Why customer service work will be most in demand

Customer service work looks set to become the most in-demand job. But why?

This is the first in the week’s two-part look at the future of work. Work that will naturally change as automation processes advance.

The World Economic Forum deems this the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ – and one that is set to be characterised by the ‘Empathy Economy’.

Introducing the Empathy Economy

It’s now believed that more than 700 million jobs could be displaced worldwide in the next 12 years. This is quite simply due to advances in automation allowing technology to perform many of today’s roles better than humans.

It’s not necessarily bad news; as you’ll see from this feature shared on LinkedIn. In fact, it looks as if workers could actually benefit from such advances; with increased productivity supporting increased pay.

However, as we move into this new working era, we’ll see a shift in the skills and jobs that are most in demand.

Loup Ventures & The World Economic Forum names three skills that humans can perform better than robots:

  1. Creativity
  2. Community
  3. Empathy

It’s empathy that they perceive most important, explaining that it’s this that “makes us human”. That the capability to employ mutual understanding is something that we can all capitalise upon. And that this empathy will naturally rise to the fore of importance as other jobs are displaced.

Customer service work in the Empathy Economy

They go on to discuss the ways that companies might integrate technology to underpin and support this movement (CRM tools that know all there is to know about customers, and empathy-building simulations included). Yet they highlight how it’s the human workers that will be best suited to handling the sensitive, finer details of customer service interactions.

To this end, it’s customer service workers that could become the computer programmers of the 1990s-2000s and the stock-brokers of the 1980s. Workers that define the primary role of their era.

Furthermore, it’s empathy that should be at the heart of all customer service job training.

How will this affect jobs in Bath?

With so many fantastic service-based businesses already in existence locally, we are optimistic that any shifts in this direction will prove positive for Bath business and its workers.

We’ve long recruited for customer service roles, alongside many other job opportunities that encompass large aspects of customer and client-service activity. You can see (and apply for!) such customer service-focused jobs here.

If you’re reading this as a future job-seeker or employee, you might want to take note of all those customer service skills you’ve already utilised to date. There’s no harm in keeping a log of these now (and it could make writing future CVs easier!).

The focus on furthering empathy skills strikes us a great development opportunity for any employers and managers reading this post. The more we all know about what may be ahead in our working futures, the better we can prepare for these changes.

And the more prepared we all are, the more benefits we are likely to derive from these employment shifts!

Of course, there will be opportunities outside of Customer Services. We’ll explore this further later this week. In the meantime, you can catch up on the career skills we’ll all need by 2020!

[Source: World Economic Forum Feb 2018]

Should colleagues be friends?

How well do you need to get on with your co-workers? Should your colleagues be friends?

Over the past six months, this topic has formed multiple posts on Stylist magazine. We’ve linked these below (however, warning, some of their ads feature auto-play video).

It’s not just Stylist discussing this topic. In fact we’ve seen it raised by an assortment of news sites, lifestyle magazines and even Mumsnet.

Why is this such a conversation starter?

Most likely because the question of whether our colleagues should be friends is a complex one. Plus, at the same time, it’s a scenario that we can encounter on an almost daily basis.

To summarise what we’ve read so far:

  • Many people feel the pressure to make friends with colleagues simply due to the sheer amount of time they spend together.
  • Yet for many others, this is just a natural human bonding process and one that can run pretty deep. To the extent that it’s led to the buzzword and hashtag ‘Work Wife’.
  • Working alongside your closest friends can actually lead to better results, with studies suggesting our performance is improved through these trusting relationships.
  • That said, issues can naturally arise when friendships face difficulties and/or personal boundaries are crossed. One example described the moment a colleague confided in them about their affair with another team member. Another, the situation when a former ‘best friend’ threatened to reveal private WhatsApp messages regarding a host of work complaints.
  • Unsurprisingly, findings suggest that it’s easier to disagree with ‘non-friend’ colleagues on a day-to-day (i.e. work project!) basis. And that the ramifications of falling out with a close friend at work can be disastrous. So much so, people leave roles as a result.
  • But these are worst-case scenarios. And, on the whole, working with friends can generally make us feel good. When you’re waking up to a fresh 40-hour week, who doesn’t want that?!

