Many of us reconsider our life choices at the start of a new year, and one of the most popular resolutions among Brits is to pursue a career ambition. For those who aren’t satisfied with their job, this means looking for another one, and as job listings increase in January and February, what better time to move on to pastures new?
However, finding and securing your dream position is easier said than done, and can often be a thankless and time-consuming task. But if you’re determined to leave your current role and find something that will enhance your career and life as a whole, then the job-hunt will be well worth it. Here are some handy tips to help you navigate this tricky process and secure a job switch as quickly as possible.
1. Update your CV
If it’s been some time since you last looked for a new job, your CV will need refreshing to reflect your most recent achievements, and to be better tailored to the jobs you’re applying for. Including outdated information won’t get you very far—that part-time summer job you had as a teenager probably doesn’t look so impressive anymore. The importance of updating your CV is even more apparent if you’re looking at positions in a different field from the one you’re currently in.
So, have a think about any new skills or qualifications you’ve acquired since you last updated your CV and incorporate them accordingly. Maybe you learned something valuable at your current job, attended a workshop or course, or simply improved some of your existing abilities. Anything relevant and suitably impressive should be included. And if you feel like there aren’t many fresh things to add, there’s no time like the present to learn some new skills. Whether this means starting a hobby that’s related to your dream job or enrolling on a coding or social media management course, go for it. As well as updating your resume, be sure to avoid the common mistakes made in CVs, like being untruthful, making it overly long, and including a picture of yourself. Such errors will put off prospective employers, hindering your wider job search.
2. Network, network, network
With almost a third of people finding a job through somebody they know, the importance of networking cannot be overstated. By getting out there and speaking to relevant people in your chosen industry, you’ll make valuable connections with individuals who can help you get your foot in the door somewhere else. The better your relationships with your fellow professionals are, the more likely they will be to share job leads and other useful information which can bolster your search.
Fortunately, there are many ways to expand your professional circle. The easiest is to harness your social media presence, especially on LinkedIn. As one of the world’s biggest professional networking sites, it allows users to instantly connect with those in their niche. You can forge connections via LinkedIn by optimising your profile, posting engaging content, and actively interacting with others in your industry. That said, it’s much easier to build meaningful professional relationships face-to-face, so don’t neglect real-life opportunities, so be on the lookout for networking events near you to make the right connections.
3. Brush up your interview skills
If you’re going to secure your dream job in 2020, being able to ace an interview is essential. Even the most glittering CV in the world will mean nothing if you can’t impress an interviewer in person. And while interviews are naturally anxiety-inducing, there are certain things you can do to boost your confidence and ensure you make a good impression to potential employers.
Start by researching the types of questions you’re likely to be asked. While there are no guarantees that these questions will come up, this at least gives you points of reference to draw from, so find examples which match your prospective job position. By the same token, it’s also critical that you research the company and the specifics of the job you’re applying for—the more clued up you are, the better you’ll come across. Don’t forget to come up with a couple of questions of your own to ask them, as this shows that you’re genuinely interested in the job and the company in general. To tie all your preparation together and boost your confidence, conduct mock interviews with friends or family members. The more you practice, the more at ease you’ll be discussing yourself in a high-pressure situation.