Although coming to the decision that you’re ready to change jobs is a big step, the reality of finding a new role can seem a frustratingly long way off. To ensure that things are moving in the right direction here are 13 things you can be doing.
Write your ideal job description
You know you want to move on, but move on to what? Try drafting a job description for your ideal role. Factor in your strengths and areas of interest, and think about the areas you enjoy or dislike about your current role. Use this ideal description to steer your job search.
Draw up a timetable
Break down your job search into manageable phases such as:
- Interview preparation
Work out what you need to do at each phase – for example during the application phase, you’ll need your CV ready, for the interview stage, you’ll need to have done a wardrobe review. Pin this timetable up somewhere at home to help you stay on track.
Put out feelers in your network
Ask around trusted contacts about interesting employers, valuable information sources and the most effective recruiters. This will give you ideas for companies to research online and follow socially as well as recruiters you may want to contact.
Sign up for alerts and newsletters
Think about the best sources of new job information in your industry and make sure you’re signed up for all relevant alerts and newsletters. Many sites allow you to search by relevant criteria such as travel distance and salary band, and receive notifications of new relevant opportunities.
Talk to some recruiters
With their in-depth knowledge of markets and recruitment trends, a good recruiter can be a mine of useful information. They can discuss everything from salary expectations to skill requirements to job hunting tips. Set up a few informal exploratory calls with recruiters that look like a good fit.
Learning something new to add to your CV is always a good idea.
Start updating your knowledge
Make sure you’re on top of trends in your industry, regulatory developments and technological changes. Identify a few key publications that you can trust to keep you informed and make a point of looking at them regularly.
Now is also a good time to start paying attention to current affairs that will impact your industry so you can be well-informed come interview time.
Set aside some daily search time
Set aside a small amount of time each day to dedicate to your new job search and draw up a list of things you want to do every day. This will typically include looking at LinkedIn, checking key job sites, and reading the latest news from key industry publications.
Maximise your LinkedIn presence
The greater your engagement on LinkedIn, the more visible your digital presence. Follow companies and connect with recruiters in sectors and industries that interest you. You can use the Alumni search tool to reach out to valuable connections. Update your LinkedIn status frequently with engaging insights and links, and post relevant articles to boost your profile views.
Spend time ensuring your profile is up to date and worded to maximise your appeal to new employers, complete with a recent photo and details of all your latest experience and expertise. You can also ask contacts to endorse you for skills and leave testimonials.
Take up opportunities at your current job that will boost your appeal to a new employer
There are lots of things you can do in your current job that could also stand you in good stead in your job search. To boost your personal brand online, for example, offer to write blogs and other thought leadership content on behalf of your company. To enhance your skill set, take up any suitable training or development opportunities on offer. Be ready to take on new responsibilities or new areas of work that you can add to your profile.
Widen your skill set
Learning something new to add to your CV is always a good idea. This is particularly important if you’re looking for a job that’s slightly different to what you do now or if you’re worried about a potential gap in your skill set. There’s a wealth of online courses, tutorials and evening classes available. Find out what might be relevant to the job you’re looking for and start learning.
Refresh your CV
If you’ve been working in the same role for years there’s a chance you haven’t opened your CV recently. Make sure to update it before applying for new jobs. Add in all your relevant experience, extra courses you’ve undertaken and other skills you might have developed recently. For more on this, see our article on Refreshing your CV.
Refresh your wardrobe
A smart professional outfit makes a great first impression and inspires confidence. Have a look at your wardrobe and see if you’ve got a killer outfit or whether now might be a good time to invest in a new look.
For further help with preparing to move jobs read our article on how to write a personal brand statement
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