So, what does this all really tell us?

That essentially there’s no set answer to this question! Actor Kim Cattrall put it well: “no, colleagues don’t need to be friends; you can just come together and do a job well and then part without guilt”.

We like this quote on several levels. Firstly, the use of the word ‘need’. If you’ve naturally become good friends and work well together, then that’s great. Yet this is by no means compulsory and it doesn’t make you a bad employee or colleague if you don’t experience this.

The main thing we draw from this quote (and the conversation in general) is how essential it is that you can simply work well with and alongside your colleagues. That you can each perform your daily tasks to your best ability.

If you can’t, then other questions come to mind. Do you need to speak to management or HR about any specific concerns? Are thoughts of colleagues causing you an inordinate amount of stress in or outside of work? Is there anything stopping you from looking for a fresh start elsewhere?

Some extra considerations

  • It’s fine to draw boundaries. You don’t have to add colleagues on Facebook and/or invite them to your wedding/birthday party/any other event if you don’t want to! It’s also okay to meet for drinks and have a laugh without revealing your innermost thoughts and secrets. And especially if you’re new to the team!
  • There are a few extra rules you may wish to follow. TheMuse shares five here – regarding boss-employee friendships, consideration, cliques, how much to be yourself, and the timing of things.

Colleagues driven you to distraction and beyond? Here are our insider tips to becoming an expert job hunter!

Stylist Sources (& remember those auto-play ads!):

Beating your Monday Blues!

The Monday Blues appear to be a major cause of workplace absence in the UK. What can you do to beat yours? Sorry, sweet pooch not included. However, they do say looking at animal photos is good for the spirits..!

Remember the annual National Sickie Day? According to the ELAS Group (via HRnews), it’s a thing of the past. However, Mondays may pose a significant cost to our economy – with double the absence rate of Fridays.

A spokesperson for Activ Absence suggests employers watch out for such patterns in their business, so they’re better able to identify ongoing employee issues such as stress.

But what about your own Monday Blues?

Note: the advice that follows is really simple! In fact, some of it may strike you as obvious. Yet how much of this are we all actively trying?

Firstly, question what’s at the root of your Monday Blues. Is it personal (e.g. you’re just exhausted, you’re routinely feeling under the weather, personal distractions, etc.), is it work (your role, your colleagues, your boss), or is it a complete combination of these factors?

If it’s personal…

  • Think about what’s actually under your control – your sleep, diet, exercise, social life, relaxation time, etc. If it’s everything, prioritise what’s most neglected and start making small tweaks from there.
  • There are so (/too!) many excellent resources to support you with this. For the sleep-deprived, we rate The Sleep Solution by Chris Winters. We also recommend the Feelgood Bath website for links to all sorts of local health and fitness services.
  • We’re sure you know that you should always consult a GP if you’re struggling with low mood or anxiety. In BANES we’re lucky to have access to free courses on worry, stress, assertiveness, mood management and more (in addition to traditional talking therapy services).
  • Rethink your weekends. Are you leaving any space to unwind before the start of each week? Try to reserve a slot from at least Sunday afternoon onwards solely for leisure time. Use this slot for anything you find truly relaxing. Whether that’s getting outdoors, reading, cooking, etc. If you’re a parent/carer, this may not be so straightforward. Yet see what you can do to incorporate family or group relaxation time. Is there something slower paced that can be enjoyed together?
  • Rituals work well. Do something you truly love each Sunday evening, so the focus is on this rather than an early dose of the Monday Blues! Avoid stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar etc.) at this time, so you don’t wake up with a crash.

