Finding a decent job has never been easy, but landing your dream role can seem impossible. However, by following some simple tips, you will be one step closer as Antje Derks explains.

Is the grass really greener?

Before you jump ship, take a long, hard look at the job you are currently in. Why do you want to leave? Is there anything you can do to improve your situation? If you get on with your boss, why not schedule a meeting to see if you can re-define your goals and perhaps get involved in a new project or work more closely with a different department.

If you do want to move on, consider the following:

Don’t just apply for any role you come across – being miserable in your next role defeats the object of moving. It is a good idea to determine your career goals and preferences for your next role before you start applying. Think about the long as well as the short-term. Where do you see yourself and your career in ten years time?

Target your search

Once you have set your career goals, it is essential to make your search as targeted as possible. Think about where you would like to work. Are you more suited to a small organisation or do you prefer the challenges and dynamics a large company offers. It is a good idea to draw up a list of the companies you would like to work for and the types of roles they have available that would suit your skill set. Remember, ambition is to be encouraged, but it is important to be realistic when setting your goals and preferences.

Keep you CV and LinkedIn profile up-to-date

It is important to review your CV and LinkedIn profile every two to three months. Avoid ‘hoarding’ information – employers don’t need to know about the Saturday job you did when you were sixteen. Make sure you add any news skills you have acquired, any qualifications you have gained or work experience you have undertaken. Make sure you think about your USP.  You want your CV and LinkedIn profile to stand out. It is what you do in your spare time that can make the difference. Spending your evenings playing on your games console is not very inspiring, but taking an online Latin course for example speaks volumes about the type of person you are.

Register your CV via jobs boards

It is vital to get your CV ‘out there’. There are plenty of specialist jobs boards online. Register your CV and browse the vacancies on offer.

Adapt your CV and cover letter

The biggest faux pas that you can make when looking for your next role is blanket applying. It is really important to tailor your CV and covering letter to the job you are applying for. You need to analyse the job description and include key points in your covering letter. You also need to determine that you are a good match before applying. Nothing infuriates recruitment consultants and employers more than random CV’s that have none of the skills and qualifications asked for in the job spec.

Check your spelling and grammar

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But, you would be surprised by the amount of poorly written CV’s and cover letters that are submitted. Check and re-check your application. You may be a fabulous candidate who misses out because of avoidable mistakes and sloppy presentation.

Ask for feedback

Had an interview but didn’t get the job? Ask for feedback. Learn from each interview and apply any feedback received to your next opportunity. It is important to evaluate your progress and review your job search.