10 tips on how to succeed in your job search

Getting itchy feet at work? Looking for an opportunity to showcase your true skills? Returning to work or recently been made redundant?

Whatever the reason, job hunting can be daunting, especially if your planned move means a change of sector, a step up, or maybe even your first ever role. With your career, as with every journey, the first step is to identify your ideal destination. Research the job titles you’re interested in and uncover what is required to be successful in those roles. Before applying, ask yourself “Is this a role that I could see my future self in? Apart from the salary, does it match my personal values and offer opportunities for progression?”

The more job descriptions you sift through, the better you’ll understand what you’re truly interested in and what employers are looking for. It’s also important to identify any skills gaps so that you can upskill to meet those requirements.

Here are 10 things to think about when preparing for your job search:

  1. Print off job descriptions that grab your attention and highlight the tasks and responsibilities you have covered before. Then, within your CV, match these up as closely as possible to your experience and add those points at the start.
  2. If you completed your studies relatively recently, including the results from university or your higher education is a good idea (especially if you have received a 2:1 or higher).
  3. If the role requires a cover letter, this is your opportunity to delve deeper into your previous experience, show the research you have conducted about the company at hand and demonstrate why you’d like to work for this particular business. It’s also your chance to detail the skills you’d like to develop (the points in the job description that you might not have previously completed but are enthusiastic to learn).
  4. LinkedIn is like your virtual CV! Make sure you list your current responsibilities, your expertise and even your career ambitions in your profile.
  5. Including keywords in your CV is essential as it will give you a better chance of appearing in a recruiter search. (You will find these by filtering through the job descriptions that you are most interested in − notice words that come up a lot).
  6. Transferable and human skills are always high in demand: communication, teamwork, analytical thinking, and problem-solving are just some examples. Include how you have used or improved these skills in previous roles, whether at university or in a work environment.
  7. Quantify your previous achievements. Displaying figures will give the employer a clear idea of how you can add value to the role. For example: “Integrated a new CRM system from scratch, which helped to save x amount of time and money; “Exceeded annual target by x amount” etc.
  8. Showing that you’re comfortable working with a high-volume workload can be a huge plus for employers (for example, “processed 400+ invoices weekly” or, if you’re looking for a customer service role, you could use examples of approximately how many queries you’d deal with daily).
  9. Ultimately, the goal should be for your CV to stand out from the crowd! By following these tips, your CV should be clear, concise and easily scannable for a recruiter. Only include relevant information − two pages should be the maximum.
  10. Upskilling on your own initiative will also help set you aside from the competition. This could be through courses (LinkedIn offer many free ones that can help you to brush up on key skills) or asking for stretch opportunities in your current workplace.

Finally, it’s helpful working closely with a Recruitment Consultant as they will have additional information about the company you’re applying for and can act as a guiding mentor throughout the recruitment process.

Are you ready to make your next big move? From customer service to engineering, ‘green jobs’ to business support, or logistics to manufacturing, Manpower helps thousands of people find new jobs every day. Let our consultants help you find a job you love.