New year, new you, new job?

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho
  • Careers advice expert James Innes talks through the do’s and don’ts of changing jobs.
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If the prospect of going back to work after the New Year fills you with dread, be assured that you are not alone.

So perhaps you should join the millions of other people who have made a New Year Resolution for 2016 to find a new job.

James Innes on finding a new career in 2016.

James Innes on finding a new career in 2016.

It is anticipated that 7.7 million workers will resolve to find a new job in 2016 and, for most of them, the process will inevitably begin in January. But what makes January a good time to look for work?

Well, it is a time of optimism both for employees, who resolve to make a change in 2016, but also for recruiters who have new plans and strategies to deliver for the New Year.

Also, new budgets have been agreed so recruiters can afford to search for and hire new talent.

But with these opportunities come challenges. January is a competitive time in the employment market – lots of people looking means lots of applications for every job role that is advertised. So how do you make sure that you stand out from the crowd?

Is it really a new job or is it simply that you want to change your view of the job you currently have?

James Innes

Before I come onto my tips for getting the ‘dream job in 2016’ firstly think about what you really want. Is it really a new job or is it simply that you want to change your view of the job you currently have?

Some people want their career to be a key focus of their life – they live to work. For others, a job or career is a means to an end – it gives the desired income sufficient for their lifestyle. Many people have never considered which category they fit into.

If, on the other hand, you decide its time to try something new, a good start is to look at the various job sites like www.monster.co.uk or www.reed.co.uk. Many newspapers have good recruitment sections packed with careers advice and current vacancies.

So now to my advice for starting the process of looking for a new job. Here are my top tips for helping you to secure your dream job in 2016:

- Think carefully about what it is that you are really looking for. Is it more money? More responsibility? A change of scenery? Once you know what it is that you really want, you can begin a really focused job search.

- Get your CV up to date and, most importantly, make sure it stands out. Highlight your achievements so that recruiters can see exactly how you have added value in your previous job roles. And emphasise your key skills throughout all sections of your CV. There are companies out there that, for a small fee, will prepare a ‘killer CV’ for you.

- Enhance your LinkedIn profile. In today’s competitive employment market, your online presence is crucial. It is used extensively by recruiters to fill vacancies so make sure your profile is up to date and that all sections are complete and keyword rich.

- Be proactive. Your dream job will not come and find you – you have to get out there and chase it. Using both modern and traditional techniques of job hunting will enhance your chances of success but just as important is networking. Engage with contacts old and new and let them know you are looking for a new job for the New Year.

- Enhance your skills and experience. You can really give yourself an edge in the job market if your skills are up to date and aligned with the types of job you are applying for. So take any opportunity you can to complete more training courses to add to your CV and LinkedIn profile.

- Get applying for jobs. The sooner you bite the bullet and start applying, the sooner you will find yourself being invited for an interview. To optimise your chances of success, do make sure that you tailor your CV and cover letter to each different job role that you apply for.

- Don’t let rejection get you down. With so many people applying for jobs in the New Year, the odd rejection is almost inevitable. But it is important not to get despondent. Dust yourself off and keep on sending those applications out.

- Once you land that all-important interview, make sure you are well prepared! Do your homework on the company you are applying for and prepare answers to the possible questions that they might ask, even the most obscure.

Finding a new job is not easy at any time of the year and January is no different. It can be time-consuming and, at times, demoralising so you need to be patient and persistent.

A resolution is not enough; you need to turn it into a well-defined goal. You need to be clear what you want to achieve – if it’s a new job, what job and where. It needs to be measurable – getting a new job is a clear measure of success, but my advice is to break this down in to steps (revise your CV, gather information and research opportunities, prepare for example).

Be realistic and set achievable goals – it’s a new year so set a time line and monitor it as we move forward into 2016.

Remember, whilst you are out there looking for a new job, the best advice I can give anyone is do take the time to review your current situation. It may be that, with a few simple changes, your existing job could actually turn out to be your dream job after all.

If you are bored, try to learn something new. Ask your boss if you can focus more on the aspects of your job that you enjoy the most. Put yourself forward for new challenges and opportunities. But whatever you do, don’t just sit still and stagnate!

For help on creating a killer CV and LinkedIn profile, and for more great advice on all things careers, follow me on Twitter (@jamesinnes) or visit www.cvcentre.co.uk.