By Sho Dewan
Unhappy with your current job? You’re not alone. According to a Gallup poll, 63% of surveyed individuals [230,000 full-time and part-time workers in 142 countries] are “not engaged” by their jobs. With almost one-third of our lives spent at work, we deserve to be in roles that make us happy and fulfill us.
If you’ve put your job search on hold the last few months to enjoy the holidays, now is the perfect time to ramp things up. Here are four steps to jumpstart your job search in the new year.
Determine the key changes you’re seeking for your career
Before updating your CV and mass applying to open roles on LinkedIn, take some time to evaluate the pros and cons of your current work situation. What is it exactly that you’re missing in this role that you’d like in your next role?
Write these points out and make a list of the 10 most important factors for you in your career. Is it a more supportive manager you are after? Maybe the opportunity to manage a team or be able to work from home on Fridays?
Regardless of what is on your list, you need to be crystal clear on what it is you want. Only then should you begin to search for your ideal role.
List out your dream companies and ideal roles
After writing out your non-negotiable factors, now figure out which companies and roles would be able to satisfy most (if not all) of those items on your list.
Create a spreadsheet and list out your top 10 companies, the roles you’re seeking, application dates, and other important information to keep track of your progress. Instead of aimlessly applying for one role after another, it’s important to be more strategic and thoughtful with your job search.
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile with a compelling summary
After completing the first two steps, next it’s time to update and optimize your CV and LinkedIn profile. Keep in mind that recruiters will spend six seconds or less reviewing your CV, so you need to make sure to catch their attention from the start. One of the best ways to do so is to include a compelling summary at the top of your CV.
Write out three to five sentences that best highlight your unique experiences and transferable skills. It is critical to show you are the ideal candidate, so limit generic statements; instead, use specific details that recruiters will not be able to ignore. This summary serves as your pitch for a face-to-face interview.
I recommend that all my clients store multiple versions of their CV, where each one is tailored for a different role and company. Taking the time to craft a customized summary will dramatically increase your chances of scoring that first-round interview.
Cultivating relationships is often the secret ingredient for landing your dream role. Don’t rely on headhunters or applicant tracking systems to make relationships for you. It’s essential to get out there and meet people yourself.
In addition to checking out career fairs and networking events around town, you should also utilize LinkedIn and reach out to professionals in roles and companies that interest you.
Initiating informal coffee chats and phone calls are great ways to put a face to a name and show that you are more proactive than the average candidate. Be prepared with genuine questions, learn as much as you can about the company and the role, and don’t forget about the follow-up ‘thank you’ email.
It’s a new year and it’s time for you to land that dream role by getting started on the right foot. May 2020 be the best year yet for you and your career.
Sho is the founder of WorkHap.
About the Author
Sho is the founder of WorkHap, a career development and leadership training company in Hong Kong. The company’s mission is to make work a happier place for everyone. He helps ambitious job seekers find their ideal next role and partners with leading companies to teach leadership skills to managers.