February is one of the busiest months of the year for movement in the job market. By this time, people are back at work after the holidays and organisations are gearing up for the year ahead. Added to this, a lot of professionals come back from a break with the mindset that it’s time for a change.
While this means there are usually more opportunities, it also means there is more competition for that dream role.
If you are thinking now is the time for a career move, here is our advice on steps you can take to make sure you are ready.
Take time to think about, or re-evaluate, your dream role
For some, this is a tricky question. Even if you know where you are heading and how you will get there, it’s advisable to regularly review what is important to you in your career and in a role. This will provide a good foundation against which to assess opportunities as they arise.
Thinking through these questions helps to provide clarity:
- What industries would you like to work in? If there are industries on your list that you haven’t worked in before, are your skills transferable? If you have some skill gaps, how are you going to fill them?
- If you have your heart set on a particular organisation, is the culture the right fit for you? Have they got a good reputation? Do you know people that work there who can tell you more about it?
- Think about the responsibilities and structure of the role you’d like, now and in the future. Do you want to be a people leader? Do you want increased budget responsibility? Or would you like to manage a function?
- What are your requirements of a role? These could be location, flexible working. opportunities for development or opportunities for promotion. Know what prerequisites you have and if there are any areas where you’d be willing to compromise.
- What are your salary expectations? It’s worthwhile considering this question broadly as often other benefits can make an opportunity more attractive. For example, would you consider a role with a smaller pay packet that was closer to home, meaning your travel time and costs were less?
Assess your skills and experience
With clarity around what you want in your next opportunity, it’s time to take stock of your skills and experience.
A quick self-assessment is a great way of determining whether you would be a good candidate for your dream role or if there are areas you need to work on. So, think about:
- Your strengths – and make sure these are showcased in your CV
- Your weaknesses – and whether they could hinder you getting the role you want
- Your areas for development – make a plan for working on the areas you need to upskill.
Working through this exercise is also a useful way of helping you prepare for interviews.
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile
It’s fundamental that your CV is up to date and demonstrates your main, tangible achievements. Your achievements should be measurable – if you ran a project that reduced costs, say by how much.
Prospective employers will also look at your LinkedIn profile, so it should be a current summary of what’s on your CV.
You should have an appropriate photo accompanying your profile. This doesn’t have to be professionally taken but it should look professional – a smart phone will take a quality photo. Dress in business attire, that can be a uniform, and against a plain background is best.
Both your CV and LinkedIn profile should be clearly and simply laid out. Avoid too much text and take the time to check spelling and grammar.
Talk to your networks and let them know you are searching for something new. They may know of opportunities coming up that they can put you forward for – referrals are a brilliant way of opening doors.
If you need to grow your network, see what professional development or industry events are on. You’ll learn something and meet new people!
Connect with a specialist recruitment consultancy
Talk with a respected consultancy that has a specialised understanding of the area you work in. They’ll know the market so they will be able to provide you with career advice, salary information and information on employers, even if they don’t have the right role for you there and then.
If you have any queries, would like any salary or career advice, or would like to explore your career options; do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
Hunter Campbell specialises in Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement recruitment alongside Accounting and Finance. As specialist recruiters, we can provide you with meaningful career advice and market insights to ensure you find the best career fit for your objectives.