10 Tips for Job Searching
10 Tips for Job Searching
Sadly, every day we hear of more organizations making staff redundant across many sectors in the UK. Covid-19 is having a disastrous impact on some companies, who were already struggling due to the uncertainty around Brexit. This means that today’s job market is highly competitive for those looking for work, with some adverts attracting over 500 applicants. However, on a more positive note, many firms have actually been thriving during lockdown and are recruiting, so if you’ve been very unfortunate and have lost your job, it’s worth researching these.
For almost 20 years I have been working in partnership with HR teams and senior managers in large organizations to assist with their recruitment, assessment, development, talent management and succession planning. I’ve interviewed and provided Career Transition and Outplacement Coaching to many hundreds of executives and team members. Redundancy can at first seem to be devastating for any employee, however adversity can often lead to both personal and career growth. I've seen all my clients quickly realise that there are new opportunities to be explored and all have gone on to enjoy new roles, start their own business, or even take unexpected early retirement, work part-time and start to appreciate a great work/life balance.
So, if you find yourself looking for work, here are some more tips to help:
1. Although this may seem difficult, start by being positive. To help with this, think of at least 5 key skills you have demonstrated in your previous role, or 5 things you are very good at; list your top 5 achievements in work, then the next 5; later on, to stamp out the negative voice, list up to 20 of your top achievements in your lifetime! Ask friends/family/work colleagues to help. Then transfer the best ones to your CV and online profiles.
2. Research the job market to understand what’s really happening in your area and specialism. Keep up to date with the news, market and industry developments in your chosen sector, but don’t listen to all the ‘gloom and doom.’ With competition to secure jobs being extremely high, and only poised to become higher, you may need to sharpen some of your skills to gain an advantage over other jobseekers, or you may even need to retrain. If so, the good news is that there are many free or reduced online courses being offered at the moment.
3. The future of work has changed dramatically since the onset of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. This has resulted in organizations looking for new skills and qualities as they’ve seen staff step up considerably and embrace being redeployed in to other functions, where necessary. Organizations are now looking for staff who are self-motivated, self-sufficient and IT literate to be able to cope with ongoing remote working, as well as being collaborative, resilient and highly adaptable to change.
4. Identify how you can set yourself apart from other qualified applicants, which may involve investing in professional Career Management and Outplacement Support. Make sure your CV really sells your skills and achievements as it’s your ticket to getting that first interview. Often the initial profile is the only part of the CV that recruiters read and it’s where the key words should appear for online searches so spend time getting this right.
5. Use action words in the present tense, such as developing... xyz, planning... abc. Contact any key Head Hunters and post your CV with all the relevant online recruitment companies. Update your Linkedin page and show that you are available for work, as around 90% of recruiters now use this platform.
6. Be prepared to invest a lot of time, effort and energy in the process. Job searching can become a full-time job in itself, so make sure you take time out to deal with the stress and to develop your levels of resilience to keep going and to tackle the rejections.
7. Even though the job market is so tough at the moment, things will improve. So, it is still worth identifying what is your dream job. Ask yourself what it will take to get it? What do you need to do? Who do you need to speak to? What will you accept in the meantime – to get the necessary experience and references – whether that is voluntary or part-time work?
8. Expand your network: tell everyone you know and all your online networks that you are looking for a new role. Be specific enough about the role, but flexible as well, in order to expand the possibilities.
9. Check your social media pages to ensure you haven’t criticised too many companies, been too controversial about any current good causes that may land you in trouble, or posted too many photos of you drunk on holiday! Job seekers are often surprised that most recruiters will Google applicants.
10. Lastly, don't forget to use a sensible, professional private email address! An inappropriate email address can automatically deselect you!
Next time we'll take a look at Interview Techniques. Good luck and stay safe!
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