Finding work seems to be harder than ever, although there are many vacancies advertised. Rejection can be disheartening, and not hearing from an application can be even more disappointing. Don’t lose heart! Here are some top tips for finding work in 2015.
1) Get internet Savvy
We are in the age of technology. Everything is done online or by email. Learn how to surf the net for jobs, create profiles on recruitment websites, sign up for job alerts, and the websites will send you a digest of roles that may well be right up your street. If you have no idea where to start, check out your local college for day courses in ‘How to…’ for emailing, browsing the net and more. Some of these might be free if you are claiming income support, jobseekers allowance, or employment support allowance. Some businesses or recruitment agencies advertise on social media, so follow as many as you can.
2) Know your local sources
Many small businesses advertise in windows or local publications, or even the free newspapers. These can change day to day, so make sure you keep an eye and check regularly for changes. Free newspapers are usually released weekly and are delivered to your door. There may also be national employers popping ads in, so don’t forget to look out for these.
3) Update your CV
You have to be quick when you spot a job, and having an up-to-date CV can help you get in there ahead of other applicants. Keep your training and skills sections fresh, review your references, and be sure to include hobbies and interests to give your interviewer something to talk about to break the ice and to make you appear to be the interesting person that you are.
4) Consider expanding your skills
Whether employed or unemployed, there is always room for education. Learn a language, or even sign language or Makaton; take a first aid course or a refresher. Check with your local colleges to see what they offer in terms of courses that may support your ambitions. Some courses are available as distance learning, and can be found by simply typing into a search engine.
5) Appearance is everything
This may seem superficial, but unfortunately, we are primarily judged on what is on the outside. How we present ourselves, our personal hygiene, and even our facial expression can help someone to form a positive or negative first impression in just a few minutes. From the moment you drop off a CV, you are being interviewed. Dress smartly, smile, be clean and tidy in your appearance, and have a confident but not arrogant attitude.
6) Don’t lie on an application
This may appear obvious, but technology now means it is easier than ever for an employer to validate credentials, and to check out something incredulous. Social media profiles may be a giveaway (see point  for advice regarding social media use), and references have to be accurate by law. If you have convictions, were dismissed, or have lied about qualifications, your employer has the right to dismiss you on this basis.
7) Keep social media private
Protect your tweets. Set Facebook to “Friends only”. If you don’t want an employer to see it, make sure it is protected. Racist comments or any other discriminating or hateful language simply aren’t tolerated. Ranting, airing laundry in public, trolling, or threats are also not recommended (and under new changes in the law, internet trolls can be prosecuted!). Even the pictures that come up in a search for your profile can be judged, so keep it simple. Nudity, drugs, alcohol, smoking, any other kind of illegal activity, or a picture of you intoxicated are serious no-no’s. If in doubt, use a headshot of you dressed nicely and smiling. Don’t stick your fingers up in obscene gestures!
8) Create a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is like an online CV but it is a professional social media site unlike Facebook or Twitter. People are often head hunted from sites like this, so get on here before you find yourself behind the game. Like a CV, it should be accurate but interesting. You can also ask that people you have worked with ‘endorse’ you and your skills. While some employers take these with a pinch of salt (anyone can endorse any skill!), a writer who has a personal reference written by someone who also endorses their skills appears much stronger when compared with others.
2015 is the age of technology and education, but technology can be used against you in some cases. Make sure you use it to showcase the best of you and keep you ahead of the other job seekers.
photo by: ielle