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The Ultimate Job Search - What can I do to improve my chances

13 January 2021

By Liam McConnell

The Ultimate Job Search - What can I do to improve my chances

​With each new year comes the opportunity to press the 'reset' button, a chance to create new habits, to set goals you one day want to accomplish. Of course, the one big difference to the beginning of this year is another Lockdown and the giant Covid-19 shaped cloud that looms large above us all!

It's tough out there, really tough. No one wants to be cooped up at home, but it's something we all must do and hopefully in time - the restrictions will ease. In the meantime the world doesn't stop and nor should your job search. There is no denying, the market is not able to cater for all of the candidates job searching right now, yes the competition will be fierce in pretty much all markets. But just like those goals that we set ourselves at the turn of each new year, the only way to achieve is to graft and graft some more!

You don't need me to tell you that but what I can do is help you with a few key tips that successful job seekers I know have been applying to their everyday lives during Lockdown 1, 2, & 3!

Stay in the game! - Optimism is key

It's easy to throw in the towel and just give up but where will that get anyone? It is hard, harder than times we've encountered before, but right now whilst it's important to create momentum and to keep persisting; it's also imperative that you stay positive and that believe in yourself - In your own ability. Try and focus on all the good things you can offer a new employee, shape your day with good habits, so that when that next interview or opportunity to communicate with a potential employer comes along you are in a positive mindset. If you doubt yourself, they'll pick up on that. The days will feel long, of course giving up is easy but don't quit. Keep persisting and enquiring, ask questions, so interest.

What can be helpful is rather than telling yourself you will only succeed when you land that new job, break the process down into bitesize chunks. Small wins right now are crucial to help us along the way. Keep chipping away and ultimately you will stay in the game!

Create a winning environment - Routine rules!

If you think back to a time pre Covid, when you were rushing about trying to fit everything in I guarantee the majority of you still applied some form of structure to your day. Or if you were someone who found themselves acting on impulse, I'm sure if you could find the time to apply some structure then you most certainly would have done. Now more than ever is a perfect time to train yourself into a new routine. It's the perfect time to create or add a new structure to your day, whether you are not working or are looking to change jobs, the same rule applies.

Ensure you look after yourself in the best possible way. Fresh air, regular exercise - we've all heard the Government advice but it really does work. I personally like to start my day early and kick off my day with some form of exercise, it could be that you're getting your steps in early or you complete a home workout, either way ultimately you have already achieved something so now you can build on that momentum. Remember those bite size chunks, now set yourself some 'projects' - that could applying for jobs, making enquires, updating your skills. Whatever it is, just remember during that time to ignore the draw to social media. You can do that later. Now when you look back on your day chances are you will see some of the inroads you have made and it's all been generated from your own craft, you're creating good habits. A book I have read time and time again called 'The 5am Club' suggests it takes 66 days to create and implement a new habit. So take it one step at a time, every day is an achievement.

Be proactive, be effective - Time to work smart!

I guarantee you, you aren't the only person looking for a new job right now. In fact, competition will be fierce. But now that you are optimistic about your chances of succeeding and you have created a positive culture for yourself it's time to put in the hard yards. Be eager to develop conversation. One of my pet hates is when you don't hear back from anyone, it's surely just courtesy to reply to someone who has taken the time to engage. However, we can't control that it's the way of the world sometimes but don't let that stop you from being energised to make inroads. Research opportunities you find, enquire about the prospects you unearth. Network online, make calls, join that zoom webinar, ask questions, connect with like minded people, this will all help you along the way, each conversation will be another small win. And above all, this is the kind of approach any future employer would want you to take. I know I would!

Be the best candidate! - Every day's a school day!

Some people may be asking, "What more can I do?". Well have you considered learning a new skill or developing current ones? Perhaps there is something you want to master and you have never had the time to do it? One thing Lockdown would have given most of us is time to fill, how refreshing would it be to put that time to good use and complement your already existing skill set with another attribute? It could be that you need a specific qualification for that dream job, or perhaps you want to learn a language. Either way, no one I know has ever suggested developing a new talent is a bad idea?! Make yourself more wise and even more interesting, add another string to your bow, ultimately separate yourself from the competition. There are plenty of free online courses, everyone is coming up with new webinars teaching us something current and unique, spend some time learning from these people. I guarantee adding something new to your CV will give you that sense of achievement and you never know it could make all the difference!

Take care and keep the wheels turning!

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