That’s it. You’ve decided to spread your wings and look for a new job. But how do you successfully secure this new job? Rest assured, there are many places to look and there is a great deal of help available.
Before even starting your job-search, take time to evaluate your current position and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you like accomplishing. Consider what skills and experience you have developed in your current job and identify areas where you can still stand to improve.
“Assessing your current situation will leave you in the best position when speaking to recruitment consultancies and employers about what you want to achieve next” says Özlem Simsek, Managing Director of Walters People Belgium.
Once you’ve decided on the type of role you are looking, how do you find it? What are the options available to you? Here are 5 main avenues you can explore to help you with your job search.
A recruitment agency can help you find new opportunities which you might have missed or overlooked and also help you to prepare for your interview, providing you with the best possible chance of landing the role. Make sure you find an established recruitment agency with a good reputation, and ideally one that specialises in your particular area of work, as these will hold jobs specifically within your niche area.
Although it is often worthwhile to register with more than one agency, be aware that registering your CV with too many recruiters may lead to your application being sent to the same employers several times.
"Consider the benefits of registering exclusively with one recruitment agency. A good quality agency will market your CV effectively to top employers and will offer roles that best fit your experience and requirements, doing more to help your job search than registering with several less reliable agencies."
"Check how a recruitment agency works and be selective. If an agency works on an individual commission basis you may be limited to only hearing about the opportunities your individual consultant is working on."
Build your network
Networking is becoming a more and more powerful tool when it comes to finding a new job. It is a great way of discovering 'hidden' jobs, allowing you to apply for roles where you will be competing with far fewer candidates.
Networking — in person and online — is essential to your job-search success. Involve everyone who can help direct your job search, including past and present co-workers, bosses and business partners, as well friends and family. Social media can prove very useful when looking to expand your contact network, with LinkedIn being the preferred platform for most professionals.
However, don’t become overly reliant on digital platforms. Offline networking such as attending events and seminars related to your profession should also play a key part of your strategy.
"Effective networking is an important skill, but a lot of professionals find it uncomfortable. Many people find it easier to approach networking events with a focus on how they can assist others," continues Özlem. "Going into events with this mind set will boost your confidence and help create goodwill among other professionals."
Do your research
Information is the true secret of a successful job-search. Recruitment agencies can offer insights about which sectors are recruiting the most, market conditions and how long the hiring process is currently taking. Find out what the average salary is for someone with your skillsets and level experience and sign up for job alerts in order to be kept up to date on any opportunities which match your criteria.
"Start by identifying types of roles and particular employers you would be keen to work for and determine why they appeal to you," says Özlem. "Your consultant will be able to use this information to identify which opportunities will suit you best."
Use job boards
Find online job boards that cater specifically to your target industry, as well as more generic platforms. If you want to avoid checking through hundreds of vacancies, it is important to make your search as targeted as possible. Use their search engines to filter roles by title, salary and location.
It is possible to create user accounts to upload your CV (for companies to find) but this can be a risky strategy as you have no idea whose desk it may land on.
Read the trade press
Stay up-to-date by reading professional journals or trade press to understand the key issues and opportunities in your profession. If you're looking at changing careers entirely, trade publications could also provide you with a first look at the skills required to break into a new industry.