Everyone knows that we spend almost all of our lives at work and that about 90% of people actually hate their job…I’ve just made that up, obviously!  But the point is, you need to take charge of your next job search if you want to get your dream job so here are our Top 10 tips for getting there:

1) Go back to basics
This is your chance!  If you are not already working in your dream job, don’t waste the opportunity of a change to manoeuvre yourself in the right direction.  Strip it back down to your deepest motivations and joys and then strategise accordingly (see below). You don’t have to throw everything up in the air; even small steps towards your dream job add up over time and set you on the path to your perfect role.

2) Have a strategy
“Where do you want to be in five years?”.  This question always makes us groan, but it’s still a question you should examine seriously.  Once you have a goal or dream, however vague, you can build a plan to get you there.  Your goals can be anything you want (run a company, become an expert in HR, earn £1 billion, save up to travel the world etc.), as long as you consider your moves with them in mind then you will always be edging closer to your ideal.

3) Make it your job
Make it your job to get a job. The most successful job hunters are those who take responsibility for their own future and actively make it their job to get a job.  Obviously this is easier said than done if you are still in your current employment and working 12 hour days, but it is as much of a mindset as a logistical decision. You will not get what you want by speculatively surfing the internet for an hour a week and employers/recruiters can smell lack of commitment a mile off.

5) Don’t rely on one source
Just because you’ve met one recruiter, no matter how good they were, don’t just rely on them.  Getting a new job is your responsibility and you should therefore use every resource open to you. As well as various recruiters, use LinkedIn and job pages and don’t underestimate the power of your personal networks (see below).  Recruiters are a useful tool and the good ones really go to work for you but don’t outsource personal responsibility for your future.

6) Networking
Ask to meet people for coffee, tell them about your ambitions, and see if they know anyone they think you should talk to. Never stop asking questions or working your network.  The face-to-face element in this method is particularly strong and takes you much further than restricting your search to purely online methods.  It’s also great practice for interviewing. Having said all this, beware of being too aggressive in your networking as it can make you look desperate.  Treat it as a fact-finding exercise instead of specifically asking everyone you meet for a job, or even disclosing that you’re searching at all!

7) Impress your recruiters
I would say this since I am a recruiter but if you really want the best jobs, you really need to leave a lasting impression on them.  They will judge you on their meeting with you and write you off if you don’t show the required interview techniques and skills they think are needed for the level of role you want (or enthusiasm, see above).  There are some difficult and infuriating recruiters out there but you need to use them well.  Showcase your skills, your level of knowledge and always give them room to talk, taking their advice kindly where you can.  How well candidates take feedback is top 3 on our list of what makes an excellent prospect. A good recruiter genuinely does want the best for their candidates and they will go out of their way for you, but you still have to show them that you deserve it.

8) Research & Knowledge
Do your homework.  It’s a cliché but it’s essential to gather the right amount of knowledge before taking a new step.  What is the market like? Are my salary expectations in line with the market/my chosen industry?  Who are the best recruiters?  Who are the best employers?  Why do I want to change jobs?  What is going on with the economy that might affect my new job?  There are endless routes of knowledge so spend plenty of time researching. Once you have an interview lined up, continue more specific research into the industry, the company and people as much as you can.  You can literally NEVER be too prepared or too knowledgeable.

9) Keep detailed notes
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of this tip.  If you take notes on who you’ve spoken to, where they work and any other relevant information, you can make sure that you don’t overlap conversations or embarrass yourself by speaking to the same person twice without realising it.  If you’re job hunting for a longer period of time then jobs, people and conversations can easily begin to merge into each other so take notes from the beginning.

10) Be Ambitious
Yes, you are worth it, you can do the job and you do deserve it.  Stay ambitious and positive about your worth and your talent.  If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you can’t expect others to and if you want to get somewhere you must give yourself the right motivation.  The power is entirely in your hands!

Good luck!

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Supplied by Emma Hatto and Georgina Bale at BOWER TALENT