January Job Search

The first week of January equals back to work and possibly a few thoughts on finding that next step in your career. 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.

So, time to dust off you CV! You might think that in our cloud based, social and online world the good old CV is an anachronism, but 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 expect to see one from you 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’?

According to the ubiquitous LinkedIn if this sounds like your profile then you might want to consider a rewrite – as these are five of the most popular buzzwords found on LinkedIn profiles.

Professor of Sociolinguistics Rodney Jones, from the University of Reading, suggested LinkedIn’s data shows a movement towards skills and abilities that can be more specifically categorised.

“This narrowing down from generic terms to far more specific words such as ‘skilled’ and ‘experienced’ reflects a change in job roles that are becoming more specialised,” he said. “Roles in the banking and pharmaceutical sector, for example, are under increasing scrutiny and as a result require more verifiable skills and attributes.”

LinkedIn suggests it is 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.

The data from LinkedIn found that these words were the most common on these profiles: Specialise; Experienced; Leadership; Skilled; Passionate; Expert; Motivated; Successful; Generalist; Strategic

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