New Year, New You… Actually, Starts Now!

Article provided by Nick Kirk, Managing Director at Michael Page

Top tips when applying for a job, New year, New JobThe clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve marks a fresh start for most of us, usually with big plans for the new year ahead.

However, whilst buying a gym membership or committing to a new beauty regime can be done on 1st January, some changes require a little more forward planning. For those looking to boost their career prospects in the New Year, the preparation for a career change should in fact start before the festive season is even underway.

The process for securing your next role can be lengthy. Data analysis from Michael Page has revealed the average job application process takes 40 days from submitting a CV to being offered a role. Once notice periods and Christmas bank holidays are added to the equation, this means anyone hoping to start afresh in January with a new job needs to apply by mid-November.

If you are likely to be among those seeking pastures new, there are steps that you can take now to put yourself ahead of the pack. By getting prepared over the next few weeks, rather than starting your search in the New Year, you can significantly increase your chances of landing your dream role.

Be clear about your reasons for leaving

Are you sure you want to leave your job, or are you feeling pressured to start afresh in the new year? Establish the reasons why you want to leave your current job and, if you can, speak to your manager about your concerns. Once you’ve had these frank conversations and are certain that moving on is the right decision, you will be able to make smart decisions about your next role.

Think about where you want to work next

Candidates and employers are now placing more value on workplace environment and ensuring the right team culture when hiring.  It’s crucial to be sure that you know what kind of role, company, and working environment you are looking for in your next position before you start your job hunt. If you find an environment and culture that matches well with your personal values, you are more likely to be happier at work.

Keep an open mind

Adopt a positive and flexible attitude to your job search. Listen to what opportunities are in the market and remain open-minded to different companies and locations. In keeping your mind open, you may be presented with opportunities which may be worth changing location or industry for – a real new year overhaul!

Update your LinkedIn profile and CV

Your LinkedIn profile and CV are your gateway to a future position. Most employers will cross reference the information before deciding on whether to progress your application, so ensure both are sharp and accurate to avoid your application being discarded at the first hurdle. Start with a tailored personal statement to your prospective new employer, highlight your key skills, use a spell checker and whatever you do, don’t lie.

Prepare for your interview

This may be a busy time of year, but an interview is the time to make a great first impression on a potential employer. Do your homework on the company – look at its latest news, work or any award wins. Have an understanding of where you can fit into the organisation and its culture. Anticipate possible questions and rehearse your answers too, as this will help you to deliver seamlessly on the day.

Nick KirkAbout the author

Nick Kirk joined Michael Page in 1995. He is now UK Managing Director of PageGroup – his remit includes its core operational businesses – Michael Page, Page Personnel, Page Executive and Page Outsourcing.

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