The last couple of months for us have seen an increase in the number of job seekers searching for a new role. This has been either due to the pandemic causing redundancies or actually more often than not, lockdown, and in particular furlough has given people time to reflect on their situation and many have reached out to test the market and explore their options.
Regardless of the reason, below are my top 5 tips to kick start your job hunt.
Have your CV ready to go
It still surprises me the number of candidates that I speak to who are looking for a new role but haven’t updated their CV. Whilst I agree that a CV only tells part of your story, it really is going to be key in getting you in front of (albeit virtually right now) a potential employer. Have it ready to go, you don’t want to see or be approached about a role but you have to delay applying as your CV isn’t ready.
There are many schools of thought on what constitutes the perfect CV and to be honest, I don’t think there is such a thing! In general, I would suggest:
- 2 -3 pages maximum as long as it’s relevant – there’s no need to talk about what you did for work experience at school
- When speaking about a previous role try not to bullet point what you were asked to do and focus more on what you actually achieved
- A personal preference – but photos, borders, logos are all distractions. Keep a CV to what it’s for
Make sure your Linked In profile does you justice
Whilst a CV may offer first impressions of you to a future employer, your Linked In profile will only back this up. My Linked In feed at the moment is full of individuals (understandably) advertising themselves looking for work, but there are some pitfalls that many seem to be falling into:
- Try to avoid words like ‘desperate’ in your headline – this doesn’t advertise what you do, and actually is more of a turn-off
- Make sure your career history is up to date – if you’ve left your last role, make sure that’s clear
- Make sure your contact details are up to date – basic but still being missed by so many
- Always have a profile photo but remember this is Linked In not Instagram
- Be careful what you’re liking and posting, it all comes up on your profile, and right now there is a lot of content on Linked In that is political, religious, or just not professional – keep all of that for Facebook!
Contact a handful of recruiters
I know from the one discipline that I recruited for there were at least 15 other agencies that did the same, and then 3 or 4 recruiters per agency, and on top of that the recruiters changed monthly. So how do you know who to contact? After all you’re putting your job search in the hands of, in many cases complete strangers. My honest advice when contacting recruitment agencies –
- Do your research, ask those you’ve worked with who they trust and contact those known in your particular industry
- Only engage with 2 or 3 maximum, any more and it really is hard to keep track of who has your details, and more importantly what they’re doing with them. If you’ve done your research and contacted the right ones, 3 should be enough
- Remember it’s a two-way relationship, recruiters are people and should be treated as such. Be honest, if you’re not interested in roles, let them know if you’ve already been put forward for a role etc.
The above are all great ways of getting yourself ready to job hunt, but the old saying of ‘looking for a job is a job in itself’ really is true. Remember:
- There is no point of having an up to date CV if you’re not going to send it anywhere, set yourself job alerts on job sites/ for certain organisations you want to work for. Once you’ve applied for roles, chase the hiring manager/ HR after the application date has passed, the least you can expect is a rejection email, but it’s important you keep on top of this
- Linked In is as useful as you make it. Follow organisations you want to work for to get their job updates, email managers directly offering them your CV, make sure you engage with groups, updates and build yourself an online network
- Recruiters need chasing too! If you’ve sent a CV and haven’t heard back in a day – call and find out why! If you see a job being advertised, you could apply online and become one of the hundreds of CVs we receive at the moment, or you could call and stand out from the crowd
My mantra in most of my daily activities but so important especially when trying to be an effective job hunter:
- Set yourself times of the day that you are going to dedicate to job hunting and then plan what each session will involve i.e. in the morning speak to your recruiters and do some Linked In work and in the afternoon search job boards and follow up applications
- Use either your Outlook diary or a physical diary to set yourself reminders on when closing dates are, calls to make etc
- Have a spreadsheet with all the roles you’ve applied for, where you saw them advertised, when you applied when you need to follow up
I’m sure much of the above seems quite basic and obvious, but I think now especially it’s easy to lose focus and a task as seemingly easy as job hunting all of a sudden seems quite daunting. It’s important to remember that although the way we search for a job, interview, and go about our daily roles may have changed, the basics haven’t; do what you can to stand out amongst an ever-growing pool of candidates, and make things happen.
To get in touch with us to discuss job opportunities within the property sector you can either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7766 9000.