The turkey and mince pies have been eaten and it is back to reality after the extended Christmas period. The festivities and the cold snap certainly had most of Yorkshire hibernating in a bid to stay warm. This coupled with the VAT increase has made many feel bleak about the job market. The public sector workers are still awaiting decisions on where the cuts will come. Have you made a New Year’s Resolution to find or change your job? Decision made. Now you need to set about implementing a strategy that is going to work. Are you an active or a passive job seeker? January sees the rise of the passive job seeker, thousands of people will upload the CV to the various job boards in a bid to feel like they are making steps to change their situation. Then there are the obligatory conversations with recruiters, salary, location, notice period and then nothing. For many this is as far as they will go as the “hassle” of finding a new position will become another broken resolution. What if you are one of the people who needs to keep on job searching? If you have been made redundant- ask yourself if you are as active as you think. Have your actions differed from those of the passive job seeker? What results has your job search brought so far? If the answer is nothing then it’s time to go back to basics. Create a plan Put your business brain back into gear- think about your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Look at yourself objectively, what can you offer an organisation? What is it that sets you apart from other candidates? Who are your buyers? Where should your target market be? Sell yourself Once you have established your target market, you can tailor all of your documentation to maximise how your audience views your skill set. Does your CV sell you effectively? What does your online presence reveal to potential employers. Perception is everything and making sure you are making the right impression to secure interviews. Know your market How do you become an active job seeker? The unadvertised job market is quoted to be between 70 -80% of the job market. The unadvertised job market is not a mystery. It is easy to remove the smoke and mirrors – there are clear actions and methods to help you be one of these people that have networked or created a position Network Effectively The key to accessing the unadvertised market is networking. Are you a natural networker? Networking is not calling your closest friends and colleagues and asking them if they know of a position. Networking is a mutual exchange and not a “one hit” communication. Build time into your job search strategy to network – more importantly than that you must continue to network even when you have secured your next position. Networking should be like any other business conversation, do you research and set an agenda to ensure you keep on track. Networking is the most difficult area for most CVteam clients – it certainly takes most of them out of their comfort zone. It is how most clients secure their next position so the rewards outweigh the pain. 80% of The CVteam’s Northern clients networked their way to secure their next opportunity in 2010. It takes practice and our networking training sessions prove very popular. Stay Positive The job search can be one of the most negative experiences many people go through. It is all about not being right, being overqualified, too expensive, wrong sector experience. These “excuses” can be avoided by taking control and keeping to your plan. Try not to take things personally- keep your commercial brain in gear! There are jobs out there and you only need one.