There has been a big disruption to working culture since the Covid lockdowns lifted. Everyone had a lot of time to think about their work, whether they were already in work and thinking about something better or you’ve done nothing but think about it the entire time. Does that sound familiar?
We might be able to help. If you are daydreaming about a better day-to-day, take a look at our tips to help you land that dream job.
Sort out your closet
Like most things to do with fashion, it’s simpler to start with men. Men have two main options: business formal and business casual, which are quite clearly outlined, whereas women’s fashion is full of shades of grey.
However, there are a lot of hard and fast rules on what to avoid: jeans, sportswear, anything you would wear to the club, etc. We don’t care how casual your place of work is once you get in there. You’re not in there yet. So, for now, stick to a suit and tie. The business casual option is to forgo the tie, replace the suit trousers with chinos and lighten the colors to tan rather than dark blue or black.
As we mentioned, a lot harder to talk about women’s fashion, but the simpler the better for interviews. Go for a professional-looking dress with a mid or knee-length, maybe a blazer or cardigan. Or, if you feel more comfortable, some smart trousers and a blouse.
You don’t know what kind of prejudices your new employer could hold, so cover any tattoos and remove any piercings for one hour. Again, you can revert back to your old self once you’re in the job.
Networking might seem like an idea your boomer dad came up with, along with walking around the shopping center with a CV: it has no place in the digital age. And while the instinct is to agree there, both of these have merit still today.
But we’ll focus on networking for now. There is a reason LinkedIn is one of the biggest platforms in the world. Networking hasn’t entirely migrated to the digital space, but it does start there, so get your profile up to date. It’s going to be the first thing that an employer will look at when they start their social media background check on you. More on that later.
Don’t ask anyone for a job and don’t take up too much time. You’re looking for advice, not a job, so instead ask people for information on advice on where to look for a job. Mention where you come from and what you’re looking for and leave the rest up to them. You might get a quick or dismissive answer, or you might get good advice or, if you’re lucky a “You know, we have a position…?”
If they’re interested, work in a success story that will help your case, ask for ways to expand your network (more advice) and make sure you have something to follow up on. Follow up with an article relevant to what you were talking about as a way of creating conversation. For more tips, take a look at this guide to landing a networking placement to help you out.
Create a career-specific CV
If you were to have a casual discussion with a recruitment agent or HR department executive, no doubt they could tell you some stories about the rejected pile of CVs they’ve gotten. We all think we know how to write a CV, but we don’t, apparently. So, let’s go over the basics.
Keep the gimmicks to a minimum. Your employer is looking to glance at your CV and see that you stand out due to your qualifications and experience. If you have some popup glitter bomb or even a page full of positive reviews, they’re not only not going to be interested but probably put off by you.
Remember that less is more – up to a point. You want to fill one CV page, with a decent sized font. Include your contact details, a profile of yourself, your education, relevant work experience, your skills and achievements, and your interests. The details of the job can be put in bullet points. Save the longhand for your cover letter. And for the love of all that is holy, run it all through a spelling and grammar checker.
Sort out your socials
It’s a harsh reality of life that an employer nowadays is likely to snoop through your social media to get an idea of what you’re like. This is likely to be the case if your dream job has a high security clearance or the idea of you having a drink on a Friday night is very unfavorable to an employer.
You can take this a step further and hand out your “professional social media” to employees. It’s a phenomenon that is taking over younger users. Creators are turning their socials into portfolios, using them to network and display their work. It’s particularly useful if your dream job is in a visual industry or creative in nature.
At the very least, transfer your physical portfolio to an online version. You can create your own website or blog and fill it with examples of your work for the sake of an employer.
Gain some useful experience
Volunteering is very underrated nowadays – by employees. Employers love it. It counts towards your experience and speaks to your character.
The best situation is to find voluntary work that is relevant to your industry, so if you’re into writing you can do some unpaid writing for magazines, write copy for startups, etc. There are a lot of voluntary positions out there, and if you can’t think of one, ask. Start shadowing someone in your industry and learn the basics.
And then there is literal charity work, which will come in handy to express character. It will show you as a team player as well as a selfless person, which is rare today. A lot of employees cannot afford the time to volunteer.