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Improve your job prospects in 10 minutes

Improve your job prospects in 10 minutesJobhunting is a lot of work - but here are three things you can do to improve your chances in the time it takes to have a cup of tea.

Set up automatic job alerts

Most job websites allow you to save a set of job search terms and receive a regular email update about new jobs that match. This can help to make sure that you never miss an opportunity, and free up your time for other jobhunting activities.

To make the most out of your alerts:

  • Sign up for a few different sites: not every opportunity will be advertised everywhere.
  • Look for specialist sites for the sector you want to work in to get the most relevant results.
  • Choose your search terms carefully: too specific and you won't see any jobs, but too vague and you'll get more than you can look through. Go back and tweak your search terms if they're not working after a couple of weeks.
  • Don't ignore the emails once they start arriving - schedule a fixed time each week to look through them if you don't want to do it straight away.

Check your online presence

What you say and do on the internet can affect your job hunt. Even if an employer doesn't routinely look applicants up online, a recruiter with a spare five minutes might tap your name into Google - so don't let them be the first to find out what comes up. Take a look yourself, and if you find anything that might put an employer off, make it private or delete it. That doesn't just mean embarrassing photos: posts about calling in sick or complaining about your boss aren't likely to go down well either.

On the other hand, your online presence can work in your favour. If your Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile shows that you're passionate about the industry you want to work in, or even just that you're a pleasant, polite person, it could help employers to warm to you.

Find out more about how social networking can affect your job hunt.

Let the jobs come to you

You don't have to seek out every job yourself. These tips can help you to find out about opportunities you might not come across elsewhere, without lifting a finger:

  • Upload your CV to job websites, so that employers can find you.
  • Let your family and friends know what kind of job you're looking for - you never know when they'll come across an opportunity.
  • If there are particular organizations you're interested in, subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on Twitter - many will post job adverts there.

If you've got a taste for this approach, you could also sign up with a recruitment agency, although that will take a little longer.

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