This article was written by freelance writer Priyanka Mogul
The festive period is officially upon us: the Christmas lights have been turned on, the trees have been decorated, the pubs are serving mulled wine, and your mum has probably sent you your Advent calendar (because you’re never too old for one).
But nothing ruins the holidays like the pressure of job hunting. Whether you’re a fresh graduate still searching for the right role, or a frustrated employee desperate not to spend 2019 in that soul-crushing job, here’s a list of Christmas presents to add to your wish-list this year – ones that could actually help with your job hunt! Make sure to thank us when you cash-in your first paycheque.
First things first: is your CV up to the mark? Nothing turns employers off more than a badly structured CV – or one filled with typos. But aside from the basic stuff, it’s important that your CV reflects the skills and experience relevant to the job you are applying for.
Resunate is a great software that scans your CV and lets you know how likely it is to succeed for a particular job. It also picks out specific bits of your CV that are most relevant to the job and arranges your CV to maximise your chances. It’s a great tool for anyone applying to many different jobs at the same time.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account – get one ASAP. In today’s digital age, it’s almost as important as having a CV.
For job seekers, a LinkedIn Premium subscription can be extremely useful. With free InMail credits, you can message even those you aren’t connected to (great for networking). You also have access to breakdowns of salaries by job titles and locations (so you know what to say the next time you get that dreaded ‘What are your salary expectations?’ question). And best of all, you have insights into job listings and companies, which tells you how you compare to other applicants based on your skills and experience.
You’ll also have access to LinkedIn Learning, which has a wide range of free online courses that will give you the chance to brush up on any skills you may be lacking.
Voucher to print business cards
Call me old fashioned, but I still think business cards are a great thing to have on you. You never know who you’re going to meet and where – or which random interaction could lead to a new career opportunity. It’s always best to be prepared. And they’re also kind of fun to give out.
Sure, you can just add each other on WhatsApp/Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn now, but sometimes it’s worth having a card to hand over to that person just as they’re escaping a room. You can get boxes of personalised business cards for relatively cheap through websites such as Vistaprint and Moo – and they also have some pretty funky designs to help you stand out from the crowd.
Investing in an online platform to showcase your work is a good idea, whatever the time of year. Some industries place more importance on digital presence than others, but there’s no harm having an online portfolio of your work and/or skills no matter what sort of job you’re trying to get. Design something that makes it easy for potential employers to check out why they should hire you.
Websites like like WordPress and Wix have templates for every kind of job seeker – and they’re extremely user-friendly as well. A subscription can put you on the track to having your very own domain name to show off on your CV.
I always find magazine subscriptions to be one of the best Christmas gifts as it’s usually not something people choose to do themselves. Depending on what your loved one is interested in, or what sector they want to go into, there are some great specialist magazines out there that you can purchase a gift subscription to.
This great gift will allow them to stay up-to-date on their industry; and hence boost their chances at the next job interview or conversation starters at the next networking event. If you’re based in the UK, isubscribe.co.uk is a great website to get gift subscriptions through.
If you’re unemployed, chances are you might be spending a significant number of hours in coffee shops applying to jobs. A Starbucks gift card could be just what you need to help your savings account, while also allowing you to continue overfilling on caffeine. Better yet, a gift card to your local independent coffee shop!
Online skills learning
If you’ve ever been on the job hunt, you know how incredibly competitive it is out there. There’s always someone who seems to have just one up on you. Why not increase your employability through online learning? It’s never too late to learn a new skill – and there are so many great online courses that can help you bulk up your CV (because ‘Proficient in Microsoft Word’ is no longer a skill – get rid of it).
Go Think Big recently rounded-up some of the best online learning websites, which you can also check out.
Let’s not forget how stressful job hunting can be. Why not take a slightly more light-hearted approach and get your hands on something to rid your nerves? A trip to the spa, a month of yoga classes or something like this great gift box from NotOnTheHighStreet could relieve that stress. What’s better gift than the gift of relaxation?
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