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How to win that new job you want in 2016

Getty

Getty

Not many of us want to rush back to work after holidays – particularly if the sun is shining – but if you’ve been stuck in a job rut for a while, the post-holiday blues can hit hard.

The good news? January is an excellent time to harness the optimism of the new year, and get some strategies in place to put your best foot forward in the jobs market.

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“People tend to make New Year’s resolutions about getting a new job, and they sort of get lost because life takes over,” says Karalyn Brown, founder of career marketing consultancy InterviewIQ.

If you’re still on holidays, it’s a great time to start thinking about the sort of job that might make you spring out of bed each morning.

“While you’re relaxed, put some things in place,” says Ms Brown. “Start to reflect on what makes you happy, your strengths and skills, and employers where you’ve been happy.”

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Take a break from your routine.  Photo:Getty

First, recharge

Ms Brown says it’s important to take a break from your usual environment.

“Make an effort to actually go somewhere different. Getting to the bush or the beach, it just opens up your entire perspective.”

Get your LinkedIn profile up to scratch

Ms Brown says January is an ideal time to start building your LinkedIn profile.

Get in touch with old colleagues, ensure you fill in all sections on your profile, and add keywords so that your profile ranks highly and gives people a reason to connect with you.

Ms Brown also recommends sharpening up your summary by thinking about what the underlying passion is that ties all your jobs and qualifications together.

Also mention your key skills and touch on three or four standout achievements.

Put yourself out there

Ms Brown says attending industry events, or joining networking groups helps make you more visible and could spark job opportunities.

Career counsellor Denise Mooney says that approaching people in the kind of job you’d like to have in is an excellent idea, especially if you’re considering a career change.

Photo: Getty

Talk to someone in in the know. Photo: Getty

When she changed tack in her own career, she found career counsellors were generous in sharing their experiences.

“You’d be surprised how willing people are to give you information,” says Ms Mooney. “You’re not asking them for a job; you’re just asking them for information.”

She recommends sending an introductory email first, and then requesting a quick chat over the phone.

Getting in touch with three or four recruiters with a long history in your industry – or following company pages on LinkedIn, where jobs are often advertised – are among other strategies.

Get a fresh perspective

 If you’ve been job-hunting for a while without success, a career counsellor – or even a friend or colleague – could help fix your resume, and nut out your skills.

 “If you’ve been in a role for a long time it’s hard to be objective about the skills you have. You can be blind to the results that you’ve actually achieved for other people,” says Ms Mooney.

Photo : Getty

Update your CV. Photo: Getty

Writing a list of your achievements is helpful not only for your CV and LinkedIn profile, but to prepare you for interviews.

Refining your CV

Even if you’re not applying for a specific job right now, it’s worth making sure your CV is ready to go, rather than dashing it off at the last minute, says Ms Mooney.

However she warns against a “scattergun” approach. You’re much more likely to be successful in landing your dream job if you take a considered approach, and tailor your CV to each role – rather than, say, sending out 500 copies willy-nilly, says Ms Mooney.

She suggests having your CV ready to go by the start of February, when the job market tends to heat up.

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