10 small steps that could get you the job and a 100K walk that may cripple me

We shall be digging into this in a bit more detail over the course of the next few months but to get things kicked off we have compiled the ’10 small steps’ guide.

As someone that always likes to hear the good news first, I shall start with – This year the number of vacancies within the design market has substantially increased – Hooray!!

Sadly there is a little bad news, not as bad as it was, but a tad bad – The number of applicants to jobs is still very high – Oh no!

A quick digress – I have managed to find myself signed up for a 100K continuous 30 hour walk from London to Brighton. When originally asked I thought, why not, I walk everywhere (I don’t/shouldn’t drive) and really, how hard can it be?

As I started training late, was not much of a gym bunny and have a 40 year olds dodgy knee, I know there is very little chance that I shall make it. However to give me the best chance possible I have made a number of small changes to my lifestyle. Obviously walking a lot more and further being the first. But slightly changing my diet, drinking less caffeine, more water, yoga etc is at least giving me a fighting chance. All pretty obvious really.

A lot of people are feeling that their job search is a mighty marathon at the moment, with applications and interviews that led nowhere.

The steps below might all seem a little obvious, they are all just small adjustments to your application and interview process but if you’re not doing them you are unlikely to succeed in accomplishing your goal.

10 small steps

1. Plan Only apply for jobs that you are qualified for or have experience in. Know your strengths, identify your passion, target the right companies, be proactive and put together relevant material.

2. Their social media Pre- application and interview – understand the tone, ethos, history, direction of the business and the person by checking out their website, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

3. Your social media Blog, post and tweet. Those who are serious about their chosen path get online.

4. Cover letter Read the job description, highlight your most relevant work and experience in the first few lines, keep it succinct and relevant.

5. CV/Résumé

5a. Don’t underestimate the importance of your CV. Whilst content is key, the layout, spelling, punctuation and grammar highlights your attention to detail and ability to present.

5b. Also don’t overdo it! There is no need for overly designed CVs, the layout should show your ability to format but please avoid pictures of you (especially with your cat), or ‘jazzy’ and distracting backgrounds and illustrations. There will be a blog coming up on this – watch this space!

6. Portfolio Online and offline, this is a window to how seriously you take your craft.

7. Preparation Practice presenting your folio, understand not just what you did but why you did it.

8. Interview Back to basics. Research. Turn up on time. Reflect the dress code. Read their press. Ask questions. The questions everyone should ask in interview is coming to this Blog soon!

9. Breathe Keep in mind that the person interviewing you wants you to succeed also, they want to find the hidden gem, the person that will enable their business to move forward.

10. Present yourself Businesses only succeed if they meet a client’s expectations. Think always, did we succeed in this brief? Did it increase revenue, uptake, etc. Be ready to highlight success stories and justify decisions.

There is much more, but if you can adopt one new practice within the top 10, however small, you are taking small strides to achieving your goal. Imagine what impact it would have if you adopted all the small changes…!