Originally posted to the British Association of CV Writers (BACVW) website on 2nd August 2021.
Are you at a career crossroads and don’t know what to do?
Are you new to the world of work and don’t know where to look?
The driving force guiding your career must come from you and requires you to clearly think about what you truly want by treating yourself as a business with a product to sell and show why an employer should attract, hire and retain you.
The following steps will ensure that you will be set up for a successful job search before you even start applying.
#1 Know what you are looking for
The key in any career review that will enable you to move forward is to analyse your past, being honest about what was good and what wasn’t so good so that you can plan your future career pathway. This applies even for new entrants into the world of work as you should analyse what you are ideally looking for from a job.
Analyse the why to bring clarity to what the right job will look like for you. Don’t just assume that the grass is always greener…..!
Ask yourself ….
Sometimes roles are not advertised with salaries. The following sites will let you research the average salary for jobs and give you an idea of where the role might be positioned.
Establish a clear vision for what you want your ideal role to be. This will help align your professional interests, aspirations and skills to the jobs that ensure that you perform at your best. What is your wish list for your next role? Try to be specific as this helps narrow down search parameters and means that you are more likely to find your dream role. Would you be content and confident in this role?
#2 Spruce up your documents and social media
Do your CV, LinkedIn Profile and other social media showcase your brand appropriately? Is there anything that could affect your application?
There is a good chance that a future employer will check out your online profiles, both personal and professional, before making a job offer and sometimes even before interviewing. Employers are also using LinkedIn to find candidates.
Do your CV and LinkedIn profile show how you can fix the problem that an employer has? Weave your narrative into what they are looking for. Try to work on your personal brand. Write down what you want to be known for and what you want people to think of when they look at your profiles.
#3 Fill in the gaps
Having completed initial research into your dream role are there any gaps in your knowledge?
Before you start approaching businesses and/or network connections you need to be able to clearly articulate the question “tell me about yourself”. This can be achieved through creating a great elevator pitch which is engaging, short and tells a story clearly and concisely.
#5 Network/schedule informational interviews
70% of jobs are filled by employers using their connections and networks, the so called “hidden jobs market”. Below are some examples of different sources of networking opportunities.
•Colleagues – past and present
•Parents and teachers at children’s schools
•Fellow worshippers at a place of worship
•Volunteers in a community project
•Referrals from people you know
•People from social clubs or sports clubs
•Neighbours – past and present
•Book club members
•Fellow dog walkers
•Online friends in social media groups
•People from other social gatherings
•People you meet in your job search through referrals/cold calling
•People you meet through volunteering, hobbies, community events etc.
#6 Handling job rejections
The journey to finding your dream career may not be a smooth affair. You may be faced with receiving rejections which can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially if you have prepared a lot as it was your dream role. With the right mindset you can turn this is into a career development opportunity which will help you in the future.
In conclusion, the journey to a job could take you between 3-9 months so the overall key is to build resilience – you need to try to develop a thick skin and recognise that things happen for a reason and that it might take time to find and secure your dream job.
BACVW, career journey, career pathways, jobhunting, jobrejection, jobsearch, journeytoajob, thecareerowl
Kathryn Hall "The Career Owl" helps you to explore your career options, whether you are seeking to enter the world of work for the first time, seeking a career change or returning back to work from a career break.