The Job Search Checklist: Essential Organisation to Win Your Perfect Next Job

Job search checklistAccording to a survey by Sheffield recruitment firm, Benchmark, only a quarter of people feel that they are working in their perfect job. Nearly half of those interviewed however were optimistic that they would be in their dream job within the next 18 months, meaning that there are many people on the search for the perfect opportunity.

But to find the perfect job, you need to also complete the perfect job search. Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re ready:

Before You Start Searching

Before you start the search for a new job, it is important to assess your current job: think about what elements are good that you want to replicate in a new work environment; and what you are not enjoying and would need to be different for a good work-life balance and professional environment. Think about the results of the following surveys and make a list of what your current career is missing.

Work-life balance is one of the most important factors to consider. A recent Mental Health Foundation Survey looked into the signs of unhealthy work-life balance and stress, with over 40% of those interviewed saying that they neglect other aspects of their life because of work, leading to more than a quarter feeling depressed and one third feeling anxious due to their long working hours.

There are other reasons that workers feel unhappy in their current situation. LinkedIn’s global survey of 18,000 professionals from 26 countries, Talent Trends 2014, looked at employees’ opinions on jobs and career management and found that 85% of the workforce are either actively searching for a new job or are open to talking to recruiters about relevant opportunities. More research from the LinkedIn ‘Exit Survey’, which looks at the reasons behind employers’ failure to retain their high performers, revealed that greater opportunities for advancement, better leadership from senior management and better compensation benefits are some of the factors behind employees choosing to move to a new company. A complimentary study found the top five deal-breakers that cause people to leave their current employer are: unhealthy work-life balance; difficult co-workers; lack of trust from the boss; being blamed for mistakes; and inflexibility of employers.

A final factor to consider is your interest and engagement in your current work. 19% of professionals interviewed in the Exit Survey reported feeling disengaged and unmotivated by their work. All of these situations point to it being time to find a new role that provides an enjoyable work environment as well as an interesting workload.

Plan Time

Dedicating enough time is an essential part of the process; you need to set aside enough time for creating a unique CV and application, as well as researching your potential employer and interviewer so that you can answer questions to the best of your experience. Additionally, writing down and keeping track of each stage of the process will help you organise your job search alongside other commitments and workload. Organising to-do lists and prioritising tasks, or using productivity software will help you keep track of the timeline of an application. You may also want to consider project management techniques and tips to manage your current job more efficiently so that you can spend more time on your job search at home.

Create a Modern CV

A modern CV is a necessity in today’s job market, where online work portfolios, personal websites and social media portfolios all form a candidate profile that will be taken into consideration by employers. Getting creative with your CV allows you to stand out from the crowd and there are many original ideas for developing a memorable CV; from creating a game that functions as a developer’s CV to creating a personal website to show off web design skills.

Prepare for any Type of Interview

Interviews can take many different formats and so it is important to find out as early as possible what the process is for the role that you are applying for. This will give you the maximum time to prepare for the traditional first and second interviews, as well as phone, group and video interviews. Ensure that you also ask if you will need to complete any practical elements of the interview; practical tests for IT professionals include coding tests or web design tasks and provide a real opportunity to impress with your skill set.

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