Five Steps to a Successful January Job Search

Careers, Jobsearch, Jobseekers / 08 January 2020

January brings with it three certainties: New Year’s resolutions, the post-Christmas diet, and that long talked about change in employment. If you’re coming into 2020 with all guns blazing looking for a new job, then following these five steps can help keep your search focused, and you positive, even in the face of a few rejections.
Five Steps to a Successful January Job Search


1: Reassess Your Goals

Before you even start your new year job search, be clear with yourself about what you’re looking for. As we mention in our Ultimate Jobseeker Guide, it’s best to start by making a list of your priorities and preferences – are you after more flexible working hours within your current field, or a complete career change? 

It can also be useful to write down what you don’t want, which will help you identify possible problem areas at a job before you even apply. 


2: Research your path

Think of your career options like branches on a tree – there are many different possibilities, and often more than one way to get to your goal. The exact path will greatly depend on the kind of job and career you’re looking for of course. Some roles are more complicated than others, and the required qualifications or experience can vary quite dramatically. Knowing what you need to succeed gives you a strong starting foundation for your job search. 


3: Review your skills

Now you’re clear about your objectives, and what you need to get there, it’s time to tally up your existing skills and experience. Try and be as objective as possible. Doing this means you can quickly identify any potential training, skill, or qualification gaps, then think about how to address them. Asking for help from a co-worker, friend, or family member can also be useful here – they may see qualities in you that you miss yourself.

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t have all the required skills or experience for a role, you can often highlight your related strengths, or enthusiasm to learn, through soft skills or out of work activities.

If you’ve got the time and resources, it’s well worth getting any additional qualifications that you’ll need. Soft skills, like emotional intelligence, are also becoming more valuable, and these skills can often be developed using free online courses.  


4: Ready your resources

Now your goals are set, and you have a clear way to approach them, the next step is to make sure you have everything you need to impress potential employers and secure that all-important interview. Getting your CV in order is one of the most important things you can do as a candidate (you can find out more in our guide to creating a winning CV).

It’s also important to get used to writing a good cover letter. It’s easy to overlook this element of a job application, but a concise and clear cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers and pique their interest. You can learn more about how to do this in our handy cover letter writing guide

Finally, get prepared for the interview stage. While you can never know exactly what to expect during a job interview, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you feel as confident as possible. Doing a bit of research on the company you’re applying to is always a great place to start. You can then highlight what you like about the organisation, and why you want to work there, which makes a reliable fall back option if you can’t think of what to say during the interview. 

Interviews are the most intimidating part of any job search for most of us, so make sure to have an in-depth read of our interview preparation guide too. 


5: Repeat for Success

So, you’ve followed all the above steps, fired off applications, and attended interviews. Now the waiting game begins. 

Generally, employers tend to let you know quite quickly if you’re successful, but no matter how much you might have wanted a particular role, don’t rest on your laurels while waiting to hear back!

Staying proactive will achieve two things. Firstly, you won’t be twiddling your thumbs and driving yourself mad waiting to find out whether you’ve been hired or not. Secondly, you can reflect on what went right and wrong in your job search so far. Think about any areas you could improve (maybe reword your CV, widen your job search, and so on), then go back to step one and start the process again. 

If you stay focused, positive, and determined, there’s no reason you can’t land the job you deserve this January. Make sure to register with us today too – you might just find the rewarding role you’re looking for. Good luck!

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