Spring is a great time to review your prospects and decide if you are truly happy on your current career path. If you decide you need a change, then a job hunt may be on the horizon. If you’re ready to get your job search up and running, you’re going to need to make some major preparations before you even think about applying for your first role.
Job hunting is a stressful time. Often because you are either job hunting out of necessity, or you are job hunting while trying to do your current full-time job. To make the process as smooth as possible, preparation is key. Here are just some of the things you should consider before you start your job hunt.
Update Your CV
All job hunts start with a strong CV. When was the last time you looked at yours? We nearly always neglect our CV when we are in work, which means all job hunts should start by getting back to basics.
Check that you’ve added all relevant experience from your current role. Update your qualifications if you have added anything new. Make sure you get rid of any old experience which may have been on there to pad things out earlier in your career.
Once everything is up to date, think about the design. Is the information clearly presented? Is it easy to scan and digest the information quickly? People don’t read CVs, they scan them, so make sure that you don’t bury the most important information.
And finally, have a friend check it for spelling mistakes and glaring errors. Nothing will kill your job prospects faster than a poorly written CV. There’s not much point telling a prospective employer that you have a keen eye for detail if you can’t even spell detail.
Outline your goals
Why do you want to try a new role? What’s missing in your current role? What do you want from your next role? Do you want to work for a large or small company? Do you want to move into a management role or stay behind the scenes? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before starting the job hunt.
Make a list of the ideal companies you would want to work for and then pick apart what makes them so perfect. Do they offer a good work/life balance? Do they offer training? Do they have good employee benefits? Once you have brainstormed your ideal role and where you would like to continue your career, the real work begins.
Start by approaching relevant employment agencies to let them know that you are actively looking for work. Be specific about what you are looking for so that they can match you with companies you are more likely to be excited to work for.
This is particularly important if you are still in full-time work as you will want to reduce the number of interviews with companies that are a poor match. If you are unemployed and seeking, you might be more willing to meet with companies that don’t exactly match your requirements.
Get on LinkedIn and see if any of your connections work at companies you would like to speak to. Don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction or a recommendation. Networking is key to expanding your circle and opening new doors in your career.
Recruiters will often want to know within a few hours if you are interested in an opportunity, so make sure you are able to check your emails frequently. Don’t assume that opportunities will still be around if you don’t get back to people in a timely manner.
Be prepared for companies to want to pre-screen you with a phone conversation. This can be difficult to manage if you are in full-time work, so use your lunch breaks wisely. Bring lunch to work than you can eat quickly and then excuse yourself from the office to handle any phone calls. Above all else, be respectful to your current employer as this is something that prospective employers will pick up on. If you say you’re late back from lunch but you don’t care, this can be a huge red flag.
Don’t expect results overnight. Even the very best and most in-demand candidates can be on the market for two to three weeks, so don’t expect your search to be over in a few days.