Here are a few tips on where to use your energy and time and how to increase your probability of success.
1. Know what you want
Spend some focused time working out exactly what you want to do. Self-analysis work is key before you put your effort in. Knowing what you want and what you are good at and enjoy will save you time, ensure you come across as focused and self assured and it will also be helpful when asking others as they will then know to think of you when a particular opportunity arises. An easy cost effective way to do this is to complete What to do next? by Charlotte Billington (available on Amazon). A practical exercise book you can complete in your own time.
Build your network, reach out to relevant people within your network, learn from your network, seek out others within your networks’ network that you could be introduced to/speak to. Ensure that you contact senior people too, they may be more likely to have hiring power. Once people are aware of your area/needs, doors should open. Speak to people who have done well in your chosen field. Most often, people who have done well in their area and enjoy it are very happy to talk to those who are equally passionate and considering entering their area. Learn from others, speak to them about how they did it or look at their bios. If you are considering a course/some development in your area of interest, get recommendations from people who know.
Use this to its full advantage. Whilst looking for a position, you could consider joining linked in premium facility which is free for the first 30 days or look into their job seeker app. LinkedIn is a hugely powerful tool when it comes to recruiting and job change – spend time on perfecting your profile. Recruiters, headhunters and decision makers are using it to recruit so you are missing a trick if you are not using it to its full.
Join them. Identify three or four recognized agencies, headhunters or search firms that recruit the types of positions that you are looking for at the correct level of seniority. A tip on finding them…. Ask your network, think of good agencies you have used in the past for recruiting and join them. Call a few of the companies you would like to work for and see if you can find out which agencies they use – then join them. Another key tip is to build a relationship with your key recruiter and their team. If they like you they will fight for you. The relationship with them is key!
5. Build your experience
Once you have identified what you want build your experience in that area. This could be internally within your company, by volunteering outside of work or offering on projects. Also pick out and highlight the relevant experience that you have on your CV or LinkedIn profile.
6. Be visible
Whether this is in person networking or at events and conferences or ‘on line’ joining in on discussions and in groups be visible and get out there!
7. Work on presenting yourself
Interview well, have an elevator pitch, look good in person and on paper. Make sure your online presence, CV and LinkedIn profiles are impressive. Spend time on this.
Match your CV and LinkedIn profile as closely as you can to the job specifications that you are looking at. Pull out the key words and relevant experience that you have.
Once you have identified a position, research and do more research. Research the company hiring process, the person interviewing you, others who work there, the market, their presence within the market, any articles related to them. Go beyond with the research.
10. Follow up – Ask and re ask if you need to
Reach out and ask others. Can you help them out too in some way? Don’t be afraid to ask and talk to people. Why not approach that person at that company you have always wanted to work for and send your CV. They can always say no but they may say yes!
11. Testimonials and recommendations
Ask people to write these for you on LinkedIn. People generally have to be approached and asked to do this. If you can ask for a testimonials from a 360 perspective – a boss, a colleague, a client, customer etc. Have atleast six.
Are there any courses you could complete whilst you are still working at your current company or relevant ones you could do alongside?
13. Keep up-to-date
Join groups on LinkedIn, sign up to blogs relevant to your field, prescribe for an industry relevant magazine, sign up to newsletters. Go to conferences and any relevant meet ups. Learn, read and absorb any relevant information. Sign up to google alerts. These alerts (based on single words or phrases) will generate news articles that contain them emailed directly to your in box every day and will flag newsworthy content. Perhaps sign up with three or four relevant words. Set up google alerts for the companies you are interested in and interviewing for. All of the above will result in you coming across more knowledgeable and up to date with market changes and they may flag information on openings competitors or help you think about the specific areas you are most interested in. Also keep up with current affairs – buy The Week or other publications that reduce news if you are time poor. Read a daily newspaper to keep you informed and up to date.
14. Keep going and try to keep positive
You will be more attractive as a candidate and others will want to help you. If you feel you need it and require assistance to get from where you are to where you want to be hire a career coach. Similar to asking for personal training if you have fitness goals a career coach could provide the extra support you need.