Looking for a new job can be challenging, frustrating and a real cause of stress and anxiety.
You may be in a role that you are unhappy in, made redundant or in between positions, but either way there are key steps you can follow to ensure the best possible outcome in securing a new opportunity.
Above all, be clear about your career goals and take ownership of them.
Firstly, update your CV and get feedback on it.
Do the usual checks such as double checking for spelling mistakes, lay out your content in a logical order with the most recent job experience at the top and ensure sentences are well-constructed to make it easy to understand.
The format of your CV is important and omit details which could cause bias such as your age or photograph.
Ideally keep it to two or three pages and tailor it for each application by emphasising how you meet the criteria.
You want your CV to stand out.
A CV that is too short or too long risks being overlooked due to lack of detail or expecting the company to wade through page after page looking for your relevant experience.
2. LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is an online extension of your CV and is a great tool to get you noticed by company hiring managers and recruitment consultants.
Spend time on it, complete the skills section, ensure your dates of employment tally with your CV, and think about what content you are posting on your profile, ensuring it is professional.
3. Relevance and personalisation
Apply for jobs relevant to your experience. When this is not possible ensure you personalise your CV to show how your skills from previous roles can be adapted to this new role.
For every role, ensure you write a personalised cover letter to show why you would be right for the role. This is your opportunity to show how you are the perfect person for this role.
Research your sector to learn about each potential company or organisation that could be of interest to you. When applying, intertwine key messages from the employer's brand into your cover letter on why you would be a good match for that role in their company.
Mentioning key events or products in the company can show you have a real interest, and you are not just sending another generic CV to another company.
You can also register for job alerts on job board aggregators such as Indeed who will send you vacancies which match your criteria daily.
Do not just rely on online applications - work your network and build relationships with recruiters who specialise in your field along with internal hiring managers.
5. Be creative
You are unlikely to be the only applicant for a role, so make yourself stand out for the right reasons, be authentic and show your genuine interest in the opportunity.
Once you have reached the interview stage make sure you know who is going to be interviewing you and research them on LinkedIn.
Try and find someone who you know who works there for an 'information interview' with them in advance.
If possible, send a follow-up email to each of the interview panel thanking them for the opportunity.
In conclusion, be resilient and know that during a job search rejections are inevitable.
Don't take it personally and remember everyone has been rejected at some point in their career.
If you are not currently employed, your search for a job becomes your job, so structure your day as if you were at work in terms of when you start, stop, take breaks etc.
When your day is finished, turn off your computer.
Ian Weatherup is managing director at Corvus, a Belfast-based recruitment consultancy who specialise in critical recruitment solutions. For further information on Corvus visit www.corvus.jobs/ Follow Corvus on Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter @Corvus_jobs