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Feb 06

Category: Career Advice, Job Search

For many of us, a New Year means a fresh start and new opportunities.

Don’t be fooled by the gloomy outlook being presented in the media. The latest CBI Employment Trends Survey suggested that employers were optimistic, with more than half stating that they’ll be taking on more staff this year.

Now that we’re at the start of February, it’s the perfect time to kick off your job search. After all, hiring managers will have returned to work after the holidays and will be focused on all of the positions they need to fill!

Here are five things you should be doing to ensure that you stay ahead.

#1. Review the past year

Do you get that sinking feeling every Sunday evening? Do you dread Monday mornings? Do you think there’s got to be something out there better than your current job?

Ask yourself: ‘Am I still happy at work?’ ‘Am I still getting opportunities to learn and develop new skills?’ ‘Will there be any opportunity for professional development or a promotion?’ Your answers to these questions will give you a clear sense of whether it’s time to start the search for something new.

Is it time for a new challenge? Read on to ensure you’re best positioned to find a new opportunity this year.

Read more: How to tell if it is time for a new job?

#2. Update your CV

Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or not, it’s vital that you keep your CV fresh and up to date — not least to save yourself the hassle of rushing to update it when you do need it.

Open up your most recent CV: Are your contact details still up to date? Is your most recent position listed? Are your most recent work achievements detailed? Have you added any new certifications or educational accomplishments? Is there any volunteering you do that you ought to list? Finally, is there an old position still clinging on at the end of your CV that could be eliminated?

Related Posts: 5 things a recruiter needs to see on your CV

#3. Refresh your LinkedIn profile

In 2018 there are no longer any excuses for not having a comprehensively filled out and up to date LinkedIn profile. Simply put, it’s essential that you’re on LinkedIn if you’re going to find a new job this year.

Even if you think your profile is looking pretty good, it pays to give it some love and attention at least once a year. Start with a new profile picture (remember, it’s not Facebook—choose something formal and professional), an updated summary (focus on keywords that summarise exactly what you do and what you’re good at), and make sure your experience is completely up to date with your most recent position.

Lastly, enable the ‘Open Candidates’ feature on your profile. This tool lets recruiters know you’re looking for something new without broadcasting the information your current employer and colleagues. It could more than double your chances of being found in searches according to LinkedIn.

Related: 6 things you’re probably doing wrong on LinkedIn

#4. Check your virtual footprint

Almost one in five employers in the UK have turned down a candidate after checking their online activity, according to research by YouGov. Indiscretions likely to raise eyebrows include offensive comments, drunken photographs, and bad spelling/grammar, the survey found.

Do yourself a favour and Google yourself before you start your job search. Check if there are any pages that concern you, and in particular if your search returns anything that might portray you in a poor light. Don’t worry, most problems can be solved by updating your privacy settings on your social media. If there’s anything you wouldn’t want a new employer to see set them at the highest possible levels.

Read more: How to use social media in your job search — a three-step process

#5. Sieve through your professional network

It remains the case that most jobs are never formally advertised. How are these jobs filled then? Through existing professional networks. So, if you’re not out their building and leveraging your network you’re almost certainly missing out!

Careers expert, James Sudakow, suggests ‘Go beyond job boards. Your relationship network is far more powerful than any job board.’ At the most basic level, you should be checking to see if you have any existing relationships with anyone at companies you’re interested in. Go deeper, though, and set out a plan for really building up your contact book this year: Join a professional body, seek out MeetUp groups, sign up for conferences! However, you choose to do it, make sure you start meeting your professional peers.

Read more: How to network your way to a new job [6 tips]

Good luck with your 2018 job search!

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Want further advice on tailoring your 2018 job search to marketing, digital, bids or tech roles? 3Search can help. We’re a specialist marketing, digital and tech recruitment agency working across the UK. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk.