There's never a better time to hit the refresh button than in a new year.
It’s the beginning of a new year – an invigorating time that is often accompanied by a higher level of drive, ambition and goal-setting. It’s the perfect time for job hunters to get out there and impress.
In Australia, February through to April is considered one of the most opportune periods of the year for employability thanks to new hiring budgets, and companies requiring fresh talent as part of their KPIs. Whilst January can be slow when it comes to landing interviews, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your ducks in a row before hitting the ‘apply’ button in February.
Psychologist and career expert, Suzie Plush, outlines the three key phases to spruce up your personal brand, and ultimately land a great new job in 2019.
Review and craft your personal brand
January is traditionally a quiet time in the Australian job market so Plush’s advice is to take advantage of this lull by reviewing your online presence, ensuring your personal brand is in top shape before embarking on the application process.
“It’s becoming increasingly common practice for companies to check the social media profiles of job applicants during the recruitment process, and many would be shocked to discover the number of qualified candidates missing out on positions simply due to how they present online,” says Plush. “These days, the first step needs to be taking a good hard look at how you’re branding yourself across Facebook, LinkedIn and anywhere else you might appear online – everything a prospective employer can view on social media must reflect well on you”.
Plush says that beyond the obvious editing (such as removing any incriminating pics), it’s also about considering the little things that we often overlook when it comes to how we present ourselves. “Review every personal communication channel that could influence how you’re perceived to companies – is your email address simple and clear? And how do you currently sound on voicemail? It’s important to appraise all of these things.”
Develop a strategic plan
“When it comes to job hunting, there can be a number of advantages to taking a less is more approach” says Plush. “Focusing your energy on places that you believe are going to be the right cultural fit, whilst also providing career progression opportunities, will ultimately lead to higher job satisfaction.”
Plush says that January is a great time to research where you want to work, who you need to connect with and how your resume needs to look to capture their attention. “When it comes to your resume, it’s best to assume that you have 60 seconds max to sell yourself, so it’s very important to make sure that it starts with a very clear career profile followed by your key skills—your work history can flow from there”.
With the groundwork complete, it’s time to take action. From around the beginning of February job posts start to spike, and before you know it, you’ll be going for interviews.
“If there’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone going for an interview, it’s to do your research,” says Plush. “Explore the companies’ websites in detail to determine things like their key values, mission statement, areas of focus and, most importantly, how you can add value to the business”.
“Also, if possible, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before the interview to help get yourself prepared, for example who will the interview be with and what is their title? Then do your research on them too!”
Lastly, Plush says that a follow up email never hurts – and could in fact be something that sets you apart. “Dropping a note to say thank you for the interview opportunity and to express your interest in the role shows that you’re keen – and there’s nothing wrong with that!”.
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