Looking to refresh your career for 2016? Ready to dive in, or feeling a bit daunted by the job market? Get a head start and read our handy job hunting guide..

In today’s post, we explore setting yourself up for success by creating a solid foundation for your search.

You are the only person who can convince an employer that you are the best person for the job. Hit the ground running by having a fantastic CV, and being easily contactable
  1. It sounds basic, but a great CV is the best way to get your foot in the door. Invest time in developing your CV and you will be rewarded with interest from potential employers.
  2. Design an easy to read CV, making the important information stand out. The best way to do this is to organise into sections with clear headings – employment experience, qualifications – and to write in bullet points, rather than lengthy paragraphs
  3. Keep the CV to no more than 2 A4 sides of paper (where possible), and save the file as a PDF – this ensures maximum compatibility as it can be opened on almost every device, and the layout will be preserved even when printing.
  4. Ensure all the information included is relevant to the role you are applying for, and fulfil the requirements of the job description with information in your CV. Do not expect employers to read between the lines – be clear about your skills, qualifications and experience. It is best to tweak your CV specifically for each role you apply for, rather than sending out many standard CVs.
  5. Tweak your CV regularly if using online job boards, as employers generally search for CVs that have been uploaded within the last month. Add new information to your CV as soon as possible when changing roles or being given new responsibilities, while the job is still fresh in your mind.
  6. Familiarise yourself with your CV – employers will ask you questions about it, so it pays to be able to elaborate.
The internet has become a valuable tool for both job seekers and recruiters – use it to your advantage.
  1. Select a professional email address – your full name is a good choice.
  2. Make your Twitter or Facebook, as well as any other online profiles, presentable and professional – or private if you are concerned about employers seeing them. Try Googling your name and seeing what comes up in the search – employers will probably do this so it pays to get a heads-up.
  3. Use LinkedIn – set up a professional-looking profile with a smart headshot, and then join relevant groups, follow companies, and utilise the job search function.
Ensure you are easy to contact – don’t do all the hard work only to miss out on an opportunity because a recruiter can’t get hold of you!
  1. Install voicemail on your phone, and check it regularly – there’s nothing more irritating for an employer calling potential employees only to find they don’t answer and there’s no option to leave a message.
  2. Update your contact details whenever you change them, and add new details to your CV right away.
  3. Check your phone and emails as often as you can – it’s worthwhile setting up your emails on your phone so you can check them wherever you are.
Understand what you are capable of and what you would be passionate about doing every day, this will help you to concentrate your job search on roles that fulfil those criteria. It also boosts your confidence in your skills and experience.
  1. Know which roles would suit your skills and be clear with yourself about what you are aiming to do – where do you see yourself in 1 year? How about 5 years? Employers like to see ambition because it shows motivation and drive.
  2. Apply for only the roles you are qualified for – don’t waste your own or employers’ time, especially if they see your name popping up all the time – you don’t want to look too desperate!
Part 2 – tracking down your perfect position – is out now; click here to view

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