So. You’ve made your mind up. It’s time to find a new job.
Maybe you want more money. More responsibility. More security.
Maybe you need a new challenge. Or want a lifestyle change.
Maybe the coffee in your office is just really bad.
Whatever the reason, there are certain things you might be able to do at the start of your job-hunt to improve your chances.
Here’s a basic tick-list…
Although not every employer asks for a CV, there are plenty that do.
The trouble is, we often neglect our resumé during steady periods of employment, only to find it horribly outdated when we need it again (and then find ourselves trying to quickly cobble something together).
If you can, it’s worth getting it ship-shape before you start your job-hunt.
Tip: get your basic CV written, and then try tweaking it a little to suit each job you apply for.
Many employers ask for references from at least two people before hiring.
Instead of waiting until you’re asked, consider approaching potential referees at the start of your job-hunt.
Put them on standby to provide references when called upon (unless of course, you don’t want them to know you’re looking for a job yet).
Tip: if you’re on good terms, ask if they’ll provide you with a couple of sentences for your CV.
If you dip in and out of LinkedIn, the chances are you haven’t looked at your profile for a while. Not good. Update it.
Tip: still in college or uni? Start building your LinkedIn network now.
There are loads of websites and apps that can help you find job opportunities.
Some advertise most types of jobs (like Monster and Indeed), while others offer more niche services.
Do some homework and see which sites could be best for you.
Tip: read this article for ideas on where to get started – 5 Sites to Help With Your Job-Hunt.
If you’re already employed, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your current job.
Like how much notice you’d have to give. One week? One month? Two months?
Tip: has your current employer funded you through any study or training? Check if there’s anything you’ll have to pay back if you leave.
If you get an interview, you might need to take along proof of qualifications, training, membership of professional bodies and so on.
Save yourself a headache and get them together now.
Tip: if you’ve lost any certificates, look into whether you can get copies. It could be worth the effort in the long-run.
It’s fairly easy to get an insight into what it’s like to work for many large and medium sized employers.
A lot of job-search websites feature reviews by current and former employees, for example.
If you’re interested in particular employers, do some digging. Try to gauge if you’d be a good fit with the company culture.
Tip: treat reviews with healthy scepticism. If one or two people say it’s a bad place to work, well…it’s just one or two people. But if a whole bunch say it, maybe you should listen to that noise in your head. It’s an alarm bell.
Sometimes, it helps to have a trusted mentor who already works in the type of role you’d like.
Someone who can provide insight into what employers look for, and how to pitch your resumé or job application.
Tip: maybe one of your referees could help?
You know that video you tweeted - where you’re dancing on a bar with a sock on your head? Best take it down maybe?
Who knows the truth, but some people say more and more employers are discreetly looking for content on the internet about (or by) potential candidates.
And unless you want to be a bar-dancer specialising in unusual head-wear, that video won’t help.
Tip: keep your professional and personal lives separate on social media. And even then, be mindful about what you post and share among personal networks. If you think a potential employer wouldn’t like it, think twice.
We’ve done it again. We can’t think of a tenth tip. We’re sorry.
If you enjoyed this article, check out How to Handle a Job Interview – for some top tips on how to shine in those scary interview situations.