No more excuses – it’s time to get out into that job market! Our 10 point plan will revitalise your job search.
- Take a fresh look at your options: You’re far more likely to succeed in your job hunt if you focus on something you really want to do. Think carefully about what’s important to you, and what you like doing most.Try reading a decent careers advice book such as The Road Less Travelled or Your Best Year Yet to get you on the track.
- Create an action plan: It helps to treat job searching like a mini-job in itself. Try setting aside specific times that you'll dedicate to it, have a strategy for different methods you'll use to find job vacancies, and set yourself measurable goals so you can feel positive about your progress. You might find it helpful to use the Job Search Action Plan template from Women Like Us.
- Dust down your CV: If your job hunt has stalled, chances are your CV isn’t selling you enough. Take a fresh look at the content: does your CV represent you accurately? If it's more than two pages, what can be cut out? It may be you need to lose that beloved role you had back in 1998 – or a couple of those achievements made during your student placement! These days, it’s best to keep one longer length master version of your CV, then edit and tailor it for each role you apply for.
- Get out and about: Job searching is a lonely process and it’s easy to lose motivation. It may be a cliché but fresh air, exercise and good company all improve your mood – and they’re free. Take a walk. Volunteer for a local charity. Sign up for a sponsored run. You never know where you might meet someone who could know of a job that’s right for you.
- Start growing relationships: “Location, location, location!” may be a property mantra, but it can also work well in job hunting. Find a company you admire and would like to work for and start building a relationship with them. Many vacancies don’t get advertised, and if a temporary role or project arises, you’re more likely to be front of mind. Don’t be afraid to connect with employees of this company at networking events, follow them through social media, and then try to reconnect on a regular basis.
- Get with the times: How up to date are you with the latest trends in your business sector? It's easy to let this slip, especially if you've been out of work for a while. Keeping up to date is vital, and it's easy and free to do too - all the news you'll need is accessible free online. Twitter is especially useful for getting the latest news on your sector - you can follow the accounts of key trade publications or industry gurus. You'll feel so much more on-the-ball when it comes to interview, and you might even get some ideas for businesses to approach.
- Update your image: Look professional, feel professional. Appearances count, in more ways than one. There's the impact you make in the first few seconds of an interview. And there's the self-confidence factor of feeling like you fit the job. So treat yourself to a new hair-do and clothes that will make you feel both confident and comfortable at interview.
- Check over your online image too: Think about what your personal email address and social media presence (eg Facebook) says about you - what will they look like to a potential employer? Google your name and see what comes up. Ensure any potentially embarrassing material is private. If you have a wacky sounding name or nickname for your email address, consider setting up a new account specifically for job applications.
- Refresh your LinkedIn profile: If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a great, free opportunity to market yourself. LinkedIn is regularly used by thousands of potential employers. Whatever you do, make sure you add a recent profile picture. There’s really no excuse not to have a photo – a simple pic taken on a smartphone will do. Add your key roles and experience, and ask your current or previous employers to write you a brief recommendation. If that’s not possible, ask a friend who knows you well in a work capacity.
- Remind yourself what's great about you: Finally, sit down with a cup of coffee and do this confidence boosting exercise from Women Like Us. You're a valuable asset to an employer, so it's just a matter of perseverance before you get something.
Happy job hunting!