Each day over the course of this week we’re sharing one of our top job hunting tips! By Sunday, you should have all you need for an expert job search…
DAY 1: it’s Monday morning – and don’t go leaving that job just yet!
If you’re lucky enough to be in work, stay there until you have your next role fully confirmed (and preferably with contracts signed!). It’s hard to predict how quickly you’ll find your next job. Plus you don’t want to be forced into going for any old thing to fill the void.
If you’ve already left your role, consider whether temporary or contract work could be a suitable option while you get to know what’s out there. Not only does this help cover the bills, it shows you what it’s like to work for different local employers. Once again, it also stops you from leaping into a permanent job that isn’t right for you.
DAY 2: get that finger on the pulse!
Don’t slip into the common job-hunting bubble where there’s little thought beyond a straight ‘search, apply and repeat’. You can while away far too many days without finding any sense of direction…or interview invites!
Instead, swot up on what’s happening in the jobs market. Are employers actively recruiting in your industry? What challenges are businesses facing? Who are they looking for and how can you help? As well as paying close attention to job specs, keep your eye on the news – national, local and as summarised by recruiters such as us! Use your findings to better focus your search.
DAY 3: pin down your specifics.
Consider your next job. Do you want to work full-time or part-time? How far are you willing to travel each day (and over the longer term)? What salary are you looking for as an absolute minimum? What ‘level’ of role and/or responsibility are you looking for next? And how soon can you be available?
Think it’s best to say you’re open-minded in absolutely all areas? Think again! This tends not to be realistic when it comes to satisfaction across the longer-term – which is something the best recruiters will be looking for on your behalf (and on behalf of their clients).
Very soon into your search you want to be noting these answers down. Use them to define your job hunt requirements and within your CV cover email.
DAY 4: become a keyword whizz!
This isn’t about SEO yet rather tuning into the keywords used in job specifications or adverts. There’s a national Skills Shortage – meaning employers are actually struggling to find people with the relevant skills for each job. To this end, they’re highlighting the absolute essentials that matter to them…making your job search easier if you’re paying close attention!
If a job advert catches your eye, slow down and take a moment to read it thoroughly (and repeat if the vacancy really appeals!). Highlight the primary words throughout – core duties, experience requirements, personality types. Now make yourself the most obvious candidate for the job. Your CV should be a direct response to the advert. It should ‘shout’ your skills straight back to the recruiter, with brief and snappy examples to support each of the statements made.
DAY 5: stop the scattergun!
Please don’t make the mistake that most job-seekers make! Somewhere along the line people have heard that there’s a ‘more the merrier’ approach to recruitment and that by simply applying to as many openings as you can something will stick. This leads people to apply for 10 completely unrelated roles within 10 minutes – and who’s to say whether any of these actually match the person’s skills and experience?!
It’s far better (and much less demoralising!) to take a tailored approach to your search. Use your time wisely and only apply for the openings that you are actually interested in and that you match at least most of the essential requirements for. Our previous two tips will help you identify which job ads are worthy of your time.
Alongside this, make relevant recruitment agencies know of your search requirements. This means contacting agencies that recruit in your field, sharing your CV and notifying them of the specifics you identified on Day 3.
DAY 6: remember your CV has to speak for itself.
You may know that you’re the perfect person for the job – and everyone might agree! – yet your CV has to prove this. In many cases, this is the only tool you have to promote your suitability for interview. Remember what we said on Thursday? You want to make yourself the most obvious candidate for short-list!
If there’s one area you want to invest some extra time in, this is it. Our Skills & Achievements Master-list has to be one of our best CV writing tips. You’ll also find more advice here. And, of course, you’ll be filling your CV with great examples to match each of the keywords from those job specs now anyway..!
DAY 7: as our week of tips comes to a close, it’s time to ask more questions!
This tip ties in well with what we said on Tuesday. You want your job search to be well informed. Struggling to find out what’s happening in the Bath jobs market? Ask! Want to know more about the skills that employers are looking for, the salary levels that are realistic to your skills and experience, and the level of competition you’re currently up against? You know exactly what you need to do..!
The best recruitment agencies possess valuable local insights that can help shape your search. Your recruitment consultant is only a quick call or email away. However, to make sure you’re posing your questions to the right person, check that the agency recruits for industries and jobs like those that you’re searching for.
Thanks so much for joining us this week. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the best with your job search. Continue the conversation on Twitter by tagging @appoint_recruit and using #newyearnewjob. Our News feed is also regularly updated with recruitment advice features.
Please note: each of these tips come from a recruitment agency perspective (and from our many years as one of Bath’s leading independent recruitment agencies!). We recommend finding a reputable agency that recruits for industries like yours. The REC Member Directory is a great place to start.