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Green shoots: everybody leaves?

With retail employment rising, companies beginning to recruit again and company profits starting to creep up, things seem to be looking up for the sector. But what does that mean for your career? We take a look at the best tactics to find a new job in an improving economic climate…

With the news last month that retail employment rose to its highest level in over three years and companies beginning to announce profits again, many people are wondering if now might be the time to revisit their CV, dust off their best interview outfit and get back out into the jobs market.

However, there have been a couple of false dawns for the economy and the recovery certainly hasn’t been as fast in coming as we’d have hoped. So, is it the time right to think about moving?

Handle with care

Like many other people during the recession, you may have spent the last four years keeping your head down in the same role, cautiously waiting for the economy to turn a corner. Whilst this long wait can leave you desperate to move on as soon as you can, it is important that you don’t make this leap blindly or without proper consideration. Take your time and make sure you're making the right choice for you. And really make sure you don't leap into scams like this one!

Be flexible

The traditional career where you stay with one company, or even within one industry is no longer an option for many people. In some cases you can use this to your advantage. Be prepared to be flexible and consider options that you may not have before the recession; it might pay off!

Use your contacts

Even if you have spent the years of recession hunkered down and waiting for it all to blow over, you should still have managed to build up a useful bank of contacts you can use. The Undercover Recruiter has a great article on this.

Whether through online networking such as LinkedIn or through your contacts from friends, family or colleagues, it pays to put the word out that you’re interested in moving on. A friendly face is often still the best way into a new job.

Be prepared

Make sure that you’ve researched the market well. Investigate the retailers you’re interested in and keep an eye out for good news stories about them or other companies in which you are interested. (The Retail Appointment’s own business bulletin service is a good way of keeping an eye on this!) Many companies will be stepping up recruitment once the economy is more stable and if you know who these companies are likely to be, you can get ahead of the competition.

Get the basics right

Once you’ve identified a potential new employer, you can step up your efforts to get noticed. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and CV are up to date and especially ensure that your CV and covering letter are tailored to the role or company that has caught your eye. Visit their website and a couple of their stores to really get the feel of its ethos and culture.

Play to your strengths

The benefit of staying with one job for a while means that you may have been able to take advantage of additional training or taking on responsibilities outside your usual work which could now be used to jazz up your CV.