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A number of recent reports state that employee turnover is on the rise, if this is the case then there is no time like the new year to set your sights on a new challenge. According to The Daily Telegraph the number of job seekers increased by some 64% in January and we would agree that the start of the year is a good time to make a change. But how can you set yourself apart from the competition and land yourself your dream job to start the year on the right foot?

The Search
Before you start trawling the web, take time to consider what your career goals are and how they fit into your lifestyle; location, pay needs as well as what you don’t like about your current job situation. But most importantly think about where you want to be in five to ten years’ time and what roles or organisations will help you get there. You need to find a job that suits you and not be influenced by what appears first in a search engine.

Be efficient
Job searching can be a time-consuming, numbers game – a bit like Tinder (joke). Applying for over 100 jobs via websites and then mass mailing your CV is not very productive – realistically are you going to go for 100 interviews? If you know what you are looking for then consider working with an agency, speak to smaller, local firms who will have established good relationships within targeted industries and take a more personal approach to the candidates. Speaking to someone in a call centre often means you are just a number on a database, this can waste precious time and the chances of being presented with opportunities that are right for you, are highly unlikely. Go and meet with the recruitment firm who will take the time to get to know you and also have personal relationships within a number of organisations supporting you throughout the entire process.

Sell yourself
A CV is effectively your personal website and needs to set you apart from the crowd. When was the last time you saw a bland black and white, text only website? Don’t be afraid to step away from the Word template and dare to be different. The corporate culture is rapidly evolving as firms strive to be seen as; modern, agile and less conservative. Take time to look at the website of your dream employer and identify what the company values are and make sure these are reflected in your CV. Never has the team culture been so encouraged and firms are realising the importance of employing people based on their individual personality not just the qualifications. In the same breath, know your audience. Don’t produce a bright and colourful, design led CV if you’re applying for a role in a compliance department in an investment bank. Let your personality shine through but in a subtler, more appropriate way.

The first meet
There is a mountain of advice about how to perform well in an interview, but interview techniques are changing and it’s essential you are fully prepared. Find out before you go who you will be meeting and don’t be afraid to ask what type of interview they are expecting. You can usually expect questions to be categorised into a handful of topics, such as technical ability, strengths, weaknesses, working with others, self-motivation and customer service. Think of a couple of examples to illustrate these points so that you’re not stuck for something to say. Again, working with an agency can be much more advantageous as often they will know the person you are meeting and so can give you an insight on what to expect and how to act.

Finding a new job can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. But don’t get swept up in the moment, remember what we said at the start – always think where do i want to be in ten years and is this the right step to get me there?

There is a dream job out there for everybody and there is no time like January to start making it happen!

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