Finding a new job can feel like a full-time job. So, in this article, I’ll give you key guidance to help you get going and focus your efforts. To help you prioritise what you spend your time on, I’ve set out four key elements you need to work on to increase your chances of success. Focus on these aspects and you’re more likely to get the role you want in a faster time frame.
How to get yourself organised for finding a new job
Please note: this advice is not for those seeking a complete career change but for people who want to move on and up in their current profession. Here are the four elements to focus on:
The key job of your CV is to help you to stand out in the pile/inbox and make it a no brainer that a potential employer should see you. Therefore, your CV needs to:
- make it super clear what your skills and experience are
- include ‘hooks’, so that potential employers want to know more
- be concise
- have a clear story demonstrated by your role transitions
- be professionally set out with white space and no spelling or grammar errors (sounds basic but you’d be surprised).
When I work with my clients on their CV, we go through a process of CV Reinvention. I make sure we really bring out the most important elements of their career, highlighting the aspects they will talk about most engagingly in an interview – your CV is often a springboard for the conversation, which is why it’s vital it’s right. If you want to know more about how I do CV Reinvention, contact me.
Your LinkedIn profile and activity
There are 2 objectives to using LinkedIn for finding a new job:
- So that when people who have heard about you elsewhere check it out you have a great profile to reinforce what they have heard / seen already e.g. they have received your CV and want to know more
- For people to find your profile on LinkedIn and proactively contact you for relevant opportunities.
Whilst updating your profile doesn’t have to take a long time, you can’t build the connections and activity you need quite so quickly to increase your visibility so that people can find you.
Therefore, I strongly recommend updating your profile regularly (this has other professional benefits too) and spending some time regularly on the platform interacting with others. Whether you are looking for a new role imminently or are planning ahead, read my article which details the key areas of your profile to focus on.
Note: your LinkedIn profile is not the entirety of your CV copied across!
Your job search strategy
Without a job search strategy, you’ll be less purposeful in your job hunt and it’s likely to take longer, especially if you’re still in a full-time role. You need to consider two key elements here:
Consideration one. Key requirements.
What are your key requirements for your new role?
This includes the tasks and responsibilities of the role e.g. managing people, as well as logistics, such as the amount of travel desired (or not) and flexibility to work at home so many days a week.
If you don’t think about this, you have no way to decide which are opportunities you want to go for and, importantly later on, whether you should accept something you have been offered.
Remember, it’s not just about the employer selecting you; as an experienced professional, you are selecting them too.
Consideration two. How you approach the market
How will you approach the market?
Some people just want to use recruiters or search online, others have a great network and want to explore that.
Whichever route(s) you choose, you need a plan against it which includes names, dates and actions.
When it comes to working with recruiters, people all too easily expect that if they contact a recruiter and send them their CV then the opportunities will come. This is very rarely the case; a relationship needs to be built and that involves purposeful action.
Top tip: One of the things that my clients find very valuable is how I help them build their plan, keep on top of it and alter it if appropriate. It’s the ‘keeping on top of it’ that is key. So, how will you be accountable for carrying out your plan?
A positive impact at interview
After all the hard upfront work, you need to make sure you’re aware of how you come across at interview and whether that’s what you want the reality to be. It isn’t about making you someone you are not, but ‘polishing’, where appropriate.
- Do you answer questions effectively and engagingly? Can you articulate your experience and expertise in a clear and meaningful way? If you have had a comprehensive approach to creating your CV and LinkedIn profile, then this should help you have clarity.
- How do you come across through your appearance, body language and voice? What is the initial impact you have on someone? How do you build rapport throughout the interview? What will the interviewer(s) remember about you? To read more about the importance of personal brand and impact, click here.
- Are you prepared for different types of interview – phone, one-to-one in person, a panel, a presentation?
To help you prioritise even further, my last comment is a question: which of these areas do you need to focus most on in finding a new job? Whichever one of the four it is, start there. You’ll feel better for addressing it, be more prepared, and be ready to go out there and get that job.
Best of luck.
Further help for finding a new role
Some of my clients want my support and guidance throughout the process for finding a new job, others just for an element of it.
“My first session with Joanna was mind blowing, she teased out a lot of information from me; I was amazed how much I had achieved in my career and the exceptional difference and value I had made along the way.
Joanna has a skill and a way that helped me be able to talk and conceptualise my achievements and experiences in an interesting, and relaxed manner. In doing this my confidence increased, which helped me make the decision to leave the organisation I had been with for over 14 years.
I have now secured an exciting opportunity; it took me less than two months.
Thank you Joanna, you have helped me in ways even you can’t imagine. Great work.”