Top 101 Job Tips: How to Find a Job, Succeed in the Job and Progress in Your Career

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Our Careers Advice here at is truly colossal. It is the result of nearly six years hard work, and covers everything from CV tips to maintaining your sanity. We appreciate that you probably haven't got time to read all of these articles, though, so here are the top 101 tips to help you find a job, succeed in the job, and improve your career. These tips are grouped into the following sections:

1. Getting a job

 During the job

 Advancing your career

Getting a job


1. Search for your ideal academic career!

2. Be specific about what type of job you are looking for

3. Examine your own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes

4. Only apply if you are qualified for the position


5. Do not provide irrelevant personal information on your CV

6. Keep important information to the forefront of your CV - make it stand out!

7. Check your CV or application for spelling errors, typos and poor grammar

8. Make sure there are no unexplained gaps in your employment history on your CV

9. Do not use false or misleading information on your CV or application

10. Keep your CV concise and powerful - a long, waffly CV is a turn-off!

11. Make sure your CV has a clear format and layout

12. Meaningless introductions on CVs are all too common - make sure yours actually says something

Covering letter

13. Always send a covering letter

14. Your covering letter should not be a repetition of your CV - it should be a tempting introduction to you as an employee, and a summary of the highlights of your CV

15. Talk about the company in the cover letter - tell them what impresses you about the company and why you want to work for them.

16. Use the cover letter to briefly explain how you match the person specification in terms of experience, qualities and goals

17. Let the cover letter reflect your personality - especially your enthusiasm and motivation for that job in particular

18. As with your CV, make sure the cover letter is relevant and brief - never more than one page long

19. Your cover letter should be clearly laid out and formatted, and checked for typos and grammatical correctness

Application forms

20. Application forms are normally divided into two sections: personal data, and supporting information

21. Be honest, specific and clear in your education and work history - make sure the dates are correct and full details are provided

22. Use the ‘personal statement' or ‘supporting evidence' area to demonstrate how your character, skills and experience match the ‘essential and desirable' table in the job description

Job interviews

23. Speak slowly, and clearly in your job interview

24. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and demonstrate confidence and a good nature in your body language

25. Show your enthusiasm for the job and employer by what you say

26. Being friendly and personable will help you to relax and achieve your best in the interview

27. Don't be negative when talking about previous employers or colleagues

28. Ask relevant questions regarding the company and it's workings, but not about entitlements, salaries, or job perks

29. Make sure you are thoroughly familiar with your CV - they will ask questions about your employment history, so any discrepancies with your CV will be embarrassing

30. Match your skills to the person specification - convince them you are the person for the job

31. If it is a telephone interview, speak clearly and naturally rather than from prepared notes

32. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed, and have any essential reference materials (such as your CV, or a pen and paper) to hand in a telephone interview

33. Internet based job interviews using programs such as Skype require thorough preparation, and a smart presentation, as at a normal job interview

34. Make a practice call before the interview to ensue the technology is working when interview by Skype

35. Still keep good eye contact with the interviewer and speak clearly to allow for any potential drop in sound quality if you are interviewed by Skype or other online software

Academic interviews

36. Find out who the interviewers are, and research their academic background - this will help you to target your answers according to their scholarly interests

37. Researching the institution and department (it's strengths, weaknesses and aims) will give you more confidence and demonstrate your interest in this job

38. Discuss your research plans (past, present and future) confidently and openly, and connect your plans to the job you are applying for

39. Before the interview, prepare your thoughts on what you can offer in terms of teaching, and show your confidence and enthusiasm for this part of the job

40. Many academic job interviews require you to make a presentation about your research or teaching - prepare this thoroughly, practice it numerous times, and stick rigidly to the time limit

During the job


41. The probationary period after starting a new job can be a challenge - being punctual, enthusiastic and friendly will help to ease the transition and make a good impression

42. Other staff will help you if you take the time to ask them for assistance; be friendly and engaging, and work hard

43. Working in a team has its challenges, but maintaining an open mind will keep things harmonious

44. Time Management is essential if you are to put your all into your job

45. Prioritizing, delegating, and even rejecting tasks will help you to keep control of your time

46. Use the commute time productively

47. Consider using alternative forms of transport to get to work in order to save money and help the environment

48. Arranging business meetings require a lot of planning - you should appoint a date, venue and chairperson well in advance

