How to optimise your job search in 2020

top 10 tips photo

New Year, new job?  Ever set yourself a New Years’ resolution of finding a new role, but not sure exactly where to start? We often hear that the Christmas period gives people time to reflect and think about their goals and plans for the coming year, many putting a new opportunity and challenge high up on their list.  If you’ve not ventured into the job market for a while it can be a daunting time as technology and hiring has changed lots in recent years, so it’s worth spending the time preparing before you just launch in to applying for jobs.

We get asked lots of questions by our candidates about how they can best market themselves to future employers, if there is an ideal CV format and how they can set themselves apart from other active jobseekers in such a competitive market.  So, with the help of some of our candidates we have put together some simple top 10 tips for active job seekers in the HR market.  

  1. Be prepared to have more than one version of your CV! We recommend tailoring it to the job you’re applying for – drawing out the relevant projects and specific areas you’ve worked on to match the JD.  Given now that a lot of applications go through an automated sifting process, having key words are more important now than ever.
  2. Ensure you attach the most up-to-date CV to an application when applying through a job board and ensure your personal details are updated – simple tip, but amazing how many people don’t and by then it’s too late!
  3. Allow a few colleagues, an old boss or friend to read and critique your CV – they may be able to offer improvements or spot typo’s.  Writing your own CV is tough!
  4. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated and easy to follow, has a recent photo and latest recommendations – many hiring managers will use social media to find you!
  5. Know which job you are applying for! We once had the same CV come through for a 45k HR Advisor role, 90k HR Director position and a 55k Compensation and Benefits Analyst role! Being more tailored will avoid unnecessary rejection.  It’s worth keeping a list of the jobs you’ve applied to, which agency/company and the outcome of each.  We often ask the question ‘what attracted you to this position’ and it’s more impressive to hear why the candidate thought they’d be suited to a specific role rather than being asked to remind them which role it was they applied to!
  6. Don’t spend all day looking for jobs! Be focused, targeted and positive and use the time to do other things too – reading and networking are just as beneficial! Looking after yourself, a brisk walk or picking up an old hobby gives for great thinking and reflection time.
  7. Really simple – put a voicemail on! It’s surprising how many active job seekers don’t have this facility – imagine if it was the perfect next Interim assignment with a quick start that you then miss out on!
  8. Prepare answers to some generic interview questions and know your CV! Think about reasons for leaving each role and what prompted you to make each move, what role you’re looking for next, where you add value, key projects and your specific involvement in them.  It’s also, worth knowing some of the numbers and figures attached to the things you’ve done and what the impact or outcome was.  We see companies make decisions using data so often these days! 
  9. Speak to other people you know working at the business or in the industry.  A candidate was asked recently for the trends and hot topics in the sector the client operated in and thankfully they’d done their homework! Think about some relevant, commercial questions to ask them too and ensure you’ve looked on their website and read any latest news articles or press releases. 
  10. On the day – be prepared and arrive early.  Check the dress code in advance.  Know who you are meeting.  Ensure you’ve read the JD and done your prep.  The more prepared you are, the more relaxed and less nervous you’ll feel!

For anyone venturing into the job market or wanting a recruiter’s viewpoint, we’d love to talk to you! If you’d like to hear more about our CV advice, Mock Interview or LinkedIn update services and prices, please contact us today!

Share this article