After all that time lying on the beach thinking about the future, September is the big jobs switch month. James Innes, the UK’s top selling careers author, explains how to boost your employability this autumn

Now that you’re making your way back from a well-deserved holiday on the beach, isn’t it maybe time to start thinking about how to kick-start your career? Of course, a major problem you face is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of other people doing exactly the same thing at the exact same time. Competition for available jobs is fierce so you need to do whatever you can to boost your employability.

Killer CV

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First, you need to make sure that you have a really strong CV. It sounds obvious – but it’s not as easy as it sounds!

CVs these days are so much more than just a dry, boring list of jobs and job descriptions. You need to focus on your achievements. You need to prove what you’re capable of. You need to quantify wherever possible. (Numbers and figures can often speak louder than words). And you obviously can’t neglect the visual side of things either. Modern CVs are much more likely to make use of colour, graphics, logos of previous employers, etc. – all of which help to make your CV more attractive, more eye-catching and less likely to end up in the ‘No’ pile (also known as the bin!)

Tailor-Made

When it comes to actually putting all these skills and experiences into your CV, think carefully about what you include and what you leave out. The best CVs are those, which are carefully tailored to a specific job role. Read the job description and person specification carefully, identify the types of skills that the recruiter is looking for and make sure you can clearly demonstrate these. If you are sending a cover letter with your CV, even more care should be taken to ensure that this is also tailored to the job you are applying for.

Check, check and check again

One final consideration when writing your CV and cover letter is to make sure you avoid spelling and grammar mistakes or typos! Find it hard to believe that anyone could be so careless? Well, research conducted by CVCentre.co.uk has shown that a staggering 60 per cent of the CVs received by them contain at least one spelling, grammatical or typographical error. It takes a matter of seconds to run a spell check of your CV, but there is no substitute for reading it through from start to finish just in case there are mistakes that a spell checker will miss. If you want help writing a killer CV go to www.CVCentre.co.uk.

Networking

Another top tip is to build your network as fast – and as far – as possible. The old saying "it's not what you know, but who you know" is so true when it comes to finding a new job – and LinkedIn provides the perfect tool to help you manage your connections. Everyone you meet (within reason) should be added to your LinkedIn network: recruiters; people who interview you; people you were at school or university with; people you talk to at jobs fairs; friends and family. It could be through any one of these connections that you land your dream job.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool – if you actually use it properly. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more connections you will make and the more visible your profile will become. Just use it wisely. If you are going to contribute to discussion groups and forums, make sure that your contribution is relevant and professional. Comment on issues that are important to you and share interesting articles with your connections. Above all, keep it professional.

And remember, it is never too early to start thinking about your next job. Do try to get ahead of the crowd – because, trust me, come September there will indeed be quite a crowd. September is boom time in the recruitment sector. Start getting ready right now and you will in the best position to apply for your dream job as soon as it is advertised.

For professional assistance with anything from CV writing, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and application forms through to interview coaching, visit http://www.CVCentre.co.uk Twitter: @jamesinnes; W: jamesinnes.com