Job hunting: Table and chair with laptop, mouse and a pair of glasses

I’ve been planning to share my job hunting tips for a while, but as I was still sans job it seemed ridiculous to be doling out advice!

The good news for me for the husband is that, 2.5 months since the end of my previous job, I now have a new one. All together now, hurrah! The timing is fantastic, because my redundancy payout is looking less healthy than it did, and with the colder weather coming I was dreading our heating bill with me being at home all day.

Seriously though, it’s a huge relief to have secured not only a job, but a role I’m excited about in a forward thinking company with lots of plans. Sometimes, in job hunting, it can feel like there’s nothing out there that you can or want to do. And it’s certainly more difficult when the pressure is on.

3 weeks to prepare

I don’t start for another 3 weeks, which gives me the opportunity to chill, relax and actually enjoy some time off. Apart from the odd day out for lunch or visiting people, I really didn’t enjoy my redundancy period. I didn’t feel I should be enjoying myself, if that makes sense? It would have seemed wrong to sit watching films and loafing about when I didn’t have a job.

I’ve rectified that since receiving the good news last Friday, with a lazy weekend (I spent Sunday in my PJs reading a book cover to cover), and watching 4 Harry Potter films this week, thus finishing an item on my “between jobs to do” list.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top tips for searching for (and hopefully securing!) a new job. Whether you’re currently employed and looking for a move, or out of work and needing a new role, there should be something here to help.

Please bear in mind I’m sharing these from my point of view, as an office working “professional” (ha!) I appreciate they won’t apply to all roles and industries.

1 – Make sure your CV is up to date

Sounds obvious, but do make sure you’ve included your very latest experience. If it’s been a while since you changed jobs, consider how you can make your existing experience more relevant. Changing up a description, or how you present what you do, can mae a huge difference.

2 – Create an account with online job websites and set up job alerts

In many cases you can then upload your CV, and apply more quickly for jobs you’re interested in. Job sites tend to list a mix of roles. Some will be applying directly to the employer. Others will be applying through an agency who will process and pass your application on. Additionally, recruiters often trawl job websites looking for candidates, so you could get approached for a role you may not have spotted.

With regards to job alerts, create a search based on your requirements and then get recommended jobs emailed to you on a regular basis. Specify things like role, salary, location and distance and let the algorithm do the work. There will be some that sneak in that don’t meet what you’re looking for. I regularly got an email about a Mandarin speaking marketing job!! But it’s a good way of getting daily highlights.

My favourites were CV Library, Total Jobs, Indeed and Reed, but do your research to find out what’s best for you.

3 – Register with multiple recruitment agencies

I’ve had mixed experiences with recruitment agencies, from great through to poor. That said, agencies have found my last two roles, so I’m a fan of getting them job hunting on your behalf. They’ll be getting a percentage of your agreed salary if they put you in a role, so they have an incentive not only to find you a job, but to get the best salary for you they can. In some cases, a recruitment agency may fill a role without even advertising it. If they have candidates on their books who they know are suitable, there’s no need to ask for applications. They can also help with elements of your CV, how to boost your profile, and interview tips as well.

4 – Update your LinkedIn profile

If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s up to date. If you haven’t, create one. Even if you don’t use it that much, chances are potential employers and recruiters will look for it. I also found that I was added by recruiters as a way to connect and put forward roles I may be interested in, so it’s worth an hour of your time.

Bit of an addendum here though, be careful if you’re connected with work colleagues on LinkedIn. Especially your manager! They’ll see your updates, including new connections, so they may get (rightly) suspicious about your intentions!

5 – Be selective, but open-minded

I know that sounds like a huge contradiction! Unless you’re in desperate need of a job/money, try to make your next move the right move. I’m not saying it has to be a forever job. But go for something you’ll enjoy and that will add to your CV. I’ve seen many roles advertised that I know I’m qualified for but they’re not in an industry I want to work in. Making that kind of move not only isn’t fair on yourself, but on your potential employer too.

Also, if you can afford to, look at roles below your current pay grade. An employer might be flexible and pay more than advertised if you’re the right candidate. Or take a slightly lesser paid role and prove your worth so you have the ammunition to ask for a rise. It might be worth a few months less pay for better job prospects and a role you enjoy.

I hope this may be useful in some way to somebody reading! If not, it at least gives you an insight as to how I’ve spent the last few weeks!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x




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