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New year, new job: how to navigate your next career move

Joanna Belmar our consultant managing the role
Posted by  Joanna Belmar
Published on 5 January 2021
The new year is one of the most promising times to change jobs. Why? There are several reasons: positions open up as people move on, new positions are created as new budgets and goals are introduced and hiring becomes a priority. It is worth noting that with more people actively looking for a new job in January there’s also more competition. That doesn’t mean your chances of finding your dream job are any lower, and with these tips, you’ll know how to navigate your next career move and stand out in a sea of candidates.

Before applying

First things first, update your CV. Job hunting in the new year might mean you’re facing fiercer competition, so your CV needs to hold the recruiter’s attention. Begin by choosing the appropriate template depending on whether you’re applying for a contract or permanent job, and one that suits your level of professionalism. But don’t be afraid to inject a bit of personality. A summary at the top of your CV is your chance to showcase who you are and what your values are, so be bold and give the recruiter something original. That said, with over 40% of recruiters revealing they were put off a CV with too much design and snazzy fonts, make sure to keep it professional.

Tailoring your CV to the role is key. Study the job advertisement and pick out keywords. For example, if you were searching for a process engineering job you’d find root cause analysis, policy writing, process simulation, validation protocol, change management and sterile processing as the core skills and responsibilities. Do a brainstorm, write down your personal skills and major achievements and see which match up to the job advert. You’ve now got the framework of your CV, so all that’s left to do is to put it together.

The application 

With so many positions available in the new year it may be tempting to go on an application spree. After all, the more jobs you apply for the better your chance of securing a role, right? Well, if there was ever a time to quote the phrase, “Quality over quantity”, it’s now. No two jobs are the same, so tailoring your CV for each application will illustrate that you’re qualified for that exact job.

The prep work isn’t over yet. Once your tailored CV is sent out, brush up on your interview answers. If it’s been some time since your last interview you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the different types of interview questions – situational, competency-based, case behavioural – and even if you consider yourself a seasoned interviewee, take this time to go over your answers. A hiring manager’s schedule is going to be pretty hectic from January so if they call up saying they can fit you in the next day you need to grab that chance. Putting the work into your CV will get your foot in the door but you need to be prepared to dazzle in person or, as is more likely in the changing recruitment landscape, via video call.

Show recruiters and employers that you’re eager for the job by being one of the first to apply. Having your CV saved on your phone will mean you can apply when you’re casually browsing. In fact, this is becoming an increasingly popular way to apply for jobs and 35% of candidates admit they now prefer to use their phones to apply. Signing up for job alerts on your recruitment agency’s site will also make sure you’re the first to hear about the latest opportunities.

Remain proactive

If you’re still getting your CV, cover letter and interview answers into shape in January, don’t be worried that you’ve missed the boat. Often, more roles are advertised in February and March, so the entire first quarter of the year is the ideal time to find your perfect job. 

Put the time into updating your LinkedIn profile. While the networking platform is a good place for you to discover companies that you want to work with, it goes both ways - 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. Make the most of any other downtime by building your skills and qualifications and brushing up on your industry knowledge. If you’re looking for a life sciences job you’ll want to read up about the top biopharmaceutical companies, explore online courses that will develop relevant skills and join webinars to keep pace with the latest breakthroughs.

Are you ready to find your next job?

Now you know how to navigate your next career move, all that’s left to do is register your details with Quanta. You’ll be able to upload your CV and use our quick-apply process, sign up for job alerts that are tailored to your preferences and save your favourite roles in one place.

Whether you’re searching for your next job in life sciences, IT & Data Centres or renewable energy, our specialist recruitment consultants will take the time to understand what you’re looking for and guide you through every step of the process. Get in touch and we’ll help you find a job in the UK and Ireland or one that will take you as far afield as Europe, North America or Asia.

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