I have dealt with a multitude of people who are searching for their next role over the last twenty years of my career. Surprisingly, most people do not get the basic steps right when embarking on their job search. I thought it would be worthwhile to identify what I feel is best practice to help prepare you to begin your job search.
This blog covers what you need to do before you even make your first job application. Think about it like preparing for a marathon (or hopefully a 100-metre sprint). You would not go into a marathon without preparation and, likewise, you should not start a job search without preparation.
1.Identify why you are looking and what you are looking for:
This might seem overly simplistic but “being ready for a change” is not a good enough reason to start a job search – be specific! Likewise, if you are being forced to make a change, say if you are going through a redundancy, it is a perfect time to assess where you are going – be discerning!
You need to be pragmatic and you need to also build skills that will help “future proof” your career. The market for jobs, particularly senior roles is extremely competitive so you need to be aware of what you bring to the table but also what skills you want to develop. Try our Career Optimiser to help you clarify your career goals and identify what skills you need to focus on and develop.
2.Write a top-notch CV:
Your CV is often the first impression prospective employers will have of you. It’s your chance to “open the door” for an interview. Generally, once you have been vetted by your technical fit from a CV it will be your soft skills that determine the outcome so it’s vitally important to get your CV right to get your foot in the door. There are lots of CV templates available online to build a CV that suits you and the role you are wanting to get so don’t waste time on design – spend time on getting the content right. Here are our tips on how to write a powerful Executive Resume. Do not just refresh your last CV!
3. Create a professional LinkedIn profile:
Your LinkedIn profile does not need to be lengthy but it does need to be professional and punchy. You need an up to date, professional quality photo and a catchy headline and descriptive profile summary. Put down all your relevant employment and education experience but don’t just reiterate every detail on your entire CV. Struggling to create CVs and Linked In profiles? Our friends at BNY are experts at creating the perfect LinkedIn profile.
4. Research ALL your digital profiles:
I don’t even have a Facebook account but I advise you to do a social media audit. Remember many prospective employers will google your name as a potential employee. There is nothing wrong with having a photo of you dancing on top of a table at the Mooserwirt in St Anton, Austria (if you haven’t you should…) but there is a fine line as to how this could be interpreted by a future employer. I would check all privacy settings and clean your digital footprint.
5.Review your personal brand and presentation
A big part of the process of applying for a new role or getting your next promotion is determining what your personal brand is. There are personal brand development courses available to help you build a strong personal brand and create a strong presence. Before you even think about heading off to your first interview, remember “First impressions last”. It is also important that your personal attire and presentation is appropriate. It’s not your wedding day that you’re preparing for but there is a happy middle ground when it comes to how you present yourself. If your business attire has not been updated in a while, make the investment and do so. If it’s not conservative and professional do not wear it. It is difficult to change your technical experience but it is easy to dress and look professional.
Hopefully, these tips help get you prepared to start your next job search for your next dream role. Once you have completed your preparation, you can then look at how to run your job search like a pro.