Are You Ready for the January Job Rush?
The New Year often inspires change. We flock to sign up for gym memberships, put together our new diet plans, dump our excess stuff at the charity shop and imagine that we’re going to come out a whole new person.
The topic of personal development is a big one around this time of year, and if you’re trying to get by in the modern world, there’s a good chance that professional development is on your mind as well.
You and your peers aren’t the only ones looking to grow and expand—a fair amount of companies tend to hire after the New Year as well. Year-end bonuses have been paid out, budgets are set and the bandwidth for hiring has been established.
If you’re trying to get your foot in the door at a new job, you can never start too early at prepping to beat the competition. January is the perfect time to figure out what makes you shine as a potential hire, what you can do to set yourself apart and how you can snag the perfect role.
First, figure out what you need
It’s time to do some reflection and exploration. Take a look at what your peers have got going on with their CVs. Even better, examine the CVs and experience of people that have the job you want. What have they done that you haven’t? What’s the first step in getting there?
Maybe you’re looking to get your first charity job but don’t know where to start? Find people who work in the sector and ask them what it’s like and what they love about it. It may help you shape your understanding of what your next move should be.
This is a great opportunity to hop on those networking groups you’ve been looking at or go to a professional meet-and-greet at a local pub. If you’re more adept at reaching out to people online, sites like LinkedIn and CharityConnect are great places to meet charity professionals. Making connections is essential, and who knows? You might make a friend in the process. Knowing the right people is half the battle in getting a new job, so don’t miss any opportunity to expand your circle.
Then, do some research
Start looking for organisations and causes you’d like to work for. Check out factors like company culture, benefits and the type of services they provide. Read through their About Us page and reach out to their current and former employees. How do they distribute their workload? How to they address conflict? What is their development structure?
If you’re thinking of changing career paths altogether, this is a good time to learn more about those markets. Figure out if there’s any certifications you could benefit from, and where the gaps in your experience are. Or if you’re not sure which direction you want to move in, look into your options!
Once you’ve identified places you’d like to work next, you can start working on skills and qualities that company values.
Scrub your online presence
What comes up when a stranger, or better yet, your future boss, Googles your name? Hopefully not that terrible skit you and your mates made at uni, or pictures of you passed out on a Tuesday night with marker all over your face.
Now is the time to comb through all your social profiles, your blog spaces, any videos and even any professional portfolios. The only image you want to convey to a digital passer-by is that you’re responsible, well-behaved and maybe a little creative when it comes to solving problems. If nothing but your LinkedIn comes up, you’re in good shape.
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If ever there was a time to practice talking in your mirror, it’s now. Your ability to answer questions and cope under pressure is paramount. Investigate common interview questions, and make your friends quiz you while out for drinks. Get yourself a clean haircut, a new outfit—whatever it takes to make you feel confident in your ability to crush the interview.
Interviewers aren’t just talking to you to figure out what you’ll say. They want to know how you carry yourself, how you think on the fly. You’ve got to be ready for any curve they throw your way.
Craft the perfect CV
Your CV will enter your interview before you do—it’ll be the first thing your interviewer sees, and your first impression. So make sure you don’t mess this up.
First off, make sure your content is up to date. List any relevant published work, job experience that you missed since your last position changed and don’t forget to include any volunteer or side projects you do.
Crafting a CV can be a little tougher if you don’t have much experience—for example, if you’re a student still in school or you’ve been out of work for a while. You still want to make a good impression, so playing up what you’ve got is extra important. This guide on How to write a student CV will come in super handy if you’re fresh out of education.
Once you’ve got your content ready to go, you’re going to want to display your info in a way that’s clear, eye-catching and easy to read. Make sure the layout is functional, and that your fonts aren’t too crazy. Check out these Professional CV Templates for inspiration.
So what are you waiting for?
Your job is your livelihood. Once you make the decision to hunt down your next big dream gig, don’t waste any time getting ahead of the competition and becoming an irresistible package—any organisation would be a fool not to hire you.
Think you’re ready to start finding charity roles? Take a look at what charities are hiring today.