There is no single element of a job search strategy that guarantees success in a competitive job market. Therefore, it is essential that you use every advantage to place yourself in the strongest possible position to achieve your objective.
There are both practical and emotional aspects to a job search. Looking for work, can, at times, feel like a full-time job. So it’s vital that you feel ready and equipped for the task ahead.
Almost without exception, recruiters and hiring mangers use LinkedIn for research and to source potential candidates. Therefore, creating a LinkedIn profile is a priority.
Add a strong headline that corresponds to the opportunities you are seeking and the keywords people are likely to be using in their search.
Focus on highlighting achievements, contributions and transferrable skills when adding work experience content.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network, so optimise its benefits in your job search. Join groups and make targeted connections to help build your network.
Finally, most employers will conduct pre-employment checks, so do review your social media accounts, remove posts and pictures that you would not wish an employer to see!
A CV is still the primary job search marketing document. Make sure that your CV is well written, follows best practice layout guidelines and contains no spelling or grammar mistakes!
Include a powerful profile, setting out who you are and what you can offer. CVs should always be tailored to a particular job application; make sure that you carefully highlight skills and experience that most closely match the job description or advert. When providing details of your experience in the work history section, focus more on achievements than responsibilities.
Make it easy and inviting to read. Two pages are ideal; use clear section headings and bullet points to help emphasise key details. Always use a simple black font as both human and electronic recipients (online application systems) find it easier to read!
It’s important not to focus all your resources on one particular role and company; there are many influencing factors to an appointment, many of which will be beyond your control. It’s advisable therefore, to pursue multiple options.
Identify which recruitment firms are appropriate for your level, sector and objectives. Remember it’s a two-way partnership, so find out as much as you can about who their clients are and how they work.
Look at company careers web pages for live vacancies to apply to directly. Most large firms will have an internal recruitment team responsible for filling the majority of vacancies with no intermediary. If you have a strong LinkedIn profile and a company is looking to hire someone who closely matches your experience, you should be found. However, don’t leave it to chance, be proactive and look for opportunities to connect with decision makers and hiring managers.
Many roles aren’t advertised; if you are aware of a company’s expansion or hear that they are hiring, then approach them directly. Speculative approaches show initiative and are welcome.
Networking, attending events, speaking at conferences and establishing a social media presence all build a bank of valuable contacts and can lead to potential opportunities.
Opting to work on a contract or freelance basis provides obvious financial benefits. Contracting can lead to full time employment and gives you an opportunity to gauge whether it is a good personal match.
Volunteering provides an opportunity to use a wide range of practical skills and can offer an enriching experience. Keeping professional knowledge up to date can be challenging with a busy work and home life, so having time between roles could be a perfect opportunity to update your skills.
Mindset and well-being are crucial for job search and interview success. Looking your best and feeling energised will make you feel positive and confident. Focus on fitness, sleep and nutrition.
Preparation is the key to interview success. Finding out the practical details of your meeting, and reading through a job description are the fundementals. If you add good company research and planned answers to likely questions, you will have given yourself a valuable advantage.
Research the company thoroughly, especially their strategy and latest developments. Research who you are meeting, the scope of their role, responsibilities and their background.
Study the job description and highlight which of your skills most closely matches the requirement. Think about potential interview questions, prepare answers and rehearse your delivery with a friend, family member or interview skills coach.
Create a job search tracking sheet; this helps monitor the progress of your job search activity, records the details of your meetings, and assists with follow up.
Follow these tips and you will be job search and interview ready.
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