Finding the right job
If you've decided it's time to move on, consider what you really want from your next role.
Self-evaluation is critical but often overlooked when you start thinking about finding a job. Take some time to assess what you've learnt in your last job, your strengths and weaknesses and what areas you need to develop. Think about the type of role that interests you and what type of organisation will be actively looking for your skill set. This will help you clearly articulate to recruitment consultancies and employers what you want to achieve from your next move. Reflecting on your skill set will also help you market yourself and it's of utmost importance that you differentiate how your skills and achievements make you different from someone else with the same academic qualifications.
Talk to recruitment consultancies about the current market, which sectors are recruiting and how long the recruitment process is currently taking. Ask for any market update and salary information and sign up for job alerts that match your chosen role criteria.
Choosing a consultancy to register with
Look for an established, specialist consultancy that has a good reputation in the marketplace. Although it is often worthwhile registering with more than one agency it is important not to register with more than two to three agencies to prevent your CV from being sent to the same organisation. Ask the consultancy about the benefits of registering exclusively with them - good consultancies will actively market your CV to their best clients and will also target organisations on your behalf. Another factor to consider is whether the consultants are working on a commission basis - they may not always be objective when assisting with your job search. You should also choose a consultancy that gives every consultant in your specialism access to your CV, if not, you will only find out about the handful of roles that your consultant is dealing with.
By being well-networked, you are not only enabling yourself to tap into the 'hidden' job market, but giving yourself a real advantage over other candidates. Your network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, colleagues from business associations and friends. Use tools like Linked In to expand your network.
Search job boards
Research which online job boards cater specifically for the industry you are looking to work in. Once you have identified which job boards are appropriate use the search engines to locate roles that match your discipline, job type, salary and location. You could also create a user accounts to upload your CV (for companies to find) but this can be a risky strategy as you have no idea whose desk your CV may land on.
Read the trade press for your sector
Whatever sector you work in, it's critical to understand the issues affecting your profession or industry sector and in-depth insight will put you ahead of your fellow job seekers. You can also gain key information on who is moving roles to help you target your job search.