And/or if it’s work…

  • What is it about your work that’s troubling you? Is it a tricky colleague, demanding boss, high workload, dull workload? Again, consider what it is about each element that’s under your control. You may not be able to change your boss’s demands yet you could find a constructive way of discussing how you can meet them. Dull workloads can be made a little more interesting by setting yourself challenges, finding ways to streamline processes, etc.  If you’re really feeling flat you may need to rope in someone else to assist with the suggestions!
  • Get even more organised. Use Monday mornings to plot out your week. Better still, do it at the end of the week so you can review this list first thing each Monday. There’s something inherently satisfying about ticking through lists! If you’ve got a choice as to what to do next, pick the task that will motivate you most right now.
  • Talk more. If you’re in the position to! It can really help to get outside of your head and interact with someone else. Even if it’s just a few minutes spent comparing weekends while the kettle boils. The sooner you get chatting the faster you can break the blues bubble.
  • Remember those rituals? Find small ways of cheering yourself up each Monday. Listen to your favourite song on your way to/at work. Eat a nice bit of something homemade as a morning snack. Plan a small treat or activity for your lunch break. Dot little pick-me-up rituals right through the day if you need to!
  • Question how long this has actually been going on for. Is it time to start your job search?

If it’s a worry about not finding work…

It’s extra tricky when Monday mornings mean waking up and worrying about not having a job to go to. This is a big topic which deserves a full post another day. Meanwhile…

  • Make sure Mondays still mean structure. Aim to rise as if it’s a standard working day and schedule a variety of job-seeking tasks throughout. Remember to include a full lunch-break (as well as some kettle breaks!) and use this time to get some fresh air and eat away from your screen. Also have a cut-off ‘home time’ point, in which you stop your search and enjoy your evening.
  • Use our 7 days of Job Hunting tips to inspire your schedule and do all that you can to improve your chances of finding a great next role. Introducing new approaches to job-searching can make the whole process feel less stale. Much more motivating when the new week swings around!
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Find ways of seeing others. Whether that’s going for a walk with a friend, having a quick chat with a neighbour, or similar. If you don’t know/have anybody nearby, see if there are any Skype groups you can join. It’s amazing the difference a bit of interaction can make. Volunteering is another excellent option here and clearly offers multiple rewards.
  • There will be lots of times when there’s nowhere else to send your CV/nobody to meet about work right now. Use these times to review the personal elements mentioned above and to catch up on your daily admin. The more you do to support your health and wellbeing, the better equipped you’ll be to start your next role.
  • Of course, as above, if your worries about your work situation are getting too much for you, it’s vital to speak to your GP.

Alongside all of today’s advice, start telling yourself you really like Mondays! Strangely, the more you think and say it, the more you learn to believe it. You can also tell us what works for you over on Twitter and LinkedIn

Graduate job optimism falls!

Why has graduate job optimism fallen? And what should local students, graduates and employers do next?

The stats suggest…

  • Graduate job optimism has fallen sharply since last year.
  • Now only half of students and grads feel optimistic about their chance of finding work.
  • Less than a quarter of this group feel they will find a true ‘graduate role’.
  • Concerns about the national economy and political environment are to blame according to almost 3/4 of respondents.
  • Perceived graduate salary needs – due to student debt and living costs – are significantly lower than the average graduate salary (currently ranging between £19-22K nationally).
  • A third of students and recent graduates plan to leave the UK if there’s a ‘hard Brexit’.

The full article can be found on OnRec. Meanwhile, we’re eager to discuss what happens next…

Advice for students & graduates in Bath:

We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you that the national news can paint a depressing picture! Especially when it comes to what may happen in future. The ‘may’ is very important here as often the reality is somewhat different.

Currently, the UK is experiencing a national skills shortage, low candidate availability and high (record high, in fact!) job vacancy levels.

This all spells positive news for prospective job-seekers. It certainly opens many opportunities that were closed to employees in leaner times.

Our advice to you is to seek out more evidence to support your career decisions. Of course, if you’re eager to set off to other countries, and this is the right decision for you, then that’s fantastic. However, please do not discount the idea that you’ll be able to land a fantastic job closer to home.

There’s a lot of change ahead

This piece signposts articles written by some of the recruitment industry’s leading commentators. It gives us all a glimpse of what we may experience this year.

You’ll also find the latest facts on permanent placements in this post. Stories around which we often publish on our News page so you get a clearer idea as to what’s actually happening right now.

