With a new year now upon us, you may be feeling like a change is in need. If this involves looking for a new job or embarking on a new career path entirely, we have compiled 10 simple tips to help you with your search.
1. Cultivate your network
If you are in the process of searching for a new job, building yourself a wide network of industry professionals could be very beneficial. One of the most popular platforms for doing so is LinkedIn which allows users to find and connect with people from all sectors. Building a network both virtually and in-person is important and should be prioritised when job hunting.
Tap in to any strong connections that you may already have as it could lead to an opportunity not yet in the public domain; it’s also a great way to beat the influx of applications that are likely to be received once the job is advertised publicly.
Also remember, now that Covid restrictions have eased, industry events are back up and running. If you have a company in mind which you would like to join, these are a great way to meet companies face to face.
Even if the team on the stand aren’t the right people to speak with, they should be able to give you some tips and advice on how to succeed during the application process as they were once in your position.
2. Consider all your options
Most people will have a preference as to the status of employment they are looking for and usually the reason for this is financially motivated. However, it is always worth evaluating your circumstances and if you can, opening yourself to the idea of working part-time, freelance or on a self-employed basis.
These aren’t decisions to be rushed and researching each option thoroughly beforehand is advisable as there are pros and cons to each option;
Freelancing will give you the flexibility to control your own working hours and therefore could result in a better work-life balance, however taxes can be much harder to work out if you work on this basis.
Working part-time will enable you to dedicate more time to pursue other interests but may result in you feeling pressured to complete the same work-load in less time.
Self-employment will give you more creative freedom in your role but can mean you lack in employee benefits such as sick pay and bonus schemes.
Taking all pros and cons into consideration is important, but if you are in the position where you can be more flexible over your employment status, it will present you with an increased number of career opportunities.
3. Register with a recruitment agency
If you aren’t sure where to begin with your job search, signing up to a recruitment agency is a good place to start. Here at Spencer Clarke Group, we work across eight disciplines including, Accountancy & Finance, Education & SEND and Health & Social Care.
By signing up to a recruitment agency you are essentially allowing them to match-make you with the perfect job so that the hard work is taken off your hands.
You will gain additional insight into how the recruitment process works and being part of an agency means you can discover job opportunities which haven’t yet been posted online.
Recruitment agencies are also a great way to find temporary and contract placements as well as permanent roles.
4. Set up job alerts
When you register with a recruitment agency like Spencer Clarke Group, you will have the option to sign up for job alerts; these are email notifications which will contain jobs personalised to your specified search criteria.
You could choose to filter your email notifications by job type, salary, location, sector or the frequency of how often you would like to be notified.
By turning on job alerts, you have the advantage of being able to send your CV as soon as the position is published.
Setting up job alerts will also save you valuable time which means you can put more time into crafting the perfect application.
5. Make your CV stand out
Companies who receive multiple applications for one role are unlikely to spend a vast amount of time reading your entire CV.
In fact, a report by Undercover Recruiter found that recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds looking at a CV before making a decision on the suitability of a candidate. Therefore, make it clear right at the top of your CV as to why you are a good match for the role to give them a good reason to continue reading your CV.
If a job advert has caught your eye and you aren’t sure whether you have the right skills and experience, there are a few unwritten rules to consider.
Job adverts will usually split experience into ‘must have’ and ‘desirable’ experience. If it clearly states that you must have certain qualifications and experience, you will probably be wasting your time applying if you do not have the right credentials.
Preferable skills and experience are credentials that the employer would prefer but it isn’t a mandatory requirement. The more preferable skills you have, the higher chance you will have of securing an interview.
6. Prepare for a different kind of interview process
The effects of the pandemic mean that more employers are now choosing to carry out at least the first stage of an interview process via a virtual call. There are both pros and cons to this and whilst you may feel less pressure through a camera lense, the process of carrying out an interview virtually can risk technical issues occuring.
To be prepared for this, check that all of your technical equipment is in working order and that you have a strong internet connection. You don’t want a technical glitch to throw you off and affect how you perform in the interview.
You should also consider that just because you might not be in the same room as your interviewer, it is still important to present yourself in a smart manner. First impressions count, so be sure to dress smartly like you would for a face-to-face interview and to pay attention to your surroundings.
A virtual interview will give a hiring manager an insight into your home life through their computer lense, so a clean and tidy background is advised.
7. Don’t focus solely on the salary
An increase in salary is one of the main motivating factors when it comes to looking for a new job; however sometimes it is worth weighing up if taking a lower salary job will benefit you in other ways.
You should also take into account other factors such as the work-life balance a job will provide you with, the values of a company, potential job progression and the stability of the company. Whilst earning a higher wage may offer you more financial security, considering these other factors could result in increased overall job satisfaction for you.
8. Learn a new skill
As well as the professional skills, employers are also going to be looking at what else you have to offer them. If a particular job that you have applied for has seen many applicants offering similar levels of experience, having an additional skill could make you stand out from other candidates and work in your favour.
Joining a group or carrying out some volunteering work is a great way to learn a new skill and will also give you something additional to talk about on your CV.
Whilst employers will be most interested in the professional experience you can offer them, they will also want to see a personal side to you reflected on your application.
Industries may differ in terms of the hard skills they require, but soft skills can be transferable and including as many of these as possible on your CV will benefit you. Soft skills include attributes like good time management, strong communication and great team leadership.
9. Check your online presence
During the application process, some employers may take it upon themselves to delve deeper into your online presence. They may do this before you even reach an interview stage, so making sure you represent yourself professionally across platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is important.
Over 90% of employers admit to looking at candidate's online profiles so a quick Google of yourself to check what they will find is advisable. You wouldn’t want something from 10 years ago on your Facebook page jeopardising your chances of being invited for an interview.
You may decide to change the security settings of any social media pages that you don’t wish for them to find.
10. Follow up with hiring managers and thank them for their time
If you have applied for a role and you haven’t heard back from the employer there is no harm in initiating follow up communication with them. This will show to the employer that you are keen and if they have received many applications, it may bring yours to the forefront again.
If you have progressed to the interview stage, it is a good idea to send an email to the person who conducted your interview to thank them for their time and to reiterate your interest in the role.
The best case is that you will only need to send one email, thanking them for their time, however, if weeks have passed by and you are yet to be updated, a second follow up email is recommended.
If you will be starting off 2022 searching for a new job, we hope these 10 simple tips will come in handy! Good luck!
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors, offering permanent, temporary, contract and fixed term opportunities.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction & Trades
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Technical & Engineering
If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?
One of our Recruitment Consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you.
Alternatively, you can discover more here or submit your vacancy by visiting here.