Part 1 - before the application process
After a more than turbulent last few years in the recruitment & hiring sector, the regular trends seem to have gone out of the window when it comes to interviewing and finding a new job. Candidates were seemingly “stuck” when the pandemic hit in 2020 and many were thankful to remain employed, whereas 2021 and into 2022 saw employers hiring at will, offering lucrative salaries to beat their competitors. Top talent was in short supply and candidates were seen as hot property. Moving into 2023 and with a market expected to soften, what are employers going to be looking for from candidates and how can you stand out from the crowd?
1. Tick the boxes with your CV
With time being perhaps the most valuable commodity for businesses across the world, employers on average scan a CV for between 6-8 seconds before reaching a conclusion. If your CV is not showing the right information straight away in a clear & concise manner, then you have fallen at the first hurdle. It also goes to say that if your CV is too long, awkward to read and confusing then you will be dismissed just as quickly.
Presentation – keep it simple, easy to read and utilise bullet points for key information. If you wish to include a picture, make it professional!
Sell yourself – so many people don’t include their achievements in their CV’s, instead opting for a pure description of their career. Sell yourself and your skills, this is your chance!
Keep it concise – I advocate for no more than 2 pages; if you must include more, it should certainly be no longer than 3. . . trust me, you’ll have lost the audience by this point!
Why you? – if this is your chance to present your best-self, the reader wants to get an idea of what type of person you are. Include your hobbies, interests and what makes you human. . . remember, recruitment is a people business!
2. Have a professional social media page which is up to date
Linkedin has more than taken the crown as the no.1 tool for hiring and I’m a big advocate for candidates utilising this. If you’ve passed the CV test and the employer is interested, the majority will review your Linkedin or social media pages to see what type of person you’re presenting yourself as. Without a Linkedin page, the perception could be that your “behind the times” and not utilising every tool at your disposal. If you’re reading this post, then chances are you already have a Linkedin profile (!) but remember to keep it updated:
Most recent (and professional!) picture
Up-to-date employment with a description of your work
Recommendations and referrals, as well as interests
Remember that your job is to convey the best perception of yourself before you enter the interview. Having a slick looking Linkedin profile adds major points to the subjective feelings of the employer.
3. Utilise technology and recruiters to bring jobs to you
Once you’ve updated your CV and have a fresh new Linkedin profile, now it’s time to use technology to its advantage. Choose your favourite job boards and create search alerts for the job titles and positions you’re interested in. Remember to be broad as different employers will call the same job by different names and set up the searches to send you new results every few days. Remember, however, that job boards only reflect a portion of the positions actively available per company, and may include some outdated results. This is where partnering with a specific Head-hunter or Recruiter comes into play. Choose only one who you feel comfortable with and who can give you a full & honest reflection on the market. Choose someone who has recruited in your targeted market and demonstrates their understanding and success. A key feature of Linkedin is also to click the “open to work” tab on your profile, allowing Head-hunters to connect with you whilst remaining confidential.
Looking for a new role can feel daunting and often conflicting advice means people don’t know where to start. If you follow these 3 steps, then you’ll be in a greater position to start making applications and moving to the interview stage.
Remember, at each of these stages you should ask yourself Why am I looking for this new job? Creating your CV, updating your profile and then connecting with a Headhunter will allow you to thoroughly understand your reasons and remain committed to the move.
Our next article will offer insights into what employers are looking for during the interview process, moving you one step closer to the final goal and new job. As always, send me a direct message if you wish to discuss your own career search throughout 2023 and look forward to hearing your own tips & tricks as we go!