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How to get ahead in the January jobs market

How to get ahead in the January jobs market

What does January mean to you? For many, it’s an all-consuming dread of cash-strapped weeks filled with cold days and even colder nights. For the more optimistic, it’s a perfect time to embrace the prospect of new beginnings. 

Whatever your outlook - one thing’s for sure. When it comes to the job seeker market, they both lead to the same outcome. That annual new year flurry of jobseekers looking for a new job.

So why bring this up now? Well, as the saying goes ‘timing is everything.’ And when it comes to landing your ideal job, this couldn’t be more on the money.

For one, results from our quarterly job seeker survey Talent Trends, show that the number of candidates currently open to approaches or actively looking, is already on the rise (up at 45% in the final quarter of 2015). This means if, like them, you’re also on the look out for a new opportunity – findings indicate competition for your potential dream job is already stacking up fast.

Keen to pip them to the proverbial post? Here’s how:

Ask yourself why?

Before anything else, you need to ask yourself that all important question. Why do you want to move jobs? Is it based around salary? Scaling back your commute? Maybe you feel there’s no scope for career progression or simply aren’t happy with the company culture.

There may be many reasons. There may only be one. But whatever your motives, taking the time to recognise what these are, can be hugely important. Not only in reaffirming why you want to move in the first place - but helping you focus on what the deciding factors are, when looking for your next role.


In essence, getting to know your own capabilities that little bit better. This all begins with recognising what you’re good at coupled with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking as to how your expertise could be applied to a range of roles. In today’s market, being a ‘specialist’ in your field rather than a jack of all trades has become increasingly important, so focus on what you can bring to the table.

Be self deprecating. Critique your own employability. By auditing yourself as a potential candidate  you’ll be clearer on your own strengths and weaknesses and where you need to improve. 

Get future proof

There’s no getting away from it. Organisations up and down the country have become obsessed with digital transformation. And rightly so. The ever-evolving digital landscape has changed almost everything we see and do and ensuring you have future proofed yourself as a prospective candidate, will most definitely work in your favour.

So where to start?

Firstly, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and become an active member. Request to join influential groups in your network. Make it your mission to engage positively with key individuals in your sector. 

Get more advice here as to how your LinkedIn profile can work for you in our recent blog.

Need to hone your existing skill sets? Don’t get left behind. Keep yourself up to speed as to the expertise currently in hot demand within your industry and start looking how you can gain those qualifications now. Continually striving to develop your own experience is what will give you that edge and ensure you remain highly sought after as a potential employee.

Finally, it may sound obvious but keeping up to date with what’s going on in the market is crucial. Staying abreast of key trends and future developments within your industry, will ensure you remain at the forefront of any changes which may effect your career in the long run.

CV savvy

Once you have a clearer idea as to the path you’d like to take, it’s time to get your CV in check. Have a close look at your CV - is it up to date? Does it reflect your current skills and experience ad is there anything else you need to add to help you make that next big move?

Don’t forget that if you are looking to apply to a number of different role type / sectors, it’s worth taking time to customize your CV to make it more relevant for each position.

You’ll find more top tips on writing a winning CV here.

Got an interview coming up? Check out our interview guide to help you make the right impact and bag yourself that role. 

Best of luck!

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