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12 tips of a job search

12 tips of a job search

Debbie Nathan Career Advice, Investor Relations, Professional Services...

"I got the first role I applied for!" is not something I have heard too much of late. A job search is like a job in itself, it’s time consuming and tiring. From speaking with communications professionals on a daily basis I’ve collated 12 steps which will enable your job search to be more effective.

1) Have a solid CV that you are willing to tailor

Your CV should get the reader interested! Think about:

  • Using measurables to demonstrate your successes e.g. increased engagement by 38% in 12 months
  • Outlining your recent roles with ‘Responsibilities’ and ‘Achievements’
  • Going over two pages if necessary – hiring managers will read a third page

2) Utilise your network

Engage with specialist recruiters and get in touch with former colleagues. I always ask my network for recommendations, and referrals are always an easier way into a company. A specialist recruiter will also be able to give you an insight into hiring trends and a market update.

3) Focus your search

Apply for roles in a structured way, think about the role you want or type of organisation you want to work for. Applying for anything and everything can become demotivating (as well as time consuming)- if you don’t feel motivated to take the time to review your CV ahead of clicking ‘apply’, then chances are the role isn’t quite right.

4) Track what you have applied for

Track the roles you have applied for so that you know who you have shared your profile with. By keeping a log you will also be able to keep a note of where you have got to in each process. 

Example of a job tracking sheet

Company

Role

Vacancy link

Stage

Feedback

 Carter Murray 

 Head of Communications 

 www.cartermurray.com 

 First stage interview 

Waiting for details of 2nd stage

 

5) Have a strong LinkedIn profile

Our clients will often look at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, remember to keep it up to date and utilise this as a shop window for your expertise.

If you need to give your LinkedIn a revamp, think about the fact that in-house recruiters will have to juggle multiple roles across an entire business. Using ‘buzzwords’ will help them to spot that you are relevant for a role they are recruiting for.

6) Understand the gaps in your experience and turn it into a positive

Whilst preparing for interview, think about the holes in your experience in relation to the role requirements you are interviewing for. Talk through the spec with someone in your network, be that a specialist recruiter or an ex colleague. You should always be looking to improve in your specialist field, so having areas that you can learn and develop can be a good thing – just so long as the area of improvement is not a fundamental part of the role.

7) Dress smart

This might seem like an obvious one, but it is always better to err on the side of caution. Even if an organisation operates a casual dress policy, I’d still recommend presenting yourself in a professional manner. Even if it means wearing a smart jacket - you can take it off if needs be.

8) Research the company and who you are meeting  

Again, this may sound like an obvious piece of advice but I do occasionally get feedback from clients saying “That candidate didn’t seem to research the company”. Be sure to look at any press coverage, their social media, website and values. Look at what is being said about them as well as by them. This exercise will help in making you think about why you want to work for the company.

9) Think about your questions

  • Use this as an opportunity to fill in any of the gaps of the spec and company you may have
  • Find out why the people you meet enjoy working there
  • Question throughout the interview, not just at the end

10) Be patient

Over the last twelve months I have seen that processes have taken longer, it may feel as though a role has dropped off but don’t let this make you check out of a process entirely.

If you are working with a recruiter, assume that if they had news they would let you know straight away. Keep in touch with the recruiter or HR contact throughout the process but not necessarily to just chase progress.

11) Always ask for feedback

Feedback from an interview process is valuable and something you are entitled to. Keep a note of any feedback in your spreadsheet tracking applications and interviews so that you have the foundations of what to think about ahead of any new process.

12) Return any favours

As I said, searching for a role is time consuming and tiring, in the process you will undoubtedly lean on others for help and assistance. Once you have found a role, return the favour.

These tips are not exhaustive, but a good starting point in structuring your search. If you would like any advice on your own search for a communications job, Investor Relations job or marketing job, then get in touch with one of the team. All of our consultants are able to provide you with market insight, CV feedback and interview prep.