The Ultimate Career Advice Site

Create your 2017 Job Search Strategy


Now that the Christmas Holiday period is over and we are at the start of a new year, it means that within the next short while employers and the recruitment sector will kick into gear and beef up their activity which makes this time of year, what is usually the best and most buoyant time of the year for your job search. There is always a lot of movement around now.

However, this year more than ever in my memory there are several external factors that will bring change that need to be considered.  2017 will bring change, big change without a doubt. The New Year will see Brexit kicking in, new business relationships with the US and financial developments at home. All of these will have opportunities somewhere within their structure.

Before I am accused of being a prophet of doom, I am far from it.  Change means just that, and change brings opportunities at every turn. Board rooms everywhere are crystal balling their 2017 markets, opportunities and threats to their business. It would only be a fool who would think they know what will unfold in the New Year.

Where decisions are made to expand in the face of opportunities, it’s obvious to say there will be promotions within and probable new appointments as may be required.

This is where you should clearly define your next step upwards and prepare a good CV describing your relevant skills and experience.  Bear in mind that the on-line jobs sites such as should be your first stop for a good trawl.  Register with them, load up your CV and add your key words for alerts. You will be notified by e-mail when matching jobs are advertised.  Also keep in close contact with the recruiters who specialise in your area of work.  Also network, it’s time consuming, but it works. While all this may be ‘old hat’ it surprising how many well informed people just don’t do it.

Therefore, you must carefully weigh up your options, where you are placed within your industry sector, what is a realistic option for you to progress or be promoted bearing in mind your skills and experience to date, your personality style and your long and short term aspirations.

Ambition is fine, but you must apply logic and target what is realistic for you.  You also need to define your ultimate goal over the next 3/5 tears.  Plan your progress and if your goal is two or three promotions away, prepare and polish your presentation for your next level up. If you’re a supervisor don’t rehearse and practice interview responses as you would expect of the MD. You will be seen to be best suited to the level you’re currently at or, the next reasonable step upwards.

All together, there are a lot of road ramps to ride over and each will see opportunities for some, restructures for others, but in both cases there will be great prospects for those who are well prepared for the challenge and aren’t afraid to actively pursue possibilities as they present themselves.

It essential to watch out for any clues to any opportunities going.  I had a client recently who was what might be described as a medium level manager in the domestic auctioneering business. He saw an advert for a very senior position in a well known company and reckoned to himself, ‘if they are looking for a senior person for a senior role then there may be supporting roles coming further down the line. He responded to the advertisement stating that the said position was more senior than he would qualify for but if another position became available he would ask that they keep his name on file for further consideration ….. etc.

Happily, they did and shortly after, out of the blue, he was invited for an interview. About three weeks later a 2nd interview, which was followed by a 3rd which brought an offer – happy days.

If however, you’re adopting this kind of approach your CV and covering letter have to be especially good. By this I do not mean sending a begging letter with an endless account of your career history in massive big long paragraphs on your CV. It’s got to be short, instantly interesting or arresting and give the reader a virtual smack in the face for the want of a better expression. Grab their attention. To do so it must be extremely well crafted and explicit.  Get help with this as to do it wrong will result in nothing less than a wipe-out to use surfer’s terminology

The message here is do not suffer from inertia, keep positive, keep thinking of possible angles that you can optimise, take a chance, make an overture and the worst that can happen is you will get no reply.

Everything now happens very quickly with the internet, electronic applications, electronic response; application being filtered through a key word sieve there is little opportunity to sell your personality style over the web. You might be a very engaging person, generally likeable and a natural people-person which would make you a perfect applicant for a particular type of position. However, another person may be the very opposite, but has a well written CV with all the right key words scattered throughout and they will be in with an equal chance if auto selection is being used to reduce a large number of applications to a more manageable amount. A series of ticked boxes will determine if you get an interview or not. You therefore have to try and get around that.

When you see an advert online that invites you to submit your application and you suspect there will be a big response to this one, telephone first. Ask to speak to the person handling the role on offer. When you get through mention that you were told of the position, you are currently away until next week and will there still be time to submit an application then. Add you have no access to a PC or your CV

All this is just to get a conversation going between you and the HR person in charge. You never know how the conversation will unfold. With luck you will explain where you’re coming from, how you are suitable and with an extra bit of luck you might find the HR person’s brother is your wife’s 1st cousin’s stepson or something. The point is a conversation has started in the course of which you will talk about yourself and then later that day or the next day hen you do submit your application, it will be picked up the HR person who will immediately identify you as the person they spoke to. In introduction will have been made, you will be identified and with luck get that extra bit of consideration that others won’t get. Unlike the twenty/thirty/forty or more persons that applied online, who are all faceless applicants and about to get filtered electronically.

I am we’ll aware that many prefer to mail in and wait for the mail back and having a telephone conversation is clumsy and time consuming, but remember the one that is a little different will often be the one that gets noticed.

Use your initiative, think of different ways to attack the job market or opportunities and go for it.

Further information about the author, Colm Cavey can be seen below and also at:

Good Luck

Top Tips are provided by PCC, who provides professionally delivered, supportive and most importantly, successful career change and redeployment assistance to private clients from all sectors of Industry.  Enquiries are welcome and treated in the strictest confidence.    Tel: +353-86-3017207 & +353-1-2819056


Your comments are welcome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.