It’s essential that you are as well prepared as possible and that you present in the right way to employers to win the best job offers. Whilst the following tips are perhaps obvious we hope they can help you in your search.
1. Review yourself . .
and what you are offering to the job market. Your first step should be to understand completely who you are and your specific skills, strengths and preferences as well as your career goals. If you aren’t able to articulate these things you will find it very difficult to successfully communicate your proposition to potential employers.
2. Construct a plan to market yourself ..
In order to find another job you need to identify and meet hiring managers who will be interested in your special qualities and who want to recruit someone like you. Identify the methods you wish to use to find a job (print and electronic media, executive recruiters like Ambition, your own Linkedin network, directly contacting employers) and then start to contact people in those organisations that may be able to assist you or you know have specific opportunities. Your view on the importance of confidentiality in your job search will determine the scope of your search and whom you contact. The more people you contact the less confidential your job search will become.
3. Know the market conditions . .
Overall the market is pretty positive. However there are variances according to location and seniority – you should become an “active observer” of the prevailing market conditions because different sectors have different trends that can create opportunities for you.
4. Select and brief your referees . .
Employers are increasingly seeking third party validation of skills and experiences and so you will need to appoint at least two referees that know you and are prepared to speak positively on your behalf. You should always brief your referees on the status of your job search so that they are able to respond to potential employers.
5. Match your strengths to employers’ needs . .
employers are often very specific about the skills and experience they are seeking. They prefer to recruit individuals who have a proven track record in their sector, which can make it difficult to make changes in career path. To improve your chances of job success it’s important to identify your strengths and ‘match’ them where possible to the needs of potential employers.
6. Ensure your resume makes you stand out from the crowd . .
Your resume is your first contact with potential employers and so it’s essential you make a good first impression. You usually have 10-15 seconds to influence the reader positively to grant you an interview. For that reason your resume must be attractive to the eye and the key points of interest – academic and professional qualifications, relevant skills and recent experience – should be quickly accessible for the reader. It must contain no grammatical or spelling errors.
7. Interviews – prepare and perform ..
Interviews remain the cornerstone of the selection process and so you must ensure that your interview technique is the best it can be. Preparing thoroughly for the interview will improve your chances of success. Review your own profile, its relevance to the job and company on offer, research the company and if possible the person you will be meeting. Practise the likely interview questions. Then, when you get to the interview, make sure you perform. Make a good first impression and then reaffirm this through informed and logical answers to questions.
8. Set yourself a realistic time frame . .
It’s rare to find a job immediately. It’s financially and psychologically important to prepare for a job search that could take a few weeks longer. By setting a realistic time frame you’ll help yourself to stay positive throughout the process.
9. Stay positive . .
When you start your job search you do so with a great deal of confidence but if you experience several weeks without interviews (or even acknowledgements to your applications) your enthusiasm can easily wane. If this becomes several months without any apparent success then it’s easy to become despondent. However this will negatively affect your job search and so you should do everything you can to stay positive.
10. Market yourself to your recruiter . .
When you come to see Ambition or another recruiter you need to ‘market’ yourself to us – even though we are not going to be your ultimate employer, we’ll represent you better if you present your skills and personality positively and succinctly. You also need to work out how each of the recruitment firms operates and therefore what your approach to each should be – one size does not fit all!