Have you thought ahead to what you want to achieve in your career and by when? Setting yourself a goal or a target will give you a clearer focus and will allow you to plan how you are going to achieve this, as Renovo's Emma Louise O'Brien explains...
Imagine you want to run a marathon. Unless you’ve run one before, it’s unlikely you could go out tomorrow and run it the full distance. You would need to set yourself a timetable, plan your training and set yourself smaller goals such as beating your best time, increasing your speed and distance.
So, treat your next career move in exactly the same way, if you have a clearer indication of what it needs to look like, your approach is going to be a lot more structured. Putting a timetable in place and planning around other commitments will also allow you to manage your time effectively.
There are multiple ways you can search for jobs including online applications, using recruitment agencies, direct and speculative approaches and using your network. Each approach may yield different results so it’s important to remain open-minded. Before you start making those applications, you need to be aware of what it is you are looking for.
What does that next role need to look like? What opportunities are currently available? Research job boards and start broadly and identify what the current market need is and what opportunities are out there. Indeed is a generic job board aggregator, just like a site comparison website like Go Compare, Indeed will compare over 4,000 job boards. To reduce this to a more manageable list, you will need to factor in minimal criteria to see what positions are being advertised.
As a result of performing this search, you may now have ended up with a long list of results, how can you narrow this down to something more specific? Start to think about your strengths as skills, what are good at that you would like to continue to use? Do you feel you have strong relationship management skills or are you are highly analytical and enjoy analysing data and producing reports? By focusing on your strengths and adding these as “key words” into your job search you will identify more suitable roles.
What hours are you looking for, what location can you travel to? What salary expectations do you have? Now you are shortlisting roles by skills, start thinking about your career priorities and factor these into the search. Are they realistic or do you need to make any adjustments? If you haven’t been working for a period of time you may need to manage your expectations. That next move may just be a side step to get you back into the work place whilst you focus on your long term goals.
Do you need to enhance your existing skills or develop new ones? Understanding today’s job market and what employers look for in future employees, will allow you to re-evaluate and identify any skills shortages. There are so many free online courses and training programmes that are easily accessible so you can demonstrate your commitment though your professional development.
Create Your CV
Now you have started to make progress, have you demonstrated your skills through achievements on your CV? It is not uncommon to see career breaks on CVs, so don’t be afraid to include it. The focus is going to around how you can add value, so ensure the remaining document doesn’t just focus responsibilities held but also how you added value. The cover letter will explain your motivations on returning to the workplace.
If you are looking for a different career path ensure you use the right format of CV. A functional CV allows you to refocus your career history in a different way and showcase your areas of expertise immediately. Ensure your CV is tailored each time you apply for a role, so the employer can see you are genuinely interested and you have taken the time to apply.
Stay Positive, Keep Focused
Keep your job searching varied and use the people around you for advice and guidance. Practise makes perfect, so keep focused, stay positive and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it right first time. Take feedback from applications and interviews attended and learn from each experience.
To stay motivated, keep time free for other activities that you enjoy and reward yourself when you are achieving your goals, from securing an interview to making successful applications.
To find out more about Renovo, visit their website
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