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How to ace your January job search in 2023

With new budgets and fresh targets for the year ahead, January is widely thought to be the best month to search for a new job, and opportunities are beginning to boom as workers everywhere look to make a change. If you’re also thinking about taking the next step on the career ladder, we’ve got you covered.

Read on for Distinct’s tips to give your January job search a jump start.

Define Your Goals | Refresh Your Social Media | Use LinkedIn | Alternative Networks | Be Strategic | Let us join your search!

What does the jobs market look like in 2023?

Job vacancies remain at a high after the record levels of the previous year, with data from the Office for National Statistics reporting 1,225,000 vacancies from August to October 2022, showing a slight drop as businesses come to terms with tighter budgets in 2023.

UK ONS figures showing a slight drop in vacancies from August 2022 to October 2022

However, even with this slight drop opportunities remain high, with a range of industries showing upturns as we approach the busy season for recruitment. These include increases in education, construction, professional and technical activities, hospitality, and information and communication roles.

UK ONS figures showing quarterly growth falling in industry sectors

With all this growth, it can be hard to stand out as more people try to take advantage of new opportunities. Add to this hiring managers spending (on average) as little as 6-8 seconds looking at your CV before making a decision, and it can feel like the cards are stacked against you.

So, how can you stand out from the crowd and ace your January job search? We’ve got all the job-hunting tips you need to be Distinct in your search.

Define your goals 

What are you looking for in a new role, and from a new employer?

Whether it’s a new challenge, career progression, or the opportunity to learn new skills, understanding what you want from your next role will help you be more focused in your job search.

What do you want from a new job that is lacking in your current role?

Make a list of what you are looking for right now and how you want your role to evolve in the future.

Are there any additional opportunities that you are looking for?

It might be more flexibility in the way you work, study support, travel, or attending industry events. 

We’ve seen a huge shift in priorities as many candidates look for more flexibility in their work. Decide what’s important to you, be it shorter work weeks, private healthcare benefits, or maybe just a bigger pay packet, and set your goals. While this may seem like a time-consuming task when you just want to get started with your search, it will save time in the long run. This will ultimately help you in your job search by enabling you to focus directly on the opportunities that matter to you and invest time in applying for the roles you really want. 

Top tip: Consider what job satisfaction and work-life balance look like for you now and what they might look like in the future, to help you define your goals.

Refresh your social media

Updating your LinkedIn profile is a wise starting point when jumpstarting your January job search in 2023, as it’s the first place that potential employers will look after reviewing your CV and cover letter. You should ensure all your details are up-to-date and match those on your CV, and you could also take the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skills via the posts you publish:

  • Do you have any thoughts on recent research that has been completed in your sector?
  • Do you have any predictions for your industry in the year ahead?
  • Can you share details of successful projects you’ve worked on recently?

All of these interest points can help you to stand out from the competition in order to land an interview or make the shortlist. We also have an insider’s guide to some of the more common interview questions to help make your preparation a little easier.

Follow the companies you want to work for and be aware of what they are up to on social media. This can help to put your name on their radar whilst giving you an idea of their company culture.

Top tip: Don’t forget to review your other social media channels. While LinkedIn is the primary social channel for professionals, potential employers are also likely to check your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles to determine whether you are a good fit for their company. 

Use LinkedIn to find a job

Our use of everyday digital tech means that as a job seeker, you now have the ability to attract prospective employers and recruiters to come to you. One of our biggest job-hunting tips is to get the most from the tools at your fingertips – make your social media work harder by utilising all of LinkedIn’s features:

  • Review and update your skills
  • Add keywords to your profile, e.g., copywriting or book-keeping
  • Show your status as Open to Work
  • Take a skills quiz to underline your skills and stand out from the competition
  • Ask for skills endorsements from colleagues and peers
  • Request recommendations from colleagues and peers
  • Update your interests to ensure you are following relevant brands, organisations, and publications in your industry, but also those in your region, as they may help you to make valuable connections.

You should also ensure that your profiles on industry-specific platforms are up to date. For example; design portfolios, accreditations, and even your personal/freelance blog. You never know what part of your online profile will be the winning factor.

Top tip: Create content that stands out. Attention spans are narrowing all the time, so how do you get your followers to stop scrolling for you? Try turning your written post into video content to make thumb-stopping posts that your followers notice! 

Alternative ways to network

A large percentage of senior roles are never advertised, as they are filled via existing connections and networking. While networking is key to finding new opportunities, networking over the last few years during and after the pandemic was somewhat challenging. However, with this challenge came the rise of virtual events, which have proved in some ways to be even more accessible, as you’re no longer limited by location. 

Virtual networking events offer a great alternative to in-person events and are an easy way to get started if you have limited experience in networking. Try Eventbrite to find online events for your region and your industry.

Use social media to your advantage and don’t just post, engage. LinkedIn was started as an online platform for networking, so make the most of its reach. Comment on posts from others in your industry, share your thoughts on sector-related news, ask questions in the comments to keep the conversation going, and include a question to encourage others to engage with your content when posting.

Top tip: Make networking and your job search easier by registering with a recruitment agency. With great connections and excellent relationships, our consultants here at Distinct will network on your behalf to find the opportunities that really matter.

When the January blues really bite, it can sometimes feel like any job is better than your current one.

It’s important not to rush the process by applying for roles which you aren’t totally sure about, and don’t be tempted to just take anything in your field. With the long-term in mind, ideally you don’t want to find yourself repeating this process 6 or 12 months from now. 

No matter what industry you work in, the last couple of years have been tough with increasing workloads, burnout, and staff feeling unappreciated. The average worker spends 42.5 hours at work per week so finding the right fit is essential for job satisfaction, work-life balance, and career progression.

Dedicate some time to really doing your research. Identify the companies you would most like to work for and really get to know them, as this can make you a standout candidate during the interview process. Once you have your hitlist, focus on the jobs you really want, tailor your applications and go for it!

Top tip: Utilise third-party sites like Glassdoor and review sites to find out what a company is really like to work for and research clients, projects, and key individuals so you can really impress at the interview.

Work with Distinct

Sometimes the search for a new role can feel like a full-time job in itself. In fact, when Glassdoor crunched the numbers, they found that job seekers in the UK spend an average of 27 days in an interview process when they apply for a job. That timeframe can vary wildly depending on the sector you work in and the seniority of the role, with the process stretching to 55 days for those applying for consulting jobs.

Additional research into senior job hunters from Executive Connexions highlighted how 51% had been seeking a new job for four months or longer. Combine that with the number of hours spent on your initial job search, plus time spent adapting your CV and cover letter, and your job hunt can soon feel like a chore.

This is where the help of a recruitment agency can really make the difference to keep you motivated, keep your progress on track, and provide the job-hunting tips you need to succeed – at Distinct, we’ll do all of the leg work, so you can concentrate on your day job.

We’ll get to know you as an individual, considering your skills and aspirations to find a role that is right for you. Contact our recruiters in Nottingham to kickstart your January job search, or visit our jobs board to browse all of the roles we are currently recruiting. 

Last updated: Friday 20th January, 2023

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