are focused and go only for the ones you really want.
Good luck, and I hope that 2016 proves to be a positive year for you!
Phil Hutchinson-May is a Director at FMCG Central, a leading Recruitment Consultancy
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