Searching for a job can be frustrating – especially with ever-more fierce competition. Frontline Recruitment offers five essential tips to help you snag your dream post in 2016.

Think positive
It might sound corny, but positive thinking really is the key to a successful job search.  Knockbacks can hurt – we’ve all been there – but if you allow desperation to set in you’re pretty much doomed. Months of frustration will inevitably take their toll.  Even if you manage to get an interview, you may find that you’ve developed a cynical attitude which your potential employer will find off-putting. Try to remind yourself of your skills, strengths and past successes. Are you really the kind of guy who throws in the towel so easily? Always remember your value as an individual. You CAN do this. And don’t be thrown if the job you’re applying for calls requires a skill you don’t have – there’s always time to learn. Sign up for an evening class/visit your local advice centre and keep moving forward. Staying upbeat is a difficult but absolutely necessary requirement of the job-seeking process.

Identify your strengths
If a job requires qualifications you don’t have, just don’t go there.  You’d only be banging your head against a brick wall. If you are qualified for the role, have a sit down with a friend and talk through your attributes and skills. Ask yourself, “What can I bring to this job that others can’t?” Be meticulous about this. Get to know the person spec inside out. Are you really that person? If the answer’s yes, go for it. If it’s a no, don’t see this as a stumbling block. Get yourself trained up (see above.)

It’s also worth thinking about what you actually enjoy doing. Why apply for a job that will only make you unhappy? There’s no point being stuck in a rut. Don’t assume that your dream job doesn’t exist, either. It’s a big world, so cast your net as widely as possible. Seek and ye shall find.

Open your heart
Don’t be ashamed to do something different. This is your big chance to show yourself off before that all important – and often uncomfortable – first meeting with what will hopefully become your new boss. We’d draw the line at the rose between the teeth, but social media is the way forward for younger job seekers. At we’ve developed our site so candidates can do just that better than anywhere else, with videos, Skype, job alerts and direct communications with employer.  We’re convinced: the paper CV is dead.

Use social media and networking sites such as LinkedIn
We live in a digital world and there’s no escaping the importance of social media. Set up a profile with LinkedIn and other professional networking sites to give yourself a better chance of being noticed. Get your name out there. You may find that you connect with people who end up on your interview panel or who have the power to shortlist you for a position. Facebook and Twitter can also reap great rewards if harnessed correctly. Do note, though, that those “hilarious” pics of you and your mates out on the lash might not go down well with prospective employers. Clean up your profile – it’s a given that companies check social media these days. Use the internet to promote yourself and your talents. Don’t let stupidity scupper your chances of success.

Don’t rule out internships and voluntary work
Finally, it can be a useful strategy to apply for an internship or voluntary work if your job search is taking longer than anticipated. Both are valuable means of gaining experience. But, crucially, if you can say you’ve been doing something – anything – productive whilst out of paid work you’re effectively onto a winner. Employers love proactive people. You’ve not just been sat at home twiddling your thumbs – you’ve gone out and done something to help yourself and others.