Here is a simple set of tips to help you get a new job in 2017, please.
#1 Upgrade your CV.
Yes, that simple! Make sure please that your CV is relevant (to the job that you are applying for) and up-to-date. Keep its lenth if possible under 2 pages (rarely, you might be excused’ to use 3)’- remember ‘less is more’, so go for quality and not for quantity. Or as Americans say: “‘keep it short and sweet’.
Also, please make sure that if you insist in using an objective section of your CV (I personally can’t recommend it), that is relevant to the job you are applying; ie if it is a job in Accounting (and assuming that you are qualified to apply) your objective shouldn’t be that you want to become eventually a Child Psychologist (yes, this is a real example we had).
Just customize your CV to the job announcement that you are responding too.
#2 Update your LinkedIn Profile.
Yes, if you are a shortlisted candidate, we look at it. Also a lot of time we use LinkedIn to ‘find’ you or get in touch with you.
So, it is essential that your LinkedIn Profile is an ‘All Star’ profile, as LinkedIn themselves ‘call it’, and that it is in synch with your CV.
Besides looking for keywords that match a role, we look carefully at which skills you have listed for endorsements and the also at the number of connections that you have.
#3 Use a Cover Letter
Don’t be lazy- always send a cover letter (also known as motivational letter) when you submit your CV. It does make a difference, especially if you are applying for a role that you are not 100% qualified or when you are looking for a career change.
#4 ‘MOOC’ yourself up.
In 2017, there are so many good MOOCs and a lot of them cost nothing for you to attend/ follow. So, besides lack of motivation, you have no valid excuse for you not to sharpen up your current skillset with some fresh knowledge.
Google please Coursera, edX, Open2Study, FutureLearn, etc.
MOOC Tip: if you plan to enter the nonprofit sector, follow all 7 courses of the Philanthropy University (Philanthropy.org), please.
#5 Go prepared to your interviews.
Let me give you a real example. A couple of weeks ago we have a Lady candidate applying for a Social Media vacancy with zero experience on that field. This is what Maame actually did:
-She had a strong clear cover letter, relevant, focused and to the point, that convinced us to considered her as a candidate and invite her for a prescreening interview.
-Meanwhile, she showed initiative by taking a few relevant MOOCs.
-She also spent time googling the company she had the interview with
-She also google things like ‘current changes in social media’, ‘challenges/ issues in advertising companies’ (the client is an advertising company), etc.
-She also carefully prepared a set of 5-7 excellent questions for her interview with the client.
She was the one who got the job and not any of the other 4 qualified & experienced candidates that were interviewed by the client.
#6 Let people know that you are job-hunting.
Simply reach out please to your professional network, friends, family, ex-classmates or ex- colleagues; neighbours too.
Let them know that you are looking. Ask them for advise and help – never for a job.
According to a 2015 study (by iCIMS – a recruitment software company), they found out that nearly a quarter of employees stemmed from referrals.
#7 Don’t let a JD discourage you
When someone writes a JD (Job Description), they list all skills and attributes describing the ideal, the perfect candidate. But s/he might not exist.
With a few common-sense exemptions (e.g. they want a Lady to sell cosmetics for example), if you realistically think that you can do that job, fine-tune your CV to show the relevant & transferable skills and make sure you write an exceptionally good email (cover letter) explaining with ‘facts & evidence’ why you think that you can do that job.
Job descriptions are rarely strict guidelines.
#8 Get a Mentor or a Coach, if applicable.
Sometimes, we see that even exceptionally senior candidates – especially the ones doing a career change, need coaching or career counseling. You can hire a professional to help you or just simply get a mentor from your professional or personal network. If you are going to pay for such a set of career guidance services, please make sure that you choose wisely –losing your money is one thing, getting bad advice and fake hopes is a lot more damaging for a job-hunter.
#9 ‘Thank you’ Follow- ups
Whenever you meet anyone, keep in mind that this person has put aside his/her time to meet you. So do appreciate that, be grateful and thank them.
In a professional meeting, someone invited you (they didn’t have to), invested time and hope in talking with/to you (if they didn’t hope that you are a match, you would have not been invited) and they even offered you tea, or mineral water or something else to drink.
Kindly show actively your appreciation by following up that meeting with a brief (but well-written) ‘Thank you’ message or ideally email, within 24 hrs (that’s the standard protocol- not my rule).
I trust that these tips all put together in a single posting, will empower your 2017 Job Search!
Good Luck, please + a very very Happy 2017 !!