As we established in our 6 Top Tips to follow for an effective job search, searching for a new role these days can be a full-time job in itself. In the 2nd part of our Top Tips we take a look at 6 more key things that you should be doing to ensure your job search is successful.
#7 Always research the company
Be honest, when you see an advertised role, do you research the business before applying or fire over a CV based on the role alone? Researching organisations to understand their company values and operations will help to ensure you’re applying to a company that matches your aspirations. In addition to the obvious sources such as their company website and Companies House (Particularly important for Accountancy roles), “Social Media” and “Google“ will provide you with a great insight into a companies positive and adverse news. Using the network you have started to build (See Tip#3) to ask connections for their professional opinions will also help you gain insight into the cultures of an organisation too.
Understanding a business, its culture and activities in the local market are factors that should always be considered when making a job application. Referencing companies recent news in an application or cover letter can also help to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and can boost your chance of being selected for interview. If nothing else you'll have a killer response to the inevitable question of, “So, tell me what appealed to you about working for ACME Ltd” at your interview.
#8 Keep your Engines running
When you’re actively engaged in a job search, it’s important to accept every bit of help you can. There are many time saving technologies at your disposal, perhaps one of the most effective is a Job Search Engine. Designed to enhance your job search in today’s digital age, most job sites offer an alert feature. Once set up, they scan the job sites and email you links about suitable opportunities direct to your inbox.
With a wide choice of job sites available, it's important to identify the which are most likely to feature the type of roles you are looking for. Based on research conducted by Careerexperts.co.uk, here is a list of the Top 10 UK Job search sites for 2020 - http://www.careerexperts.co.uk/job-searching/top-10-job-sites-uk
Some sites such as Indeed.co.uk are aggregators and will pool opportunities from multiple sources to offer you the best possible results. It’s worth experimenting with a few sites to see which works best for you. Search engines will only return accurate results based on what you tell them. The more specific you can be, the better the likely result. Most Job sites offer a Mobile App too, great during those downtime moments to keep on top of your search.
#9 The Humble Cover Letter
Ok, so they’re not as popular as they used to be, but there's still a place for the humble cover letter. A good cover letter will be no more than a single page long and contain the following 4 paragraphs -
1 - Open the letter with a short explanation of why you are getting in touch.
2 - Highlight your suitability. Describe your experience and qualifications and why they are relevant to the position, focussing on the job description and skills required.
3 - Sell yourself. What can you specifically bring to the client? Now is the time to boast about any achievements, include tangible examples to demonstrate your skills.
4 - Repeat your interest in the role and why you believe you would be a good fit, remember to be enthusiastic in your tone.
- Bespoke (Pun intended) your letter to each application. Personalise to the specific role, mirroring the required skills.
- Keep your font consistent with your CV (No Comic Sans please).
- Double-check your grammar before you send it off anywhere. (useful tool -https://app.grammarly.com/)
I’m always happy to cover (Pun intended again!) this subject in a direct conversation if you need more guidance, contact me for a chat.
#10 Engage a Recruiter
Ok, hold your horror stories….we’re not all the same. I may be slightly biased but I believe there's plenty of value we can bring to your job search. I’ve spent 18 years recruiting locally, building up relationships with clients and advising/supporting thousands of candidates through their recruitment journey. Offering a broad range of support on matters such as CV writing through, Interview tips and job search techniques.
If you do engage with a recruiter, there’s a couple of things we ask –
1 - Be 100% open and honest with us. Transparency is the only way we can understand your career experience and aspirations and advice you on the best course of action to suit your circumstances...tell us the truth, please.
2 - Ask for and take on board our advice. Trust our experience on the things we discuss with you. Whether its CV writing, interview techniques or how to enhance your search, The advice we offer comes from years of helping others to achieve success.
I’d just like to dispel a myth about recruiters…WE DO CARE…it’s not just about our Fee.
#11 Brush up your skills
I’m sure by now you have mastered the use of video skills, you’ve no doubt become a Zoom Ninja (Other platforms are available). Why not use this time to brush up others skills too. When applying to jobs in Finance (and many non-finance roles too), your Excel competence will likely come into question. Excel is an essential skill required by most finance teams and many recruitment processes will involve some level of Excel competency testing.
If you are currently searching for a new role why not invest a little time into sharpening your skill set tools. There are plenty of YouTube or Googleable (is that even a word?) links that offer you the ability to take mock tests and develop your skills further. A candidate I’ve recently supported through a recruitment process found the link below useful -
This is also a good time to call in any favours from friends and old colleagues who may be able to share their knowledge of a certain skill such as Excel. Maybe even ask them to set up a Zoom based tutorial so you can demonstrate your Ninja skills too!. Enhancing your skills will help to keep you motivated during your job search and also helps to demonstrate to potential employers that you’re taking a proactive approach to your job search.
#12....and finally give yourself a break
Job searching can be an intense process, one where you experience a whole rollercoaster of emotions that will affect the process. Before you realise, it can quite easily consume your entire day and can leave you feeling anxious, stressed possibly even downright frustrated by it all. Sending multiple applications and getting nowhere can start to sap your motivation. Perhaps you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall. If that’s the case, do yourself a favour…STOP SEARCHING and take a break. Yes, that’s right, stepping away from your job search for a day or two can often help.
Whilst applying to as many jobs as possible and trying to line up multiple interviews may seem like the best strategy, its just as important to treat yourself to some downtime too. Taking an occasional break from your job search will help recharge the physical and emotional batteries. A brief step back from your search will help you to re-energise and bounce back into your job search with a renewed energy. So the next time you’re feeling frustrated by another rejection letter, stop your search, give yourself a break, refocus and go again.
I hope these tips have been useful in aiding you with your job search, I'm always open to offer direct support and share with you my 2 decades of recruiting experience.
If you wish to discuss any matter regarding enhancing your Job Search, please do not hesitate to contact me here