The way in which we manage our next career move and job search has changed significantly in recent years. To the uninitiated, it can be a fairly daunting process. Here are a few observations which will help you travel that journey.
1 Accept change and swim with the tide
Accept things are changing. You may need to step out of your comfort zone, and you may be expected to do things a little differently. Things are changing at pace in the recruitment industry and with new technologies, tighter regulations & personal data laws, biometrics even, the way in which we recruit is ever-evolving. Be prepared for a career opportunity to come from a place you weren’t expecting. Don’t narrow your potential career outcomes by just relying on job adverts. Many professional job offers are secured via widening your net, encouraging direct approaches and discovering opportunities. Respect the power of smarter networking.
2 The power of your personal brand and your CV
Be very aware of your personal branding – on and off-line. In an age where personal information is easily assessable, whether you like it or not, recruiters will check your social media accounts and on-line activity. Hirer impressions with be drawn from how you conduct and represent yourself, in and out of the work-place, on-line and off-line; this information will all be channelled into and form part of the Hirer’s decision-making process.
Most CVs I see are just plain average, a regurgitated job description and tells the Hirer very little about your personalised career story and evidence of what you have to offer your next Employer. You will never get your dream job with an average CV. Don’t underestimate how powerful and influential your CV is. Your CV is your calling card, a sales brochure in fact and represents your personal brand and what you can offer your next employer. Your CV will play a massive part in determining your career outcome.
3 Keep focused on what’s important
Don’t lose touch with why you are making a career move. Reasons for considering a career move tend to be around career progression, family values/work-life balance or job satisfaction. Yet when it comes to actually leave, those that decide to retract their resignation are easily seduced by a package enhancement counter-offer, only to remain in exactly the same situation; albeit slightly richer, but not really addressing the real reasons for putting themselves through the job search process in the first place.
4 Moving on, not just up
Don’t restrict your job search to narrow career goals. When I started my career in HR my default vision was to become a HR Director. I never imaged I’d make two career changes and be running my own business. Break down the paradigms and be open in your thinking – there are other ways to reach your career destinations without climbing the corporate ladder. Have a clear vision of what’s important in your life first. It’s not always about chasing promotion and moving up but moving on.
5 Take it on the chin
Appreciate that you will not win every interview and you may lose a few battles to win the war. In my experience, “People buy People” and Interviewers don’t hire people they don’t necessarily connect with, even if they look great on paper. If the chemistry isn’t there then perhaps this one is just not meant to be.
6 CV Spread-betting is a No-No
Don’t apply for a hundred jobs and hope one will stick because it won’t and that’s a lot of wasted energy meantime. Do yourself a favour and be selective about the jobs you apply for. Focus on career opportunities that are a close fit to your skills and experience and make sure they are succinctly demonstrated on your CV. Employers will always select the best fit experience candidates for interview and if you only tick 5 out of 10 boxes, better-fit candidates will always be favoured and selected over you. Just because you believe you are a great fit, doesn’t mean your CV reflects this or that the Employer will think so.
7 Take the initiative communication wise
Don’t be afraid to go back to common sense communication – pick up the phone, post your CV or even hand deliver your CV. This is a great way to distinguish from the competition. Don’t be afraid to contact an Employer directly neither. Individuals have told me that they have avoided this for fear of rejection but, in times of severe skill-shortages, more often than not, they will be happy to hear from you.
8 listen to your gut feel
Do your homework. Be sure you have asked all the questions you need to, to understand exactly what your next step career move is all about. During the job search process, fill in all the blanks and be sure you are confident you understand the main challenges, you have met the appropriate people and you were satisfied with the process. Listen to your gut re the organisation and culture – if something doesn’t feel right – address it, don’t ignore it.
9 Not all recruiters are gangsters!
Although many Recruiters are considered to be in the same league as car salesmen (I mean that generically of course), you should make Recruiters your friend and not your foe. They can be a particularly useful ally and can support you in so many ways if you press the right buttons. However, recruitment is a very crowded area, be selective about who you work with.
10 Trust no-one
Different stakeholders will have their own agendas. Listen to your gut feel at all stages of the process and don’t let your heart rule your head or be influenced by misplaced loyalties. Don’t be rushed into making important career decisions and do what is in YOUR best interests.
Don’t be surprised at the amount of effort that goes into a job-search. It can easily be a full-time job in itself. It’s like a lot of things that requires effort; the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Ask yourself are you in control of your job search? What is your job search strategy? Are you confident you are maximising your job search reach? Is your strategy a push or pull process? With the right tools and strategies in place, life can be a lot easier.
Written by Ginnie Riley, Job Search Strategist, Jobsearchwarrior https://www.jobsearchwarrior.co.uk/ginnie-riley/
Ginnie offers one to one job search consultations and can be contacted on (t) 07881 631686 or https://www.jobsearchwarrior.co.uk/contact/
or connect with Ginnie on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ginnieriley/