All I want for Christmas is a new job

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2016 is almost upon us, out with the old and in with the new. If you are looking to start 2016 with a new job, we've put together a few tips to help you ring in the new year with a new career (Too cheesy?). 

Oprah Winfrey said “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” The New Year rejuvenates our spirit and determination and if your plan is to search for a new job now is the time to take stock of the current job market and opportunities available to you.

1. Career direction

Career direction is not something that should be left to your final year in school or college, it’s something that should be done on a regular basis. Be it planning a career change, mapping your career path or setting career goals, we all make our own career opportunities. Look beyond your current job and industry for transferable skills and explore education and training opportunities that will help you enhance or further your career.

2. Personal branding

Learn to sell yourself as the ideal candidate, no one will do it for you. Understand the value you can bring to a company, use your unique selling points and achievements so you are sending a clear message to employers. Online visibility, sign up for sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook and make sure anything you post online you are okay with potential employers seeing. A strong online profile will help you stand out from the crowd, start engaging and connect with more people.

3. Applying for a job

This is an area where a lot of people fall down. Employers hate receiving applications from candidates who are not qualified for positions. Stop applying for all the jobs you are interested in and take time to read the requirements and determine if you could achieve the majority of the tasks. Tailor your CV to highlight your skills which match the job requirements, research the company and do not use a generic cover letter.

4. Job alerts

Most Job Boards will have a job alert function, these will allow you to receive email alerts daily/weekly about newly posted jobs that match your chosen criteria. you can activate up to 3 job alerts with different job categories.

5. Keep a record

Keep a record of all the positions you apply for, especially the job descriptions so you can refer to this should you be called for an interview. It will also help you identify what’s working, and what’s not, so you can change your strategy.

6. Target the right companies

Start off targeting 2 - 5 companies. Research and understand their business models and also importantly their working environment to see if they are a good fit. Use LinkedIn to find contacts you may know at the company. Websites such as may be able to help you with company reviews, salary scales and interview details.

7. Elevator pitch

An elevator pitch should highlight who you are, how you work and the skills you will bring to the role, not what you have done and where you have worked. It’s a way of selling yourself to the employer in a short period of time. Having a strong pitch means knowing your key attributes and skills and effectively communicating them. A clear and simple message is critical to a successful elevator pitch.

8. Update and tailor your CV

When tailoring your CV for positions you are interested in, make sure it’s attention grabbing. It needs to be an easy read, highlighting your key skills and achievements as most recruiters will spend an average of 30 seconds scanning your CV. Make yourself relevant for the role on offer.

9. Seek advice

Contact a recruitment agency and seek advice. Search for one that that specialises in your area of expertise, organise a call and see if they can assist you in the next step of your career, they will be able to match you with jobs that meet your specific skills and requirements.

10. Interview preparation

Make an impression on your potential employer. Research the company. Know their position in the marketplace and their competitors. They may ask you what you know about the business and it helps to have an answer prepared. Know your CV, and be prepared to sell it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it will highlight your confidence. If you know someone that works in the company, ask them from some interview advice.