Being realistic

‘Save the student’ offers a good rule of thumb (read: approximate!) guide to average salary levels by degree. We can attest to their comments regarding how the national averages are actually part of a vast salary range, which will naturally vary by specific role and industry.

Again, we’d advise you to find out exactly what’s happening in your chosen arena. This will allow you to form realistic expectations and make better-informed job decisions. As well as comparing salaries in job adverts, you can also speak to recruiters in your field.

Of course, your starting salary won’t always reflect your longer-term earning potential. So, it’s also worth considering potential career development opportunities within the roles you see advertised.

Furthermore, we recommend evaluating the ‘full package’ that comes with each opportunity; from the specific viewpoint of your current working priorities. We were interested to see that the appeal of working for an SME business, flexible working, and future career opportunities were all ranked above high salaries in a recent study on millennials. This isn’t to say that you feel the same. Rather, that now is the time to consider what really matters most to you.

In a nutshell?

Don’t let negative news about things that haven’t happened yet put you off when it comes to making important career decisions! Seek out more evidence and use it to inform your job search.

To be considered for local commercial office opportunities in Bath and surrounding, please submit your CV today. Here’s what to include in your cover email.

FURTHER READING: our 7 Days of Job Hunting tips are also well worth a read to help you stand out from other grads.

As for local employers…

Here’s yet another excellent call to make yourself more appealing to local graduates. And here in Bath, we’re fortunate to have an extra large pool of graduates to reach out to!

Don’t forget to catch up on our previous post – featuring tips to make your business more attractive to job-seekers.

For further support with this, please call the office on 01225 313130.

Employers competing for candidates

Employers competing for candidates: the latest facts & ideas to get ahead!

Headline: ‘Businesses pull out all the stops as employment hits record high’

SOURCE: HR Grapevine

Businesses are facing increasingly competitive times as the low national unemployment rate combines with a record number of job vacancies.

This issue is predicted to worsen as EU migration falls post-Brexit. However, this isn’t to say that nobody is experiencing long periods without work. This particular problem appears to worsen by age group:

  • 20% of 18 to 24-year-olds have been out of work for more than a year. This is compared with…
  • 30% of 25 to 49-year-olds 
  • 40% of those aged 50 and above

We’d like to note that the latter category may also be a larger group, as employees retire increasingly later.

Pleasingly for businesses, an increase in job-seekers has been noted for this post-Christmas period.

What to do next – for Employers:

There are a number of simple steps you can take to make yourself more appealing to prospective applicants.

  1. Shout about your staff benefits. 85% of employees are more attracted to companies that do this.
  2. Create an ‘experimentation culture’. You’ll soon be a part of the rare 19% of businesses that bother to do this (despite the fact employees are desperate to utilise their creative thinking abilities)!
  3. Understand the reasons why the majority of workers leave their current roles. And make sure your company addresses as many of these as it can!
  4. Ensure all new employees experience positive ‘onboarding‘.
  5. Understand what’s happening in the world of employment right now. Again, make sure your company is leading the way and taking a progressive approach to business management.

What to do next – for Employees & Job-seekers:

While it’s exciting to hear you’re in demand, this isn’t to say you should rest on your laurels! Businesses are still very much looking for the right candidate for each role.

It’s time to refer to ‘It’s not just what you do, it’s how you show you do it!’ towards the bottom of this post. Each of the five links will help you to highlight exactly how you are the right person for the job.

All parties are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified recruitment consultant in their field for access to the best candidates and jobs for their specific needs. Please call Appoint on 01225 313130. 

The career skills you’ll need by 2020

These are the career skills you’ll need by 2020, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘The Future of Jobs’ report…

We first learned of this report via Stylist. You can find all the data alongside the full report on the WEF website.

Traditional skills regain relevance

There’s been so much talk about the future of work in relation to the ‘rise of the robots‘ and the need to become increasingly more technologically aware. Many experts are recommending job-seekers swot up on coding and other IT skills in a bid to stay relevant in future.

