9 January 2024

The Job Hunt Blueprint

Open a New Employment Door in 2024

With the Christmas and New Year celebrations successfully completed, most of us are turning our attention to implementing our priority resolutions for 2024. Top of most of our lists is how to improve our personal and professional lives, and how to step up the career ladder into a role with star quality. It’s all about opening a new door in 2024, so here’s our job hunt blueprint.


Why now?

More to the point, why not? Because if your job doesn’t have the It Factor, you could be one of the proactive few who do something about it.

Recent research has revealed that 22% of UK workers are yearning for a new job this year. The same survey also showed that more than half (53%) of these workers favour January for a fresh start, with 38% believing that it allows them to set important career goals for the year ahead.

One of the biggest motivating factors behind this quest for change is that 40% of workers want a better work-life balance. And if you can achieve that, it’s good news all round according to The Happiness Index, as work-life balance is key in creating engaged and happy workers.


Create a shiny new CV

If this is you, then the first thing you need to do is give your CV a style makeover.

Your CV does all the talking, so make sure that it sounds intelligent and doesn’t waffle.

You’ll also find one of our favourite and bang up-to-date guides for writing a standout CV here, so take a good look and see how your own holds up to scrutiny.

If writing isn’t your thing, then our brand new pal AI is ready to help you out with free CV builders, such as Enhancv. These valuable tools will do all the heavy lifting, after gathering up your relevant employment and personal details. Always include achievements, certifications and licences, skills, and professional memberships.

Do remember, however, that the style and terminology will be the same as everyone else’s. AI generates CVs that often include tired clichés and set phrases that’ll quickly send your reader to Snoozeville. With that in mind, read it over seeking opportunities to insert personality and character, while, of course, keeping it professional.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to mention even the shortest freelance gigs. Then round it off with a brief nod to any interests and volunteering.

Finally, edit, edit, edit. Typos on such an important document say a lot about your attention to detail, and more employers notice them than don’t.

The next job is to make your CV stand apart from the crowd. There are all sorts of design aids such as Canva, which will give your document a cutting-edge look. You may also want to include relevant interactive elements, like links to a video or portfolio.

Finally, although there are many excellent and free CV templates available, you need to seriously consider the colour schemes and layouts. Your CV is not a comic, and should be simple to scan over to find relevant information about you. And, need we say it, but rainbows are for kids and unicorns – keep it simple and sleek.


Align your LinkedIn

Now your CV is up-to-date, make sure your LinkedIn page mirrors it. The last thing you want is contradictory information. Will potential employers check? Of course they will.

As soon as you’ve nailed that, set up an ‘Open to Work’ banner on your LinkedIn page, and check out the job board.


The perfect cover letter

If you currently believe that cover letters are just a nicety, it’s time to wake up. In fact, you’re going to get judged by it – BIG TIME!

So, if you want your dream employer to even open your amazing CV, you need to impress them, and fast. With this as your next number one priority, make sure your cover letter is concise, confident, and detail oriented.

For the very best top tips, look no further than this eight minute video by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review editor, and Elainy Mata. And for your convenience, here’s the transcript.

Amongst other highlights are the importance of making it just one page long, figuring out fonts, and getting the essentials across.


A quick word about social media…

We’ll be brief and brutal here – make your personal accounts private, and erase controversy. These days, one gauche sentence is potential dynamite to your professional reputation. The public and employers will be the judge, and you won’t even be able to appeal. So, save it for the pub.


Platinum-grade networks and recruitment agencies

So, now you’ve answered all those questions, what next? Well, last year we introduced you to Rebecca Fraser-Thill’s great article for Forbes about networking and the job market. Rebecca points out that the best positions are filled through networking, and this is where the best agencies can really help you out – because in the recruitment business, connections are the golden keys.

So, how’s your network looking? If it can rival Elon Musk’s, then congratulations. If it could do with a little help, then give us a call – at mustard, we aren’t shy about our own formidable networks, and we’re very keen to share them with you.


Recruitment consultants can do!

If there’s one burning truism in the recruitment business, it’s that specialist consultants get to hear about white hot opportunities and vacancies before anyone else.

And, not only that – recruitment agencies will also ensure that you’re pitching for the salary and package you deserve. If you want to know more about how much you should be paid, then look no further. You can download mustard’s latest salary white paper and guide right here.


Crucial mustard guides

We’d also like to point you towards a few of the great career guides and top professional tips created by our mustard divisions:

Our essential guide for ‘How to get a Job in the Creative Industries’.


Would you like more advice?

If you’ve got any questions about your job search, or want to find out about the amazing professional vacancies and career opportunities on our books, call us on our hotline – 0117 929 6060.

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