January is a bit of a mix for job hunting. In some areas it is rather quiet…it is the middle of winter and the atmosphere can be slow and lazy, but there can also be lots of jobs out there, with employers opening up vacancies for the New Year. It is rather like September and the last days of July, when there are vacancies, before it becomes quiet in August. January can be a better time than others for a job search.
Of course, hopefully new year resolutions and the generally positive atmosphere of new year will at least help your enthusiasm and you will feel more motivated, even if as indeed it is for many, the job hunting is more about getting any job, to pay bills and satisfy the Department Of Work And Pensions that you have met the legal requirement to look for and get a job, while claiming Job seekers allowance, before they put sanctions on your benefits, rather than any excitement about just fancying a change of job.
Some things I would recommend to maybe help the job search be more fruitful, is to pay special attention when reading job ads to the job title and description. Many applications come to nothing because we apply for thousands of jobs because we read a job title and think we can do that, rather than actually having the experience that an employer will ask for. When considering making an application for a job, its a good idea to Google the job description,e.g…Job description for an Admin Worker,to get some job descriptions and know what the job will entail and what will be expected of you if that is, the Job description is not attached to the application. Just Googling Job descriptions will provide links to many sample sites, where you can get a good idea about whether an appealing job title is really possible for you.After all , not everyone is mean to be Prime Minister, even if they may well be very good at it .
Sometimes when applying for jobs, less is actually more. To make a good, strong application for three jobs that you really might have a chance of getting is more profitable than fifteen chances,and I speak from experience !!! Be crystal clear as to what work you want and whether or not you can do it. True, whether or not there is the remotest chance you can do it, giving you one more chance of a job , is these days often more the issue than if you want the job or not, but remember that it is far easier to get a job,the ideal job, when you are seen by an employer to be in work, than when you are out of it. Do every practical and sensible thing you can do now to get a job , you can be more fussy when you are in one , about eventually looking for the next .
Look carefully at what skills for the current job market you may be missing. January is a good second chance at getting on a course, if you missed out enrolling in September, as many courses start again in January. I will be posting about free online courses.
If you know of any local job clubs, its great to go, rather than sitting indoors by yourself filling in job applications .For one thing, you will be using their heating, lighting, telephones, electricity etc. rather than your own, and secondly job hunting can get very lonely. You get to meet other people, who are looking for work too, and that is all part of networking. It often happens that you know of possible openings for other people and they will know of some opportunities for you…one favour deserves another !!!
If you haven’t already got a good system up and running I would suggest also, that you start using a system to record your job applications and the outcome of them, responses , follow ups etc, especially deadlines for applications. When applying for jobs it is quite easy to
get swamped and overwhelmed with applications and deadlines. You can start with a simple Excel spreadsheet and do the headings yourself but, there are some good systems online….
I especially like the Google template…https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0AsJMMqMfsWsOdEtQVGV0bzlQM19jenV1aUlpSVoteUE&mode=public
I like this because as a Google document it is easy to share,therefore it is easy to make it available for your Job centre adviser if you have one, and also as it is not a Word document you can easily access it on any PC. however, I will be looking at some alternative formats to share with you.
I hope my readers all make at least one of their New Year Resolutions..and get a great job !!!