Hit the ground still running

Last Updated 05 January 2010, 12:42 IST

Some job-search strategies take time to be effective, so give yourself a head start now.

Keep your CV fresh

Make a habit of noting down your professional achievements when they happen so you are not scrambling around for inspiration when you have to submit your CV at short notice.

Don’t be too selective in which achievements you note: you never know which skill you will be asked to prove.

Having a list of successes gives you more choice when you need to identify the most appropriate for the role you apply for.

Think in terms of how your work affects the bottom-line of your organisation. What problems did you solve? What value did you add? Where possible, quantify your achievements, but don’t exclude the more intangible results of your work. Are you an expert on something? Do you have skills that set you apart, or which are invaluable to your organisation?

Keep references and recommendations from satisfied clients, colleagues and managers. Ask for and get recommendations to beef up your LinkedIn profile, and keep copies of good performance reviews. All these can be quoted in your CV to give eye-catching third-party endorsements and testimonials.

Safeguard your  image

If a google search of your name produces links to questionable content, start work now to push down these links and replace them with others pointing to a more professional image. One of the easiest ways to do this (if you haven’t already) is to get a LinkedIn profile, as this generally comes first in a google search.

Twitter updates are also indexed by Google, so start using your Twitter account to exchange industry news and information. Be especially careful of the information you share on sites such as Facebook. If necessary you can change your privacy settings to limit what people can see or post about you.

Start building contacts

Be visible within your industry. Attend industry events, and join professional groups in your field. Start making contacts with people working in companies you’ve identified as potentially interesting, and build good relationships with them. What can you do for them?

The more you can help others, the more they’re likely to want to help you. Pass on useful information and share tips or best practice (if they’re in a similar field); introduce them to other people you know, and so on. Consider networking as a regular part of your ongoing career development — not something you do only when you lose your job. Put aside time every week to phone, email, or meet up for a quick coffee.

Learn new skills

Have a look at the job ads for the roles you can see yourself applying for. Do you tick all the skills boxes? If you’re missing any, find ways to fill the gaps.

* Ask your manager to be put on a particular project where you’d learn something new Search for free tutorials on the net to widen your skill-set

*  Being involvedin local events are good ways of developing your organisational and management skills, and getting to know new people — so building your contacts.

(Published 05 January 2010, 12:42 IST)

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