New year, new job?

Our view

The New Year is a great time to start looking for a new job because so many people are doing the same, meaning a lot of new opportunities open up at this time of year. However, it also means there’s a lot of competition for roles.

Follow our tips on how to get ahead of the game and increase your chances of getting on that shortlist:

1. Have a plan

Start with a clear goal by deciding what type of job you’re after and which organisations you’d like to work for.Keep an open mind on what you’ll need to do to achieve this i.e. you may have to consider further learning or vocational training in order to gain the relevant skills and experience. The National Careers Service website includes a tool where you can search for jobs and see a list of the skills required for them.

2. Update your CV

It’s easy to forget all the skills and experience you’ve already achieved. Your CV is your first opportunity to sell yourself, so make sure you include everything that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you don’t know where to start or need someone to look over your CV with a fresh eye, get some free expert CV advice from us.

3. Online presence

Be aware of your online profile. What do your Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and LinkedIn profiles say about you? If sections of your profiles are private, look at the ‘public view’ version, to check what employers will be able to see.

4. Experience

Not got the experience that employers are looking for? Consider doing vocational training such as an apprenticeship or traineeship or gain the necessary experience through volunteering. Websites like and NCVO have hundreds of opportunities listed or you could approach a voluntary organisation which you know has roles that you’d like to work in.

5. Interviews

When you get invited to interview, think about how you might respond to standard questions such as:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to work for this organisation?
  • What achievement have you been most proud of?
  • What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

Remember to always answer positively e.g. when you talk about a weakness, explain how you intend to improve this when working in the role.

If you find that you’re being invited for interviews but aren’t getting offered the job, we can give you advice on how to brush up your interview skills and increase your chances of getting the position you’re after.

If you’d like further support with applying for jobs or training, ring Futures on 0115 960 1597 for free, confidential, impartial advice.