One of the hardest things about looking for a new position [particularly in the current market] is the sheer number of people competing for the same job opportunity. So what can you do to get noticed and stand out from the crowd?
1. Update your CV.
I don’t just mean include your current position, really update it. I’ll keep this short because there have been so many articles about this recently but here’s what I would suggest;
- Keep your CV concise and to the point. Hiring Manager’s and recruiters receive hundreds of resumes so make it easy for us to see exactly what you did in previous roles – bullet points are your friend, use them!
- Please don’t get too creative with fonts and colours, keep it professional!
- Your Excel skills might be amazing, but that doesn’t mean you need to include tables, graphs or pie charts in your resume.
- Including a picture of you really isn’t necessary [if I really want to I’ll check you out on Linked In or possibly Facebook!], but if you do include one please keep it small and professional.
- Your resume is your opportunity to show us who you are, not just your technical skills but also your achievements and the ‘soft skills’ you bring to a role. Don’t be afraid to include some brief information on this.
2. Build a relationship with a recruitment agency.
When competition’s high and the number of jobs are low, there’s nothing nicer than feeling like you have someone on your side. If you’ve built a relationship with us, you will be the first person we think of when we’re notified of a new job in your field. How do you do this? Get in touch and let us know you’re looking, send us your CV and keep in touch. This doesn’t even have to start when you’re actively looking, a number of the people we’ve recently placed in to roles were previous clients – so don’t be shy when we contact you – we may be the people to find you your next career opportunity!
3. Work on your personal brand/profile.
We keep hearing about how important having a personal brand is but how do we do it? It depends on the work you do, but I would suggest the easiest thing is to have an updated Linked In profile – it’s accessible by everyone and is a quick and easy way to create an online profile. Ensure it’s up to date and includes sufficient information on your employment history and responsibilities, I do also love a good photo – it makes you a bit more ‘real’ and helps to connect with you. Other longer term options are things like getting involved in industry networks and forums.
A further note on having an online profile is that it allows you to get noticed – even when you may not necessarily be actively looking. One of the people we recently contacted via a ‘search recruitment’ [i.e. no advertising] sent us a lovely note which I’ve included below.
4. Avoid the temptation to apply for lots of jobs.
Only apply for the positions in which you meet the criteria and you are truly interested in. This allows you to keep on top of your applications and follow them up accordingly. A phone call after you’ve applied is most welcome, and that personal interaction and show of genuine interest can make you stand out from what can be hundreds of resumes.
So it’s obvious why you would want to get noticed when you’re applying for a role, but what about when you’re not? This is a message Jo and I received from someone we contacted about a job opportunity we had, she had a good online profile and was experienced in the area in which we were recruiting.
“Mel and Jo contacted me out of the blue with a potential job idea. I wasn’t actually actively looking but their perception and knowledge of my skills and experience meant the role was really appealing. They were both really communicative throughout the whole process, updating me at every stage and I really felt they had my best interests at heart. They weren’t pushy at all, and really wanted to ensure the role was right rather than just trying to score an appointment. I’m a month in to the job all going well and so pleased that Jo and Mel used their detective skills to find me!”
Would she say it had been worth having an online profile? I think so!
Happy job hunting!