Did you survive Blue Monday?

As if we weren’t concerned enough about today and the future, we have just had to get through Blue Monday. Did anyone notice? Penned some years ago, the third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday, the day we all feel bad about our careers, life and the world…

Career moves

The latest research from the CIPD, shows that 3.2% of the UK’s working population has changed jobs since Spring 2021. This seems a bit low as historically around 5% of employees move, or leave, each year, although this probably includes retirements and deaths.

Several other surveys have highlighted that between 25% and 40% will look to move jobs this year, principally for a better salary as the cost of living crisis bites.

Additionally, more than 10% will seek a second job to help with their finances as food, fuel and energy costs rise.

Pay rises

It is not all bad news though! Apparently, wages have risen at their fastest rate for 20 years according to the ONS. However, they are still not keeping up with inflation, falling in real terms by 2.6%.

Average pay in the private sector rose 7.2% and in the public sector just 3.3%. When you think of those in the private sector that have taken pay cuts of up to 25% at various times over the last 20 years, when those in the public sector have not, it is good news for the sector.

Seems that 2023 will be as uncertain as 2022 and 2021 and 2020…as they say, they only certainty in life is change.

Time for a change?

It maybe that you need to work from home, or on a hybrid basis (or even back in the office!), need a bigger salary, some career progression or just a change of environment. Whatever the reason, traditionally it is a busy time of year for new vacancies to come up as companies plan for the year ahead and work towards completing last years’ targets.

Your CV

So, time to check the classifieds and dust off your CV!

Yes, the good old CV is still valid even in our cloud based, social and online world. Many companies will ask you for one so it is still an important part of the job search process, albeit not the most important. Discard it at your peril.

The majority of hiring managers still use ‘traditional’ recruitment methods and will expect to see your CV (or portfolio) and most recruitment firms too.However, if you do rewrite it then don’t forget to update your on-line profiles also.

Whilst it may seem that job searching can now be fully automated and, yes, the hands-off approach is more prevalent than ever and will continue to dominate your relationship with recruiters and HR, it still needs your input and nothing beats talking to a real person!You can find anyone – and their contact details online – so target the companies you want to work for and contact the HR Director or CEO direct.

Standing out from the crowd

How do you make yourself and your application stand out? Particularly as research suggests that candidates' CV's have just ten seconds to impress the recruiter, with more than 70% of CVs being discarded before they have read to the end of page one!

One way might be to reduce the number of ‘buzzwords’: does either your CV or your LinkedIn profile claim you ‘specialise’ in your sector? Does it say are you are ‘passionate’, ‘experienced’ and ‘skilled’ at ‘leadership’? If so, you might want to consider a rewrite – as these are five of the most popular buzzwords found on LinkedIn profiles. Other popular words include ‘expert’, ‘motivated’, ‘successful’, ‘generalist’ and ‘strategic’.

But how? It may be better to stand out a little, rather than march in step with everyone else in the industry. Don’t shy away from adding some personality to your language – this is a great way to show your character. So long as you always strike a professional tone, you’ll stand out in a positive way.

Simple? Certainly. A bit of work on your part? Certainly. Effective? Certainly.

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