It’s the start of a new year, and you know what that means – time to start looking for a new job!
January is the most popular month of the year for job-hunting, so you’d better make sure that you’re prepared for things to move quickly.
Here’s a checklist of all the things you should do to avoid rushing half-cocked into a job hunt.
1. Figure out why exactly you want to leave your current job
This will help you work out what you want from your next job. Perhaps you’re frustrated by a lack of responsibility or career progression. Maybe you want a whole new change of career. Or maybe you just want a job that’s closer to home. Before you start job hunting, you should know what you need out of your new job.
2. Get your CV updated
Don’t just roll out the same old CV you used when you last looked for a job five years ago, and don’t just list everything chronologically. Pick out the skills and experiences you have that are most relevant to your ideal job and make sure that they’re front and centre in your CV.
3. Create a cover letter template
Your cover letter should be tailored for every role you apply for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a generic version already prepared and ready to be adapted at a moment’s notice.
4. Get a haircut
You need to get yourself interview-ready, so it’s a good time to get your hair cut, polish your shoes and make sure you have the appropriate outfit for the job and industry you have in mind (i.e. the finance industry will expect you to dress more formally than the media industry will).
5. Tidy up your public social media profiles
Make sure they’re up-to-date (especially LinkedIn) and set a suitable professional profile picture. A picture of you in fancy dress with a drink in your hand is probably not the right message to send out to potential employers.
6. Update your portfolio/blog/website
This is particularly important if you are looking for a creative role. There’s no point sending employers a link to a portfolio that hasn’t been updated since 2013.
7. Research job sites/recruitment agencies
Identify the best places to find the sort of jobs you’re looking for, and register with them or create a profile on their site. Don’t rush the registration process – it will be the first impression that employers or agencies have of you. Make sure to avoid spelling mistakes in any online forms you have to fill out.
Now you’re ready to start applying for new jobs! Good luck!