2017 is here so make this your best job search year ever!

 job search
Having to job search, whether you’re still in employment or not, is always a stressful time. Checking and double checking your CV, scrolling through ads, constantly questioning if the next one will be the one. It doesn’t help that the goal posts seem to be constantly moving and changing. The highly valued skills of last year are no longer as desirable as they used to be. It can be hard to know which way to turn. So let’s take hold of the clichéd, yet motivating, ‘New Year, New You’ and apply it to your job search. Approach it with fresh, clear ideals and make 2017 the year you achieve your goals and land a job you love in your best job search year ever.

1. Carry out a career self-assessment


Take time to reflect and look inward

Look inwards before you look forwards. Sit and do a full career assessment. Look at where you are now and where you want to be in the future. What is making you job search? Is it the job itself, the environment or perhaps a lack of promotion opportunities? Once you can analyse and see what your current job is lacking then you can see what you truly want. Monique Valcour, PhD and executive coach talks about how passion is the key to fuelling your dream job search:
This is the most fundamental part of your strategy. Energy and interest are to your career path what the North Star is to celestial navigators. Paying attention to what engages and excites you, what lights you up, and what stimulates your intellect points you toward the tasks and situations that enable you to be your best self. That’s where you will thrive.

2. Reflect on what you have to offer

best job search

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and do a thorough self assessment

Now that you’ve looked at your current role, turn your new reflective eye on yourself. Utilise the 3Plus career reflection worksheets to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Work out what your personal development needs are. Do you have brilliant interpersonal skills, but need to update your software training? By sitting and working these out point by point you can not only identify what to highlight to an employer but also start taking steps before you hit the interview stage. Showing that you are willing to learn and improve yourself in your own time will be a great sign to potential employers. 3Plus also offer a career audit service which can help you even further:
Carried out by Skype or in person, this career audit is a 2 hour personal coaching session which involves an analysis of your career and assessment of your career to date, with an in-depth review of all your achievements and successes. You will receive a comprehensive written report, as well as reports from the psychometric testing.

3. What’s the dream?


Now you’ve done some deep searching its time to work out what your dream job really is, then search for it. Sit down with reflection sheets and audit notes and ask yourself the right questions.
  • What will make me happy day-to-day?
  • Where do I want to be in 5 years?
  • What salary do I need to aim for to meet my goals and vision of myself?

Once you’ve got the answers to these questions you can limit your search. Make a list of target companies and organisations that are in line with your goals values and vision. This will help you get to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to aim high and go for what you really want. Gilly Weinstein, Executive Coach, talks about how a fear of failure can prevent us from following a heart based career and end up in the same old rut, day in and day out:

Fear of getting it wrong can be a killer, a thwarter of initiative, a formidably paralyzing force. I’ve seen what a stranglehold this fear can have on even the brightest people’s growth. It is only when we shed (even partially, even temporarily) the old fear of making a mistake, or the desire to achieve a perfect score card on all fronts, that we can bring more aliveness to our careers, and indeed, our lives! Next time you can, dare to throw a bit of that well-distilled caution to the winds, listen to what your gut is whispering, and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to make a heart based career decision.

4. The fall back


A back up plan isn't failure it's vital

A back up plan isn’t failure it’s vital

Now even though you’re planning and aiming for your dream job, you need to have a fall back, for now. Work out your best plan of action if your dream position doesn’t present itself immediately. Work out your negotiables, what positions you’re likely to get and will be happy in for now. Be flexible and prepared to make allowances. Dorothy Dalton, Talent Management Strategist talks about how having a Plan B and making allowances can be okay. You may need to take a few steps to get where you want to be. Compromising doesn’t mean taking your eye off your long term goals and most of us have bills to pay. Don’t get seduced by celebrity memes telling you otherwise.
Freelance or project work may not be the ideal prospect, but it is better than nothing. Try and leverage these assignments to create other opportunities. Get a good understanding of where your requirements lie on the market. Emphasize your added value but also be clear that non-financial considerations are equally important. Do this without selling your soul and negotiate hard for fringe benefits.

5. Does your CV need updating?

Make the important info on your CV easy to find

Make the important info on your CV easy to find

If  your skills may need a brush up,  your CV may need a refresh. Firstly you should be creating a customised CV for each application. You don’t have to start from scratch but make sure you read the job spec and then use language from it your CV. If you’re serious about a position a copy and paste job won’t cut it; take the time to make sure you show the recruiter exactly why you’re perfect for the job. Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds looking over a CV so you need to make sure it makes an impact. Use the top paragraph to immediately outline what experience makes you the person they’re looking for. Dorothy also has some advice about how to use this valuable retail space on your CV:
Currently any recruiter, hiring manager or search specialist will spend about 8 seconds looking at your mission statement, attempting to establish what you have achieved in your career to date and  to ascertain if can you can transfer that success  to their client. Use that space wisely to sell yourself to draw the reader in to the body of your CV and after that to secure an interview.

6. Your CV isn’t the only representation of you

Communicate via LinkedIn

Make yourself findable and make sure your profile is up to date

If a recruiter does take an interest in your CV, their next port of call will be your LinkedIn and online profiles. Make sure these are not only up to date but also professional in all aspects.Your cyber footprint could make or break a recruiters opinion of you. Sit and evaluate how you present yourself as an online brand. Do you have your most relevant experience front and centre? The best job search  techniques mean that recruiters don’t have to hunt for the information they need the most. Do you have a professional picture? Blurry selfies or something a bit saucy won’t win you any favours. Make sure it’s clear, flattering and shows you in professional attire. Don’t forget about your Facebook either. Job seekers are learning to utilise Facebook for job searches but recruiters are also taking advantage of the social media site, so make sure there’s nothing on their that could damage your chances (and take advantage of the ‘friends only’ setting).
Sarah Arrow, a renowned blogger lends her expert advice on how to use LinkedIn to maximum advantage in a job search:
Knowing your way around the world’s largest professional network gives you an advantage in today’s competitive job market. Build that stand out profile to find a new on LinkedIn, because if you don’t, another smart woman will. Today using LinkedIn to find a new role is no longer an alternative option. It is a vital part of your career planning.
Evaluate your online brand
So taking all that on board, take your first step now. Sit down, make a plan and go for that job you really want. Future you will thank you.

Want to make this year your best job search year? Contact 3Plus now

Esther Myers

About Esther Myers

Esther Myers is a Drama graduate who teaches children with disabilities and is heavily involved in women’s rights movements. She lives in London but often travels back to Yorkshire to see family and friends. She enjoys going to the theatre, being involved in feminist forums and Motown music. She works in a pub part time and wants to write about work and online issues facing modern women, as well as about intersectional issues.