With the ability to click “easy apply” and send a resume to dozens of job openings in seconds, it may seem to job-seekers that getting a new job in the UK is a simple endeavor.
Unfortunately, that is rarely the case - as securing the perfect job in your career sector often takes time, planning and lots of networking.
Even before the actual application, there are steps that those entering the job sector for the first time and those looking for a career change should take.
To find out what steps help with the process, we spoke to UK career experts and coaches - who explained exactly what you should be doing during your search for your dream job in the UK.
Take inventory of yourself and create a plan
Prior to sending a single cover letter, UK job-seekers should take a moment to self-evaluate - and pinpoint exactly what they are looking for in a job, according to a founder of Robin’s Resumes, Robin Schlinger.
Before looking for a job or writing a resume, take an inventory on yourself to identify what you really want to do - and the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and successes from your past that will show how you are the right person for the job in the UK.”
With hundreds of listings on a variety of UK employment platforms, it is important to have a clear idea of what you want out of a career - and where your skills will best fit.
Once you’ve narrowed down what you are looking for in UK, you should make a plan, according to Georgia Adamson, CEO of A Successful Career, who told us:
“Create a PLAN - and execute it!”
While you can adjust your plan along the way as needed, it is a good place to start - as “flying by the seat of your pants will almost certainly drag out the job search and reduce its effectiveness,” Ms Adamson said.
Customize your cover letters
It may seem like a hassle, but taking the time to craft an individual cover letter for each UK job you apply to shows the employer that you are invested in that specific opportunity.
The same is true for your resume, which should be updated to reflect the skills you would need for each specific role, according to Erin Kennedy, CEO at Professional Resume Services, who told us: “Customise your resume and cover letter for every position you are looking at job in UK. Job search needs to be done carefully.”
This also means double and triple-checking any documents you send to ensure there are no typos or mistakes.
“You don’t want to send your Project Manager resume to the Program Manager job,” Ms Kennedy said. “Proofread and take your time.”
Broaden your network
Even though employment is at the highest it’s been in a decade in the US, according to the New York Fed, people need to remember that they are competing against hundreds of other candidates.
And while a targeted cover letter and resume can help, most career experts recommend networking to increase your chances.
“Don’t just apply online and wait,” advises Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, certified UK career management coach and founder of the Career Success Coach. “You should broaden your job search in UK by networking with family, friends, former co-workers and colleagues to tap into the hidden job market - opportunities which haven’t been published online yet or might only be available through referrals.”
Networking can even help on a more basic level - as Ms Schwerdlin pointed out that you can find an “insider close to the hiring manager who can put in a good word for you about a job you recently applied for.”
Executive career coach, leadership consultant and CEO of Executive Coach NY Jane Cranston also reiterated the advice.
“Milk and expand your network,” she said.
Update your LinkedIn profile
Once you manage to capture the attention of a hiring manager, it is likely they’ll look you up - so Carolyn Betts Fleming, CEO and founder of Betts Recruiting, recommends job-seekers “update your LinkedIn profile.”
And although Ms Fleming told us that pictures do not belong on a resume, she does think they should be used on LinkedIn profiles - where the details that don’t fit on your one-page resume can also go.