However, many will feel relieved to hear that social skills are also set to become increasingly relevant over the next two years. Those more ‘human skills’, if you will.

Important career skills of the future include:

  • The ability to solve complex problems (36%)
  • Social abilities (19%)
  • Process skills (18%)
  • Systems expertise (17%)
  • Cognitive abilities (15%)
  • Resource management (13%)
  • Technical skills (12%)
  • Content skills (10%)
  • Physical capabilitites (4%)

So yes, the technical skills are listed yet social abilities sit strong!

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you show you do it!

It feels timely to remind of the need to become proficient (better still, an expert!) at showcasing your skills. We have a number of articles to directly support you with this…

  1. How to think like a brand and package yourself as a job-seeker.
  2. How to compete against more gregarious candidates when you’re an introvert.
  3. Simple ways to stand out as a colleague, at interview, in your communications and on the web.
  4. Learn to job search like a pro with our 7 Days of insider recruitment tips.
  5. And lastly –yet perhaps most vitally!– how to incorporate your skills into your CV in a way that it makes the whole process easier for you. This piece is one that we always recommend regardless of where you are in your job search. Even if you’re an employer reading this post, this is one tip you can follow to support your future career progression!

Are working parents under too much pressure?

Why are working parents facing so much pressure? We review findings from The Modern Families Index 2018…

Working parents ‘obliged’ to overwork

The study – published by Working Families and Bright Horizons (as discussed in HR Review)– shows:

Many parents feel it is necessary to work beyond their contractual arrangements, due to high workloads or perceived expectations.

  • 39% of parents are unable to put their children to bed on a regular basis due to work
  • 42% are not around to assist their children with homework
  • 28% say they argue with their partners about their job
  • 1 in 3 feels ‘burnt out’ all/most of the time. More than 50% directly attribute this to their work.

What does an average working week look like?

  • Parents contracted to 35-36 hours of work a week are actually undertaking an additional 40% more hours. A third of this group is working one extra day (7 hours) each week.
  • Parents with a 25 hour a week contract are working 34% more hours weekly. 30% of this group could actually be classified as full-time employees, working a total of 35 hours!
  • Not all of these hours are paid, costing households an average of £1,927 (for part-time workers) to £2,429 (for full-time workers) each year.

For more stats on the effects on parents’ health habits, and the impact flexible working has on these findings, it’s worth reading the full HR Review article.

The piece suggests parents are ‘deliberately stalling and downshifting their careers’ in an attempt to limit the effects on modern family life.

What can we do to help?

This situation is part of a cultural pattern that, sadly, is unlikely to disappear overnight. Much of the power to change this currently lies with employers. We’d recommend all local businesses read the short report on the Working Families website. And if you only read one page of this, make it Page 6.

In times of a skills shortage, it’s vital that businesses are in the position to attract quality applicants. This will naturally include many of the 11 million+ working parents throughout the UK.

As for working parents, we recommend reviewing your working arrangements to ensure they’re the most appropriate fit for your current needs. If it’s time for a change, be sure to find a trusted REC-registered recruitment agency who will truly understand your needs.

For further recruitment advice and support, please call the office on 01225 313130.

Recruitment Predictions for 2018…

Sharing 2018 recruitment predictions from leading industry commentators… 

Each year brings a fresh wave of business estimations and predictions. None more so than as we enter our penultimate year as a European member state. So, how could employment and recruitment change this year?

1) Through legal & policy updates

SOURCE: Recruiting Times

Recruiting Times discusses a host of potential legislative changes and discussions, including:

  • The implementation of the Taylor review. This is an independent review of modern working practices, which explores today’s employer responsibilities and workers’ rights.
  • Increased (and more public) penalties in cases of ‘unfair employment’.
  • Greater support/recognition of Transgender equality rights.
  • The possibility that caste may also be covered under racial discrimination policy in certain circumstances.
  • Further discussion of disability rights. Partially in light of two major ongoing cases.
  • More governmental guidance on workplace dress code policies.

