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5 things to do to ensure you're ahead of the January employment rush

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

January and February are the most prevalent months in which people begin their search into a new career.

More specifically, January 7th is said to be the most popular day that people send off their CVs to potential new employers. But, inundated with a bevy of applications at the beginning of every year, it's likely that yours will end up at the bottom of a rather large pile.

In order to put you in the best position for finding your new job before the New Year we’ve put together a list of 5 things to do to ensure you're ahead of the January employment rush.

1) Dust off all your social media

Potential employers DO look at social media before considering an interview, possibly up to 70% of employers, up 10% on 2016. Having an outlandish social media presence isn't desirable to many future employers, so it's recommend that you delete or hide any unorthodox and offensive posts before applying for jobs. You could also change your security settings to limit engagement, and it's a good idea to delete any derogatory Tweets or photos from Instagram that could deter a future employer.

2) Update your LinkedIn profile

As of January 2016, LinkedIn UK had 20 million members in the UK alone. That’s more than half the working population, so it should come as no surprise to learn that potential employers and recruiters will use the site to look for possible candidates. The words ‘responsible’, ‘strategic’ and ‘effective’ are the UK's most clichéd and over-used words on a LinkedIn profile, and should be avoided at all costs. Be it time consuming, ensure you fully complete and personalise your profile - LinkedIn accounts that are finished are seven times more likely to be viewed, so taking the time to update your profile could get you noticed by the people best placed to help with your next career move.

3) Make your CV stand out

The majority of companies spend an average of six seconds looking at any one CV, so attracting the right attention is vital if you want to secure your dream job before the New Year rush. First, tailor your CV to the job you're applying for, ensure it's 100% error free and factual. Keep it simple and to one page (no longer than two sides), and use buzzwords relating to your chosen sector - you don't want your CV to end up at the bottom of a rather large pile. Cater the layout to suit your personality, and use easy to read headers (like those used in this article) which will attract a potential employer.

4) Prepare your cover letter

Your first chance to grab the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter is with your covering letter. But it needs to be short and simple, and try to make it personal and include what you could bring to the role. A great cover letter could be the difference between the 'yes' and 'no' pile.

5) Apply, regularly

The average UK job seeker has to apply for 27 positions for every one interview they secure, equating to 16 job applications per week! Finding the time to apply for jobs is sometimes difficult, especially in the run up to Christmas. Dedicate a few hours a night or a lazy Sunday where you can sit down, focus and apply for jobs before the January and February rush, you'll be glad you did.

If you are planning your next career move in the next few months, get in touch with the team today. We’ll take the time to really understand what you want from your next move and match you to the roles that are right for you. We’re here to help.

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