Job hunting today has got to do more than just emailing your CV and cover letter. Make sure you stand out on paper and online too.
The start of the year is always a time when many people think about getting a new job. New Year’s resolutions prompt thoughts of a change of direction or desire for promotion, while many companies also choose to list open positions earlier in the year so that they can boost their team and work on achieving their business goals for the months ahead.
If you’re keen to go on a job search over the coming weeks, read on for some helpful tips that you can follow today to help make the hunt for your dream job shorter.
Step 1: Make Your CV standout
The first step to getting a new position in a short timeframe is making sure that your CV stands out. After all, this will be the first thing that HR managers or employers typically see when they’re comparing candidates, so it really needs to make you stand out from your competition for all the right reasons.
Your CV needs to include all of the new accomplishments or skills you have recently attained or new areas of responsibility or tasks that you have been in charge of.
There are a few things to consider here, such as the fact that your document needs to be scannable. Recruiters look at dozens of CVs each day, and as a result don’t have enough time to read each word on a page. Instead, they skim through documents to search for core qualifications, skills and experience needed for the role. If they can’t see this within around a minute or less, they’ll simply put your CV down and move onto the next.
What to do:
Ensure they spot everything they need to quickly, by setting out your CV with multiple sub-headings. Also, put the most relevant information (such as your best successes during your career, your education, and your top positions) in the first section that they see.
Fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri are a good idea. Make the font of your CV a decent size so that readers don’t have to squint to make out the words. Leave plenty of white space (the areas with no text) on each page too, so that people reading your document don’t get overwhelmed as they pore over the information.
If you want to avoid making the kinds of simple yet common mistakes that so many other people do, consider making use of professional resume writing services. There are many great companies out there who specialise in helping candidates to put their best foot forward when it comes to preparing a resume, and their services can help you to speed up the job search substantially.
Step 2: Build Your Connections and Your Brand
Next, you can hear about jobs before they’re advertised and get a jump on the competition, as well as be more likely to be introduced to key recruiters and employers, if you build up a comprehensive network of connections in your industry.
It certainly pays to develop relationships with human resources people who specialise in your area, as well as key contacts at the types of businesses where you would like to work. This will enable you to hear about upcoming positions before they become available, and make it more likely that your name will get put forward for top jobs.
While in-person networking at industry events and the like is also beneficial, don’t forget to take advantage of social media too. Networking websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be a great place to digitally meet other professionals in your field. Being active on these sites can also help you to showcase your expertise in your field, as well as your experience and skill set, and be a spot to declare your interest in landing a new job.
On social media sites, you should make sure that your profiles contain all the necessary information about your qualifications and background, and that you use the same details, images, logos, fonts and language type across the various sites so that you achieve consistency for your personal brand. Let people see who you are, what knowledge you have, what you would be like to work with, and more. As well, don’t be afraid to join conversations with relevant individuals and groups, whenever you can add value.
Step 3 Use the Resources Available to You
Lastly, keep in mind that you likely have a variety of resources available to you that you can use to shorten your job hunt. For example, you might be able to use client testimonials, and reference letters or posts from past colleagues or employers, to shout out your sought-after qualities and generate more interest from those doing the hiring.
Let your contacts know that you’re searching for a new role, and the type of position you’re after, so that they can suggest you for roles or tee up direct referrals to relevant recruiters or employers they may know.
Tiffany Rowe is a writer for Seek Visibility, contributing regularly to Careers24’s career advice section, with a focus on the finance sector. She is passionate about developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.