I’ve talked before about how to take steps to ensure your job interviews in 2019 are your very best. 2019 may well lead to a change of career entirely or a change of employer into a similar role which offers greater opportunities. Here, adding to this, I touch on 5 key practical - perhaps unusual - tips following on from my extensive experience of helping professionals to get the job they want and from seeing things from both a prospective employer and candidate perspective.
1. What do I really want?
Understanding this is critical to your future career. I raise this because many people follow an assumed or predictable path without appreciating the vast opportunities out there. If I’m honest, as a lawyer, I did the same initially.
Recommendation: I recommend investing at least 30 minutes in a mind map exercise or simply lists to identify the skills and strengths you enjoy working with. After this, you can ask yourself how well your job or career aligns with these. You can also invest in a career consultant who identifies the ideal career for you through assessment, just stay true to you. That way, you increase your chances of always progressing to roles that you really
2. What organisations are actually out there that suit my skills and strengths?
Again, candidates typically assume the type of role or organisation they can apply to or rely on a recruiter to invest quality time in finding the right job for them. Depending on the recruitment consultant, do not take it for granted that they are doing everything in their power to help you – the reality is that many are excellent recruiters and will work hard on your behalf while others are driven by other values and goals (and have many candidates to fill many posts).
Recommendation: I recommend that you become your own best “job finder” by researching and navigating the firms (big or small) that you would like to ideally work for if nothing stopped you. Start here as this will aid in finding how your dreams match your reality. You can then also discuss this with recruiters or even make direct applications.
3. Direct Applications – why not?
This is an interesting one as I would not want to upset the recruitment sector. Recruiters play a vital role in seeking suitable candidates at all levels. They have the time and resources to assess, interview and, some, personally meet candidates first. I certainly did. They can save organisations time and money in the long run. However, if you research effectively, you may well find organisations that say “No Agencies.”
Recommendation: Be open to explore opportunities beyond recruiter job boards and go even further – look at the organisations you’d like to work for and reflect on how you would fit in, how your skills would be of value and research for any future growth the organisation projects or gaps it needs to fill. Such information may be in a news briefing in a journal or company blog. Be creative with your overall job search and career choice.
4. Social Media – LinkedIn
It’s essential, in the 21st century, to have an up to date profile on LinkedIn. I see far too often how this is neglected when, in fact, more organisations and recruiters are using LinkedIn to source suitable candidates.
Recommendation: If you’re in the process of job hunting now, go back to your LinkedIn profile (I’m assuming you have one) and read it as if you were an employer. What have you highlighted? How much does your information align with keywords on job descriptions? What message do you send out? What is your ideal employer looking for and does your profile match in any way? Be constructively critical of yourself so that you are able to do yourself justice. Of course, the profile must align with your CV too so ensure that is the best CV you can ever produce. (Contact me if you would like tips on your CV firstname.lastname@example.org )
5. Manage your Stress
Looking for a new job can be stressful as you have to find unique reasons to excuse yourself from the office. If you have several interviews ongoing, this increases your time leaving work early or arriving late or, of course, disappearing for that lunchtime dental appointment. At this time, you may have work deadlines or family commitments that also pull on your time and energy. Another issue is that you may not get the interview (s) that you really want and this can lead to feeling low. You only need one job but we are human and several rejections may well take their toll. It’s important to keep this in mind, that the job hunting game is like a game but you must stay emotional and mentally in control.
Recommendations: Mentally prepare yourself for the next few months, the highs and the lows that may come. Talk to those close to you about your job search and let them know if you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or stressed. Use a spreadsheet if that’s your thing to keep a record of where you apply and the outcomes as this provides both structure and evidence for you should you ever re-apply for example. Set yourself a realistic time frame but remain flexible especially in the current climate.
The views expressed in blogs are those of the author ©