49. Keep the meeting on track in terms of time and agenda - any digressions can be noted and discussed at another time

50. End the meeting with a summary of the main points, and confirm any actions that need to be taken

51. Meeting minutes should be distributed as soon as possible after the event, and the chairperson should check that actions are completed within the timescale

52. If you are starting to feel negative at work, having attainable goals that you can work towards can make things more positive

53. Having good relationships with your colleagues will also keep you happy in your job - try your best to personable and friendly

 Academic work

54. Before you begin teaching at HE level it is wise to get as much training as possible - preferably a diploma in education

55. If you are just starting out as a lecturer, plan your lessons thoroughly (for some a minute-by-minute plan is necessary)

56.  Keep learning outcomes in mind - your lectures should fit in well with the overall aims of the course

57.  Especially for new lecturing staff, being observed by a colleague from time to time can produce some excellent results

58.  Technology such as online lectures, digitized research materials and online assessments is there to help you - use it wisely in your teaching

59.  Administration is a big part of academic work for some; get organized, and keep track of marks and other details

60.  Don't isolate yourself from other academics - initiate joint projects with colleagues to help your teaching and research

61.  Running an academic conference requires a lot of planning; get your institution to support you from the beginning

62.  When teaching a module based on your own research, you should keep the overall curriculum in mind

63.  Your enthusiasm for your specific area of research should carry through in your teaching

64.  When teaching outside your area of specialism, you will always know enough to teach the students something, so have some confidence

65.  Teaching outside your area of expertise can be a real challenge, so always ask colleagues for advice and recommended teaching materials

Salary Negotiations

66.  Salary negotiations are a normal part of business - don't be afraid to ask for more money

67.  Establish your minimum and target salary

68.  Provide evidence to back up your claim - including capabilities, extra training, or evidence of how your workload deserves the money

69.  Practice negotiating for your salary with family or friends before the real meeting

Advancing your career


70. Planning your career path will help you advance your career in both the short and long term

71. Going on ‘secondment' can boost your career and increase your skills

72. If you are considering getting a temporary job while you are looking for a permanent career job, weigh up the pros and cons in terms of time, money, and well being

73. Relocating for work is a challenge that can reap many rewards; weight up the pros and cons and decide if it is for you

74. Moving abroad for jobs such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language should be thoroughly thought through and well-prepared

75. A career audit, an analysis of your career, will be beneficial for advancement of your career

76. Sideways moves can reinvigorate your career, although there are challenges to be faced

77. Review your career every two years to evaluate how your career is advancing

78. Keep your skills up to date by enrolling on training courses and taking an interest in new technology

79. Skills are often transferable between jobs, so take note of your skills base and recognize your professional development

80. Transferable skills such as negotiating, presentation skills, problem solving, and team work, are highly valued by employers and can help your career to progress

81. If applying for a new job is the best to advance your career, always be on the lookout and make sure your contacts know you are searching for a new position too


82. Networking is highly beneficial for your career as you can make new contacts with people in different companies, and find out about any job opportunities

83. For academics, networking can benefit your research as you can publicize your name and your research interests and be on the lookout for potential joint research projects

84. Always be ready to take advantage of an opportunity to increase your network

85. Be specific in your networking aims, and engage the right people in conversation

86. Networks can be pursued face-to-face, by e-mail and by phone; don't be afraid to get in touch with people, but do make sure you are polite and appreciative

87. Networking is invaluable after your have been made redundant if you want to return a long-term career

Continuous Professional Development 

88. Document your continuous professional development in order to link learning with practice, and fast track your career

89. Staff training is a key method of developing your expertise - be aware of what your employer offers

Changing jobs

90.  A wholesale change of career is a big step: ask yourself seriously why you want to change and what you want to do

91. Before changing career, examine yourself to see if you are willing and ready (financially and personally) to start again from the bottom of the ladder

92. Getting additional qualifications may help you change your job

93. Updating your CV will show you visibly how much experience you have, and what skills you have to offer before you being looking at new jobs

94. When moving into the private sector from academia, be clear about how your skills transfer and provide facts and figures about the responsibilities you have had in your career

95. The private sector is all about commercial awareness: highlight any involvement you have had with funding, budgets and financial targets

96. Be cognizant of the company's market situation and what their competitors offer

97. A career change is a long-term process that starts with planning

98. Start by examining what is positive in your current situation, and why are you are in this situation

99. Establish your long-term career and personal goals in terms of what you want five or ten years' down the line

100. Set short-term goals that will lead you towards achieving your bigger objectives

101. Changing jobs or careers requires a thorough job search; start by checking the numerous positions on


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