Posted by: Jo Banks
Top tips for supercharging your job search.
I'm often surprised by how little effort people are prepared to put into finding their next job. They will update their CV, register with one website (usually Totaljobs, Monster or Indeed) and one recruitment consultant and they think that's enough. They then spend the next few weeks panicking and wondering why they can't find the right position.
Although we are now thankfully coming out of recession and recruitment is back on many employers’ agendas, competition between job seekers has remained high. Through necessity, businesses became more creative in attracting the right candidates at the lowest possible cost. Less emphasis was placed on recruitment consultants and therefore, job seekers needed to be more imaginative than perhaps they might have been previously. Although there does seem to be a resurgence in the use of consultants following recent economic recovery, many companies have maintained their low-cost candidate attraction strategies.
The following are my five top tips for where to find your next role. I recommend using a combination of all of these activities and like anything else, the more effort you put in, the more you will get out:
1. Your network
The more people you tell about your job search, the more will be able to help. The majority of roles are now found either through those we know or the people they know. Make a list of everyone you know (most clients can come up with around 100). Grade them 1, 2, 3 (one being the people you feel very comfortable with) and get on the phone, calling the No 1s first. N.B. you are not asking your contacts to find you a job, you are informing them that you're on the market and asking if they’ll let you know if they hear of anything that may be suitable. If people don't know, they can't help.
2. Job sites
There are so many job sites to choose from, including generic ones such as Totaljobs, Monster, Indeed, Reed, Glassdoor as well as industry/role specific ones. I recommend registering with at least five that are most pertinent to your industry/position. Upload your generic CV (please remember only to include either an email address and phone number – you wouldn't put all your personal details on LinkedIn so why would you put it on a job site?). Set up job alerts so that you receive notice of positions matching your specific criteria as soon as they become live.
3. Recruitment consultants/agencies
Again, I would suggest registering with at least five. When discussing your ideal role you need to be very clear about what you want; if you’re unclear then they will be too. Make a list of the role content, type/size of the company, remuneration details, etc. before you see/speak to them. N.B. It’s up to you to build the relationship with consultants, not the other way around (no matter how senior you are!). Consultants will usually help those who keep in regular contact with them over those who have not. My top tip for managing recruitment consultants is to try to get to see them face to face. When you do, treat it as a formal interview; dress smartly, be clear about you want and know your CV inside and out – see my post ‘Five Biggest Interview Mistakes’.
I'm still amazed at how many people overlook LinkedIn as a job search tool. LinkedIn is a great place to find your next role as it has a comprehensive job section. It's also an excellent way to find people with whom you may have lost contact. If you haven't got a LinkedIn profile, it should be your first task after writing your CV.
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and matches your CV – having incorrect dates is a common mistake. You must also have a professional profile picture (no pictures of you with alcohol, pouting or wearing holiday clothes!). As soon as you call a recruitment consultant, it’s likely that they will bring up your profile during the conversation. A prospective employer may also look at it before they select you for an interview, so it’s important that it accurately reflects your CV.
I'd also suggest that you join groups that are pertinent to either your job or industry. Many companies advertise their vacancies within those groups because they can directly hit their target market and doesn’t cost them anything. Again, as with other job search sites, you can set up email alerts according to your specific criteria.
5. Direct applications
Make a list of the companies that you'd like to work for (I also recommend you do this when registering with recruitment consultants and take it with you when you meet them). Go to their website and check their 'careers' section. Alternatively, if there isn’t a careers section, research the name of the person who handles the recruitment through Google, the company website or by calling reception. Send a speculative application to them directly. Using the recruiters name is far better than writing 'Dear Sir/Madam' or 'To whom it may concern'. Follow up your application within a couple of days by calling the recruiter. The reason for this is two-fold, it shows that you are keen and that you have initiative, both of which are appealing to a prospective employer.
My additional job search top tips are:
More information on these and other job search activities as well as top tips on CV writing, interview skills and much more is available in my latest book, ‘Land Your Dream Job Now!' available on Amazon.
If you're looking for your next role and would like support, please contact us for a free no-obligation conversation on how we can help.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' new book, Land Your Dream Job Now! now available in paperback and Kindle formats.