If you're looking to get back into work - or you're already working but want a new challenge - job hunting can be a daunting prospect, especially in this economic climate.
Here are our top 10 job hunting tips to get you started on the path to that great new career:
Not sure what job you should be looking for? Then ask yourself what you have to offer. Include everything from the skills you have developed in previous jobs to personal and social skills, such as your ability to get on with people or work as part of a team. Identifying your skills could help you decide which type of job you should be aiming for.
On the other hand, don't be too blinkered when it comes to the type of job you want to target. If you want to expand your options, try to identify two or more different types of jobs you could apply for.
Newspapers and trade journals can often be good sources of job advertisements, so find out which publications carry relevant job adverts and the days they go on sale. Reading trade publications can also help keep you informed about what's happening in your market, including news of companies that are expanding (which means they may be hiring).
These days, one of the easiest ways to search for a new position is to look at jobs websites. For instance, ICAEW jobs lists the latest positions available for chartered accountants in the accountancy and finance markets. You could also try the Jobcentre Plus job search facility to find full- or part-time jobs in Britain and abroad (visit JobCentre Online NI for jobs in Northern Ireland).
Many recruitment agencies specialise in particular types of work, so target those that recruit people with your skills. This may also be a good way of keeping up to date with the latest vacancies in your local area.
Growing number of organisations advertise jobs on social media websites these days too. So if there are one or more companies that you're interested in working for, 'follow' them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully completed and up to date, as a strong LinkedIn profile could bring new job opportunities to you.
Many job vacancies are also filled by word of mouth. But if you don't already have lots of connections, try attending industry and trade conferences as well as other meetings and lectures. This could help you meet more people in your industry - and make them more likely to remember you should any suitable opportunities arise.
As some job vacancies are never even advertised, it may be a good idea to contact companies that you're interested in working for directly. You may feel uncomfortable asking about available vacancies at first, but remember that most employers are used to being approached in this way. And if you're the right person for the job, it could even save the company the cost of advertising.
Once you have found a job you want to apply for, it goes without saying that you'll need a first-class CV. But it can also be a good idea to tailor your CV for each different job you apply for. This means you can highlight particular skills and accomplishments that are the most relevant for the job in question.
It's easy to become negative about job hunting, especially if you've been trying for a while without any success. But don't give up. Stay focused on your abilities and remember that persistence will get you that great new position soon.
© CABA 2013