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Securing your next job

As a recruitment consultant and careers advisor, Jerry Wood explains how to find the perfect
role and offers tips on how to present yourself to employers.

ARE you looking to change jobs this year? Perhaps you want to advance your career, move company, or even try a whole new career path? Or you may be forced to look for a new role following redundancy. Finding a new job that offers you all you want can be daunting. Before seeking new opportunities, it’s important to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best possible light to employers and recruiters. Then, when the right role comes up, you’ll be best placed to be offered the position.

Know your career goals
Do you have a clear idea of your career goals? By defining these it will give you a clear aim and narrow down the search for a new job. There are a number of different goals you could set yourself such as salary, responsibilities or job satisfaction. Employers will want to know what motivates you to join their organisation and what you can bring to the role.

Build a list of at least three-to-five skills you know the role you’re applying for will benefit from and include these within applications or interviews. Be sure to be able to back up your skills with demonstratable evidence, giving situational examples that are relevant, timely and positive.

Your CV
Recruitment has changed a lot in the last few years. The use of AI to automate some CV filtering has made it more difficult for applicants to get noticed on their individual merits. Applicant tracking systems can reject up to 75% of CVs because of relevance and will accept or reject your application based on keywords.

Even if your CV is reviewed by the hirer, you may find you’re being rejected for a role that could be the perfect fit for you simply because your CV is not compelling enough to get you shortlisted.
Desirable roles will also often have a deluge of applicants. How will you make sure your CV helps generate the best first impression to an employer?

  • Get the basics right. Are your contact details correct and displayed clearly? Have you checked your spelling and grammar?!
  • Get to the point, quickly. You should be able to deliver your CV on two pages
  • Spend time on creating an attention grabbing introductory statement
  • Review the job advert and description and ensure relevant keywords are included in your CV
  • Tailor your CV for each job you apply for, picking out key points you know they are looking for
  • Convey what value and skills you can offer to the role
  • Feature any transferable skills, especially when looking to move into a different industry or completely new role
  • Demonstrate how you’ve helped your existing employer to achieve their goals

Build your online profile
LinkedIn is the largest professional online network. It’s a great way to build connections and connections can lead to job opportunities. It’s also often a resource used by employers and recruiters to learn more about you and can be used to seek you out if they have a role that might be a good fit.

If you don’t have a profile, it’s time to create one, even if you’re not currently looking for a new job. Much like your CV it’s a great way to show your career history and skills and so thought should be given to developing your profile.

Once you’ve got the basics in of your name, photo and a concise statement, move onto your summary. This is your chance to shine. Use appropriate keywords about your job function and keep it relatively formal. LinkedIn will also prompt you to select skills that are most relevant to your job title/experience.

There’s also a section for your employment history and one of my favourite areas, projects. This enables you to showcase projects you’ve been involved in that you’re most proud of. It’s a great way to demonstrate case studies that help reinforce your abilities.

Connect with colleagues, suppliers, clients and other contacts to build up your network. Then reach out to them for recommendations. This is a written statement of endorsement that will show others value what you do and provides social proof of your capabilities.

Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn so it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Job hunting
The job search can be overwhelming so it’s important to keep positive. The perfect role is out there for you. Don’t just rely on general online job boards for your search as not all vacancies will be advertised on these platforms. Try some of these other methods too:

  • Set up search filters and job alerts that match your desired role on LinkedIn
  • Compile a list of companies you’d like to work for and check out their career pages
  • Contact relevant agencies that specialise in your sector
  • Reach out to contacts on LinkedIn, either privately or in a public post
  • Follow companies you are interested in joining on LinkedIn so that you can see their posts and keep up to date with their news. Many will often post about vacancies
  • Add an ‘open to work’ badge to your LinkedIn profile. This will signal to recruiters that you are looking for a new role. Only do this if you’re seeking new employment publicly as this may alert your employers
  • Attend industry shows or networking events. It’s amazing what you find out when speaking to people face to face.

If you need extra support
It can be good to talk to an expert when embarking on the search for a new role. My careers advice package includes one-to-one tailored support with plenty of guidance to make sure you’re putting your best self forward when applying for jobs. Learn more and request sample guides.
Jerry Wood is recruitment consultant and careers advisor at Beaumontwood

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