Taking a fresh approach to job hunting and progressing your career in 2013 | Collins McNicholas

Taking a fresh approach to job hunting and progressing your career in 2013

I have lost count of the number of times people have said to me over Christmas ” I must give you a call in the new year as I really want make a move next year and progress my career”

Some folks follow through and call in the new year but some others wait another 12 months before having that conversation again.

After meeting with a friend last weekend to discuss his plans it was obvious he felt that all he had to do was update his cv send it out to a few agencies and sit back and wait for the job offers to come to him. When we discussed how best to progress his career we came up with eleven things for him to do in 2013. While this is not an exhaustive list it is a pretty comprehensive roadmap for anyone looking to move jobs or progress their career in 2013.

1. Set some career goals  – how can you progress your career without taking some time out to assess your career and have a think about what you want to do? Think about where you want to be in five years and try and work on the steps needed to get there.  Speak to people who are currently doing that job and get to understand how they have progressed their career. They may also act as a mentor (see point 6)

2. Update your CV – this sounds so basic but it is amazing how many people will say they are on the job market but yet do not have an up to date CV. It is vital to have a well structured CV that is fully updated and current. Review your CV in detail and update it to reflect changes in your role and responsibilities. We have lots of tips and templates for you to review on www.collinsmcnicholas.ie

3. Update your LinkedIn profile – this should reflect your CV and there should be no discrepancies between your CV and your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you use all the functionality available within LinkedIn. 

4. Become active on LinkedIn – Once and ONLY once your profile is complete you need to become active on LinkedIn. Join a number of groups that are relevant to your area of expertise and become active by making comments about topics you have an interest in. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for online networking but is it important to engage with LinkedIn on a weekly basis at least. Build your network on LinkedIn – set a target such as building your network to 500+ before June 2013.

5. Take on a project at work – Take on project at work and stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. Taking on a project may also allow you to work across different offices and departments and gain exposure to other senior management in your organisation. This will show your willingness to take on responsibility. This will also be a great point to make at interviews. Taking on a project will also allow you to develop a new skillset or learn a new technical skill. 

6. Find a mentor – this is something that is normally best done on an informal basis but some organisations have put in place formal mentoring programmes to help develop talent within their organisations. The benefits to both mentor and mentee are enormous.  It is great to have an experienced professional that can offer advice on how to progress your career and deal with certain situations in the workplace. Make it a resolution to find a mentor in 2013.

7. Take a course – anything from learning a new language to taking a very specific course related to work. Doing a course shows your commitment to life long learning and personal development and is always a strong point  to make at an interview. Again this will push you outside your comfort zone and may open up excellent networking opportunities for you. 

9. Network   – Old fashioned as it may sound networking is still best done face to face. Get to industry events and use these events to build your network and meet new people. Don’t stand in the corner with the one person you already know, make sure you get to meet others. Bring plenty of business cards and make sure you follow up afterwards.

10 . Research the market – If you have just implemented SAP in your organisation why not research to see are there other organisations about to embark on a similar project. Could they be organisations to target? Make sure to keep an eye on the IDA and Enterprise Ireland websites to keep informed of companies setting up or expanding in Ireland.

11. Build good relationships with a number of trusted recruiters  – take some time out to build relationships with a small number of  professional recruiters. This should be done ideally in person but at least over the phone. Blasting out large numbers of emails and not following up with the recruiters will not work in my opinion.

Finally, set aside some time each week to review how your job search is going, check the various websites and review what is working for you. Happy job hunting in 2013!! For further information on CV, interview and job searching tips please check out www.collinsmcnicholas.ie

 Niall Murray

General Manager, Collins McNicholas