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30 steps to finding a new job (part 2)

30 steps to finding a new job (part 2)

How to build an online profile


As well as posting jobs online, many recruiters will be actively searching for candidates, so here’s how to make yourself more visible in the right way:


  1. Upload your CV. If the job site allows, post your CV and allow prospective employers to view it. Use a Word or PDF format so it can be easily downloaded. It’s difficult to customise your CV in this instance, so make sure the template you use includes your key skills and experience, and is highly relevant to employers in your top target industry.
  2. Add keywords. If you haven’t already, add keywords and phrases to your CV. Some employers will use automated software to sift through CVs electronically, whittling them down before they are seen by a hiring manager. Include words and phrases that are used in relevant job adverts.
  3. Set up a LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, so it’s important that your profile is professional, up to date, and clearly shows what you have to offer. Get recommendations from friends and ask them to make introductions where appropriate.
  4. Demonstrate your expertise. Your online profile gives you the opportunity to shine. You could start up a blog related to your chosen role or post industry-relevant information on Twitter, engaging in conversations or debates. You could write for a trade journal or give a talk to build credibility.
  5. Behave yourself! Whatever you do online, make sure your behaviour is exemplary at all times. It would be terrible to miss out on the perfect job because you (or someone else) posted a compromising photo on Facebook, a risque joke was misconstrued, or you launched an angry, expletive-loaded tirade on Twitter. Be professional and consistent across all platforms.


Make use of available resources


You may be applying for a job for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enlist help from other sources. Here’s how:


  1. Ask friends and family to assist you. Having others keep an eye out for opportunities can be a great source of help. They may spot something you’ve missed or know someone in your target field. They may also be able to help with your CV, interview preparation and other aspects of the job search process.
  2. Get referrals. Perhaps someone you know is leaving a job that takes your fancy. If so, you could ask them to put in a good word for you if it’s appropriate. You may even be able to get a foot in the door before the job is advertised. Online referrals on sites like LinkedIn can also be really beneficial.
  3. Use any resources your current/former employer can offer. If you’re being laid off, your employer may be able to offer help with training, career counselling and CV assistance. You may also be able to attend interviews on full pay during company time.
  4. Ask about relocation packages. If your company is moving or merging, your job may be under threat, but if you’re willing to relocate to keep it there may be help available. Some companies will pay removals costs, travel expenses and help you find and fund temporary accomodation.
  5. Apply for benefits. Even if you think you’ll land a job quickly, it’s worth registering for unemployment benefits right away. The process takes a while, so don’t wait until you’re struggling. Your local job centre may be a great place to look for jobs, but it may also offer free training and advice to help you in your job search.


Preparing for interviews


The early stages of your job search have gone swimmingly and you’ve been invited for an interview. So how do you prepare?


  1. Practise answering the common questions. While some questions will be specific to the role, others tend to crop up time and time again. Google the most common interview questions and prepare answers. Practise saying them aloud, with a friend if possible.
  2. Dress well. You’ll feel more confident if you’re dressed for the part, so invest in new formal wear and shoes if necessary. Even if your interview has been billed as an ‘informal catch-up’ or you’re doing it via Skype, it’s important that you are well dressed and well groomed.
  3. Be honest. It may be tempting to exaggerate or even lie in an interview, but aside from being wrong, this can prove embarrassing if you’re caught out. It may also lead to tricky situations if you’re not able to live up to the lies you’ve told. Your job offer or contract could be rescinded if the ‘facts’ you give don’t check out.
  4. Use positive body language. It’s important that you smile at appropriate points and maintain good eye contact. Sit up straight and don’t tap or fiddle.
  5. Ask appropriate questions. Research the company and the interviewer where possible. This will help you form a good overview of the firm and to ask relevant questions. It’s fine to ask about salary if this hasn’t been made clear, but asking about company values, day-to-day duties, social events, targets and promotional opportunities will show your genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the role.