How to Land Your Next Job
In this (slightly longer) article, we’re going to tell you how you can land your next job.
Whether you’re just starting out in the industry or whether you’re looking to progress on to your next challenge, following these steps will help you to find, and land the job you want and deserve.
Before you even start applying for jobs, go back to the basics.
- Start by Identifying up to 5 industries that would suit you. There are many industries out there to choose from, and they are all entirely different in their own right. Establishing industries that you’d feel comfortable working in is a good starting point. For example, the defence sector doesn’t suit everyone.
- Then Identify up to 5 things you want from your next job. Perhaps you want to work with more data, maybe do less coding, or do more coding. Maybe you’d like flexible hours, or to work remotely or more money. Identifying what it important to you early on in your job search will mean you’re only investing your time to create applications for jobs that are of genuine interest to you.
- Next, Identify the skills you have to offer. Take a piece of paper and write down any and all of your qualifications, professional achievements, awards, any certifications you have, and your hard skills. (Hard skills are skills that can be defined and measured.) You can then use this list to help you update your CV.
- Identify what makes you valuable to a company. Think beyond your work experience and qualifications here. Take another piece of paper and write down the things that make you valuable. Perhaps it’s your leadership skills, teamwork, or communication skills.
- Update your CV. You can learn about how to create a stand out CV here – we’ve even made you a free CV template! Use your thoughts from points 3 and 4 to help you update your CV. There are some additional points to consider:
- Always include your contact information, including name, phone number and email. You’d be surprised how many CV’s we see with none of these things. How are we meant to contact you to discuss the role if you have left no contact details?
- Stick to including only relevant information.
- This one is crucial – tailor your CV to each job that you’re applying for. This will take time, but you will be much more likely to be noticed amongst the crowd.
- Spellcheck and proof read your CV. Several times. When I receive a CV riddled with spelling and grammatical errors (which is too often), I can’t help but think “If this is how they’re presenting they’re CV, is much pride and attention going to go into this role they’re applying for?” – especially if it’s a role with a high-level salary. Every device has free spell check software installed, there is no excuse for incorrect spelling on your CV. None.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. And remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so keep anything you post there professional. Potential employers will be looking at your page to find out more about you, don’t give them the wrong impression. Make your headline clear and concise, and optimise the use of the summary section by writing about the past, the present and your future goals.
Where you talk about your previous experience, focus on skills relevant to the role you’re looking to obtain, be passionate and show what you can bring to the table.
- Identify job boards relevant to the industry you want to work in. Some job boards are more niche than others. Job boards like Reed for example are very broad in the sectors they cover meaning a very wide variety of jobs across many industries, whereas CW Jobs for example is specifically for IT and Tech jobs only. They will each attract different types of companies to advertise their vacancies there. An IT services company is more likely to advertise on CW Jobs, whereas a role within an IT team at an accounting company for example, would be more likely to be advertised on Reed. It’s worth finding 3-4 job boards that suit your industry preferences to begin your search, it will help you to review only job vacancies relevant to you.
- Tailor your CV to each application and include a cover letter. This may feel longwinded, but its worth the investment of your time. You don’t have to make big changes to your CV each application, just try and ensure that you have demonstrated that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. In your cover letter, stray away from talking purely about ‘I did this, I did that’ – talk instead about your motivations for applying for this job, how you can help the organisation and what skills you bring.
Where possible address your cover letter to the hiring manager and close with something along the lines of “I look forward to hearing from you”.
- Apply to jobs that are relevant to your experience, skills or genuine ambitions. An example. I was recently recruiting for a mid-level Software Tester role, I received over 130 applications in a few days. Just over 60 of those applicants had never worked in software testing, or even in IT. They were administrators, office workers, retail workers, etc. It is not realistic to apply for jobs that you have no relevant skills or experience with and expect to receive an interview, let alone the job.
It can be deflating when you receive a barrage of rejection emails. By only applying to jobs that are relevant, you may find that your success rate in obtaining interviews is higher and you’ll feel less deflated by your job hunt.
- Practice your pitch. By yourself, with a friend or colleague, whatever works for you. By properly preparing for an interview you’re giving yourself the best chance of success. It will help if you research the company and the job you’re being interviewed for to make sure you understand; what they do as a company, their values, their products, their mission etc. In addition, be clear in your understanding of what the role involves, the skills required and why you would make the best candidate for the job. Remember, you want to demonstrate how you can add value to their company, provide examples of how you can do that.
We hope you find these tips helpful.
We are Novate IT. We work closely with employers across the UK and Europe, supporting them to improve their recruitment practices, to attract and retain the talent needed to develop and sustain their businesses in the long term.
Join us on our ‘Crusade Against Poor Recruitment Practices’ – you can read our previous articles here: www.novate-it.co.uk/blog
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