Top tips to improve your job-search

It might be the first time you have ever started the job-search process or perhaps you have done it more times than you care to remember. Whatever situation you in you’re probably a bit apprehensive about having your achievements scrutinised by potential employers. This feeling of apprehension and listlessness can often inhibit you from gaining the most from your search.

When to move on (or up)

One thing that many people don’t realise is that as soon as you stop learning from your current role it's time to move on - to another company unless there are opportunities within the current . However, the very thought of having to start the job-hunting process can make us put up with an inappropriate job until suddenly we find ourselves in a situation where we desperately grab at anything in order to get out.

Plenty of people remain in a job, even though they have stopped gaining any useful experience from it, just because it is so safe, easy and cosy. However, in the long-run this reactive way of job-hunting will prevent you from pursuing a successful career.

The other thing to remember is that job-hunting takes time - it typically takes about 3 months from deciding to hire an employee to making an offer. And that’s without adding on your notice period. So if you wait until you are bored or unhappy your last few months in your job will be miserable!!

The recruitment process

The primary resources available for job hunting foster a transactional way of finding a job. Enter keywords into a search box, flick through the results, find something that looks interesting and then click to apply; repeat many times.

We have no idea who we are sending our details to, whether the job is still live, will we ever hear back from them? When we don't hear back we then have to work out the reason why - was it our academic qualifications, inappropriate work experience, salary expectation or all of them? This lack of feedback can fuel insecurities and stop us from making serious effort to build a successful career.

Getting the best from recruiters

Recruiters are in the perfect position to help your immediate job-search as well as your ongoing career development but you need to understand how the industry works. A recruiters first loyalty is, naturally, to the employer as they are the ones paying a fee for their services.

However, recruiters do understand that without the right candidates they are unable to help the client so you should not expect second rate treatment! The UK is home to approximately 20,000 recruitment agencies who specialise in every industry and area of expertise imaginable. The key is to find those that work in your industry or chosen career and develop a relationship with a small number who can help you.

It helps if you can make contact before things become urgent. Speak to them regularly; ask about current vacancies, what their clients are looking for in candidates and how they can help you get the job you want. They might not be able to help you right away but listen to their advice and stay in contact. In 6-12 months they may well be working on your ideal job and give you a call.

Improving your hiring potential

Every time you look for a new job you should gain something from the process. It could be something as simple as a well written CV, some decent contacts that can help your career or some knowledge or understanding of how to ultimately reach your goal.

This allows your search to grow and gather momentum rather than starting from scratch every time you need to search for a new position. Every snippet of information or help you get from each job-hunting campaign will make the next one less daunting.

In summary, when you look for a job do it on your own terms with plenty of time to find exactly what you want. Don't be hurried into making a bad decision because you have left it too late out of fear, laziness or lack of time!!