There’s no denying that finding a new job can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. Fortunately, there are ways to approach your search so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. As you set out to navigate a competitive employment market, it’s crucial to stay organised in order to feel in control of the process. By following a few simple steps, you can take a more focused and efficient approach to your job search, empower yourself as a candidate, and optimise your results.
First things first
It may seem obvious, but before you start you will need a good sense of the role you want and where you would like to work, both in terms of commuting distance and companies you admire. While some candidates know exactly what they’re looking for, this isn’t always the case. If you’re still exploring options, it’s important to research the market and the potential opportunities open to you. Talk to friends, family and colleagues, and devote time to researching trade press and LinkedIn.
Next up: market yourself
It’s vital that you market yourself appropriately. A great CV is clearly the best way to do this; you’ll want to read this article for helpful tips and suggestions. Don’t be shy about selling yourself in a CV – this is your primary opportunity to get noticed. For a more in-depth discussion about making your CV stand out from the crowd, click here.
Take control of your online presence
These days, it’s not just words on a CV that can make an impression. A growing number of organisations will research your online presence, so it is important that any social media accounts present you in the best possible light and are consistent with what you say on your CV. Take an objective look at your online profiles such as Twitter, as if through the eyes of a prospective employer, and make changes where needed. In particular, as LinkedIn is most common for professional networking, ensure that your profile matches your CV and that you are engaged in relevant industry groups.
Now you’re organised – stay organised
Organising your job search is based on one simple idea – making sure all your information is current and in one place. The easiest way to do this is to maintain a dedicated folder, online or paper, with copies of your CV (and notes explaining which version was sent with which application), covering emails, screengrabs of advertisements for positions you have applied for, recruiter contact details and notes from any interviews. You may even consider setting up a dedicated email address for your job hunt, ideal for keeping all correspondence in one place. It’s important not to appear scattered, especially if you are sending out multiple CVs for multiple jobs. For more about the pitfalls of a disorganised search, click here.
Selecting recruitment agencies that work for you
A recruiter should be an invaluable partner in your job search. When you’re working with a recruitment agency, you usually have a dedicated contact representing you, who will specialise in your skill area and be the best person to support you. Look at how they communicate – do they return your calls and update you? Be wary of someone who never returns your calls or emails; they may be busy but they should always find the time to update you even if there is no news to share.
Avoiding the perils of double representation
If you’re working with multiple recruitment agencies, keeping yourself organised is more important than ever. Applying for the same position twice, through two different recruiters, never goes down well and has been the downfall of many potential candidates. Always insist on an agency telling you who their client is to help avoid this situation, and if one agency wants to put you forward for a position you’ve already applied for through another recruiter – be honest with them and tell them you’ve already been put forward.
Dealing with in-house recruiters
In addition to working through recruitment agencies, it’s likely that you will apply for jobs directly with an organisation. The main difference here is that the contact will represent just one company and their main agenda will be to attract you there. While they may understand their company culture better, they will not be in a position to offer you a range of possible positions or companies based on an understanding of your needs and career aspirations, as is the case with an agency recruiter.