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Career Advice

Everything you need to do before looking for a job

Written by

Joe Aubrey

Date posted

20 January, 2020

Sometimes, the start of a new job search can be a little bit overwhelming. It can seem like you have so many things to get sorted out: CVs, cover letters, references... But, with a little bit of preparation, you can get yourself organised quickly to give yourself the boost you need to succeed in your job hunt. In this guide, you'll find our list of some of the most important things to consider when it comes to searching for a new job...

Research salaries for the job you want

Whether you're looking to move into a more senior position or to move into a new sector, it's a good idea to do some research on average salaries. If you get to know the going rate for your desired position, you will be able to easily compare different vacancies and decide which are worth applying for.

Identify your career goals

Before you start applying for jobs, you should think about your career goals. Applying for a job that won't help you reach your goals will just be a waste of time and effort. What do you want to achieve in this next step? Are you looking to increase your salary? Do you want to move into a more senior position? Are you looking for a job that offers better training opportunities? Answering these questions will help you identify the best jobs to apply for.

Prepare multiple CVs for different roles and positions

Infographic showing that using results off your accomplishments in a cv increase interview responses by 40%.

It is always a good idea to tailor your CV to each job that you apply for. Each job is likely to have slightly different requirements in terms of responsibilities and the required skills and experience. Tailoring your CV to each role gives you the chance to highlight why you are perfect for the job and can increase your chance of getting an interview.

Prepare a quality cover letter template

Preparing an excellent cover letter can be difficult, maybe more so than creating a good CV. Try not to make it any longer than it needs to be, you don't want to put the hiring manager to sleep! A cover letter is a good chance to give more context to your CV and explain why you will be a good fit for the role. Building a good cover letter template will allow you to make changes quickly and easily.

Update your LinkedIn profile

Infographic showing that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of the hiring process.

Make sure that you update your LinkedIn profile before you start applying for jobs. LinkedIn has over 260 million members worldwide, and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn when looking to make a hire. Keeping your skills and experience up to date could give you an edge over other candidates, and will also make it possible for recruiters to find you with searches.

Sign up to Coyle Job Alerts

Be the first to apply for our latest jobs by signing up to Coyle job alerts. You will get information on new positions relevant to you sent straight to your inbox. You can tailor your job alerts based on location, salary, and sector. Click here to set up a job alert.

Catch up with the latest developments in your industry

You must spend some time getting up to date with the latest changes and developments in your industry. Particularly for senior positions, employers will expect you to display a high level of industry knowledge during an interview. If you're applying for a junior position, showing an awareness of your industry can help to differentiate you from other candidates.

Decide on your references

Infographic stating that 92% of employers will contact references on a candidates cv

Depending on what role you are applying for, you will need to provide at least two references for potential employers to contact. Some professions require more references or references that cover a certain amount of time. If you have a choice, think carefully about who you list as a reference, it's important that they give a good account of you to a potential employer.

Get any documentation ready

Some professionals, for example, nurses and teachers, have very high compliance requirements. If you know that you will be required to produce specific documents when securing a new position, make sure you have these ready so you can send everything off promptly. These documents may include:

  • Proof of qualifications
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • DBS certificate
  • Passport
  • Visa or right-to-work permit

It is also a good idea to have a scanned copy of these documents, so you always have them ready.

Speak to your friends

When starting your job search, it is worth speaking to a few of your friends. They may be able to give you some good advice and help you to decide exactly what you want to do. If you're lucky, they might even know about a vacancy that would be good for you and be able to refer you. Referrals are a great source of new employees, so it's always worth checking.

Prepare for interviews properly

Infographic illustrating a stopwatch presenting the average job interviews is 40 minutes.

A face-to-face interview is a critical stage of the hiring process. There's no excuse for being unprepared for an interview, so make sure you do your homework. Here are just a few things that you can do:

  • Research the company and its history
  • Try and find out a bit about the interviewer
  • Look into and prepare for common interview questions
  • Think about the biggest achievements in your career so far
  • Think of some good questions to ask

Also, consider asking a friend or family member to ask you some interview questions to answer. A bit of practice can help you feel less nervous on the big day.

Monitor your online presence

Infographic showing that 60% of recruiters use social media to find candidates.

How do you come across on social media? Have you been making any controversial comments on Twitter? Is your LinkedIn profile picture professional? 60% of recruiter use social media to find candidates, so you must come across well online. Check through your various social profiles and delete anything that you wouldn't want your potential new employer to see.

Contact a recruitment agency like Coyle

An illustration of a white iPhone with the Coyle Quick Register form displayed on it with a 'Sign Up' call to action.

Signing up with a recruitment agency is an excellent way to find a great job. Recruitment consultants can offer valuable career advice and can help to guide you in the right direction to reach your goals. Many employers may not have the time or resources to advertise their vacancies, so if you don't register with an agency, you might be missing out on some big opportunities. Sign up with Coyle today and we can help you to find your perfect position.

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