When you’re off work during the festive season, you end up thinking about whether or not it’s time to find a new job. Hays’ Alex Shteingardt is here to help you find that job.
If for whatever reason you have been unhappy in your job for quite some time, I’m sure you can’t wait to leave the office and escape for a week or two over the Christmas period. Of course, this time is all about relaxing and catching up with loved ones, and you need to enjoy this well-earned break.
However, if you are already dreading that first day back in the new year, then I would strongly advise setting some time aside during the holidays to really focus on searching for a role that will make you feel fulfilled in 2019. To help you, I have collated some of our most popular advice to form your ultimate guide to job-searching over the festive season.
Planning your time
Even with intentions of being productive, it’s easy to get distracted over the Christmas break, whether it’s that old friend who is home for Christmas and wants to catch up, or your favourite Christmas film on TV.
Like I said, you need to enjoy this break, but do try to plan pockets of time in advance where you focus solely on covering each stage of the job search strategy outlined below. Our managing director of Hays Singapore, Lynne Roeder, has some great advice for striking the right balance between switching off during your Christmas break, and using your time productively.
Roeder advises that you should “set some time aside to search for jobs, even if it’s just a couple of hours for your first few days off”. She said: “Do this at a time when you are most productive, such as first thing in the morning.”
Crafting the perfect role
Now, on to the job search itself. I would strongly advise against jumping straight into your search without really contemplating what it is you want from your next opportunity. This could be the very reason your last role didn’t work out.
Instead, now that you have some time set aside, use it to craft your ideal opportunity; from the job remit, possible progression paths and how they align to your long-term career goals, to the company size, culture and industry.
Our CEO and LinkedIn influencer, Alistair Cox, gives an insight in a previous blog about how, earlier in his career, he took the time to write down the key criteria for his perfect job. He explains: “That alone was a very revealing exercise because it forced me to write down descriptors of my ideal work environment, and that’s hard. It also showed me very clearly that I needed to move because my current environment at the time bore little relation to my ideal, but now I could understand precisely why I felt unsettled.”
Updating and tailoring your CV
Once you have your ideal role cemented in your mind, it’s time to update your CV, tailoring it to each opportunity you apply for. In her podcast, Susie Timlin, global director of people and culture for Hays Talent Solutions, explains the best way to do this and offers up some advice for really making your CV stand out.
Timlin outlines: “It takes some time to do all of these things, and you’re not going to be able to send out a hundred CVs per day. But the point is, by tailoring it particularly well, you have much more chance of getting a job application successfully read by a recruiter and then invited in for an interview.”
Enhancing your social media presence
Now, it’s time to make sure your online professional profiles are up to date and to optimise your presence on these networks. Like your CV, tailor your online profiles to emphasise the skills that align to the type of opportunity you are looking for. I would also advise engaging with your network; following the people who inspire you within your industry; liking, sharing and commenting on relevant content; and, on the whole, building a stronger online brand for yourself.
There are some important pitfalls to avoid, however. In her blog, regional director of Hays Australia, Eliza Kirkby, clarifies the correct way to enhance your social media presence when looking for a job, from what time to post to the type of material you should be posting.
I would also add that building your brand takes time, so keep this activity consistent and maybe incorporate it into next year’s career resolutions. Your social media strategy should be for life, not just for Christmas!
Applying for roles
At this point, you should be feeling ready to put yourself forward for roles. Jane McNeill, director of Hays Australia, provides some practical tips on how to be productive and organised during your search, but also staying motivated once you start applying.
In one of her points, McNeill advises: “It is important that you keep your spirits high during your job search, even if you don’t get an interview for a role that you really wanted. Not every application leads to job search success, but don’t give up. It can help to talk about your next move and your search progress with mentors, friends and family. You should also take regular breaks and reward yourself for a productive job-searching session. The key is to stay motivated.”
Alex Shteingardt is managing director at Hays Russia.
A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.