New Year, New Job: Advice for jobseekers in 2016

As we all celebrate another year, good intentions and ambitious plans are in circulation. For many employees and job seekers, a new year can bring hope and new prospects that can give rise to fresh starts in the workplace. Whether you are looking to move on from your current position or need that push onto the career ladder, self-promotion has never been easier for those who know how to market themselves online. Follow these top tips to create a polished and more professional you in 2016 to find success.

CV Amendments

Your CV and covering letter are integral marketing tools that should not be overlooked. While every CV and covering letter is different – depending on your industry and skill sets – your CV and covering letter should be concise and structured in a way that showcases your entire working life in an easy-to-read way. If you’re not sure of the language that should be used, take references from online examples and advice pages or the CVs of friends and family members. Remember that an employer will scan your CV quickly so keyword optimisation and a clutter-free layout are paramount. While your CV should be formed of short points, your covering letter can flesh out your working life and personality traits that would lend themselves to a particular role, e.g. good communication skills for a customer services position. Once a basic CV and covering letter has been created, it is important to take the time to insert or change keywords to tailor the content to a job application. While this can be time consuming, many employers now use filters to find the right candidates for them based on a job advert. Finally, name the company in your covering letter to give a personable touch.

Online Branding

Recruitment has evolved over recent years from handing in a printed CV and interview first impressions to an arena that is based online. Job hunting has now become akin to any marketing campaign with personal branding at the helm. At the forefront of this drive is the power of social media, most notably LinkedIn. The professional networking site is the perfect online forum for recruiters, job seekers and employers across the country and overseas to exchange communications. Improving your personal profile is an excellent way to get noticed and stand out from the crowd. Create a compelling and insightful biography followed by an updated list of your qualifications, skills and awards. As your connections accumulate, your online visibility will increase – it’s that simple. While you wait for recruiters to take notice, job applications can be sent and groups can be joined. You can even send personal messages to employers in your chosen fields to show initiative. Like your CV, base profile content on the language used in job postings to heighten optimisation.

Get Creative

Use your spare time between jobs to spread your creative wings. One of the best ways to showcase your know-how is to start an online blog that is constantly updated with the latest goings-on from your world and the world around you. You can then use your LinkedIn profile and other social media pages to promote your blog and gain followers. Although this is a good initial strategy to attract employers, the blog could turn into a long-term project that can boost your earnings through advertising and link building to affiliate websites. Whether you choose to write on a niche topic or build a more general content base, the focus for any blog is to create exciting and interesting content that is not only readable but shareable.

Practice Interview Techniques

Sooner or later, you will need to come out from behind your computer screen and make a physical appearance. According to statistics in 2012, 65% of employers claimed that clothing could be a deciding hiring factor while only 7% of employers focused on what a candidate said during the first impressions stage in an interview. Non-verbal mistakes in an interview include hair and face touching, failing to smile and displaying bad posture. Whichever statistics you choose to focus on, the most important point in the survey of 2000 bosses was that they knew within the first 90 seconds whether they will hire that person. Although these figures can be daunting, becoming overwhelmed can only make things worse. Like any test, preparation is the key to success. By the time you reach the day of the interview, you should know the company like you already work there, with questions and answers prepared.

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