2) Continued high job-seeking levels

SOURCE: HR Magazine

  • Just under half of all UK employees are set to look for a new job this year, says HR Magazine. This is a reduction on 2017’s figures (59%). However, such a stat represents continued low job satisfaction levels.
  • Management issues are the biggest driver for a job change (49%). Alongside this, other workers are motivated by earning potential (43%) and a desire for greater skills recognition (29%).

3) Fluidity & flexibility

SOURCE: HR Grapevine

The magazine highlights 8 distinct trends, which include:

  • Increased ‘fluidity’, suggesting that changing jobs more frequently will become socially ‘acceptable’.
  • Greater value placed on employee perks. This is something we only recently discussed!
  • Further focus on closing the gender pay gap.
  • An increase in ‘returnships’.
  • More flexible working policies.
  • A better work-life balance.
  • More attention paid to workplace leadership in relation to staff morale.
  • Diversity to be celebrated and ‘taken more seriously’ by employers.

4) Reduced employer confidence

SOURCE: Recruiting Times

  • We hear that 51% of businesses expect 2018 to be ‘more challenging than 2017’.
  • The remaining companies surveyed suggested this year will be no better. Meaning that not one of the employers surveyed expected 2018 to be easier!
  • Low employer confidence primarily centres around concerns regarding the economy and post-Brexit trade potential.
  • However, despite poor confidence levels, 51% of businesses intend to expand their workforces this year. Promising news for job-seekers!

5) Through a clearer understanding


Recruitment’s leading governing body has drawn its own predictions –or ‘things to look out for’– this year:

  • The organisation agrees that hiring and employment rates will continue, although perhaps at a slower growth rate versus recent (record-beating!) years.
  • They remain ‘hopeful’ that we will garner a clearer understanding of the post-Brexit trade and employment potential.
  • Further discussions on automation and its effect on the jobs market. This will include an upcoming TedX talk by Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive.
  • Ongoing campaigns to keep the UK labour market as ‘dynamic, flexible and agile’ as can be.

As you can see, 2018 looks set to be another fascinating year in recruitment. We’ll be sure to keep all of our job-seekers and employers posted on the developments as they unfold – so do keep a close eye on our News!

We’re also interested to hear from you. Which changes or issues concern you most or would you like to hear more about? Share your thoughts via Twitter, LinkedIn and email.

Permanent placements have risen again!

Discussing the latest REC stats on permanent placements, starting salaries and more…

Each month the REC teams up with IHS Markit to bring us all the latest facts on national employment. This data offers frontline insights, with primary research generated from recruitment agencies throughout the UK.

Permanent placements have risen again

Not only have permanent placements increased, they’ve done so at their fastest pace in four months (as of December). Agencies also report continued demand for temps – with growth only slowing slightly from November.

The 20-year survey averages continue to be beaten! Overall vacancy numbers remain well above the norm, despite the fact they’re said to have ‘softened’ marginally.

But what about candidate availability?

Candidate availability remains an area of chief concern for the majority of employers. In fact, this issue is worsening at its most rapid rate in two years.

Temporary staffing availability is also proving problematic.

TIP: for this reason, we’d further advise employers to seek the support of experienced local recruitment consultants. You’ll find more advice regarding this specific issue here

Salaries are growing

National starting salaries are seeing continued improvement as a result of the skills shortage. Temporary pay rates have also followed suit.

Sector differences

Both the private and public sectors are experiencing increases in demand. However, the curve has been steeper for the private sector (and as witnessed in recent reports).

Accountancy & Financial openings have experienced some of the greatest growth, followed by the IT & Computing sector.

Discussing these figures, Kevin Green of the REC suggests more employers are now utilising the services of recruiters. He reminds businesses that job-seekers are often more active at the start of a new year; recommending that employers expand their “talent pools and be inventive about how to improve their employer brand and make themselves an even more attractive place to work”.

Please call Appoint on 01225 313130 for further advice on your recruitment plans for the coming year.

Looking for work? Visit our jobs page to see the roles that we’re actively recruiting for. You’ll also want to catch up on our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips!

[Stats: REC 9th Jan 2018]

7 Days of Job Hunting Tips!

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.