New year-new job – getting started in six easy steps
New year-new job
By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers
There’s a new year on the horizon and you are thinking about changing your job. Where do you start and what’s your plan? A strategic approach is best and it all starts with your six-point job search check list, writes SABINA TRENCH, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.
- CV and Cover Letter – how is your CV looking? When did you last update it? Some jobs will come upon you with a very short closing date; so, with a bit of tweaking, is your CV ready to go? If not, you know what you have to do. Get working or call in the professionals. And the same goes for your cover letter.
- The Jobs – where are all the jobs? Online mostly, so sign up to alerts on all the main sites: jobs.ie, indeed.ie, monster.ie or other specialist sites such as educationposts.ie, engineeringjobs.ie and publicjobs.ie. There is no doubt that there are more opportunities out there than previously, but only if you are looking in the right places. And don’t forget your local paper and radio stations. And it might also be worth contacting some recruitment agencies, especially if you are thinking of relocating or working in a very specialist sector.
Facebook and Twitter are also good sources of job opportunities. The hastags ‘jobfairy’, ‘jobs’ or ‘vacancy’ with your area hashtag, for example #mayo, #dublin, might just lead to the job of your dreams.
- Your network – do you have a LinkedIn profile? Once you update your CV, I recommend you create or update your profile. This is an excellent way to bring your professional network together, and showcase your skills to a wider audience. And jobs are often advertised here too. LinkedIn has a dedicated job searching tool.
If you are looking for a job, have you told your informal network? That’s everyone you know: friends, family, ex-colleagues, classmates and so on. And if they don’t know, how can they help? If your job search is confidential, just tell them to keep it quiet.
- Hit list – do you have a list of companies where you might like to work? Have read about expansion plans in a local factory for example? Start making a list of places that you would like to contact. Send in your CV and cover letter (to a named person if possible), and tell them that you will follow up in the coming week or so. Avoid a scattergun approach: adapt your cover letter for each company, and choose only those organisations that offer a realistic job opportunity.
- Skills gaps – as you look at your CV and hit list, are there some skills you are missing? There are lots of courses starting in the spring, and now is a great time to sign up. If traditional classes don’t suit your timetable, look for online courses, and check out alison.com for free online courses.
- Your job-searching plan – now that you know what you do, you need to develop a plan. Identify what you need to do under each of the headings, put a timeline on it, and, most importantly, who is going to do it.
This is the perfect time of year to start afresh and with the right approach, 2017 could be your best year yet.
Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers, who have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Athlone, Sligo and Mayo, plus a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, personal statements and application forms.