If your New Year’s Resolution is to change jobs in 2015, go back to the basics of job hunting to stand yourself in the best stead. Yes it’s boring to keep tweaking your CV and it feels more productive to be scouring job boards. However, if you’ve got the basics right you can move faster on that dream job and, more importantly, nail it.
Whether you’re coming back to the job market after a long time employed, or you’re a regular job-hopper, it’s always good to refresh the basics of job hunting. Things change; recruiters and employers are looking for new things all the time.
- Numbers: It is vital that you put your impressive numbers on your CV. These are things that catch the eye of an employer, tangible and qualitative evidence of your brilliance. It’s easy enough to say what you’ve done, but numbers really put that into perspective.
- Less is more: Do you want to read a six page CV? Then don’t send one! Spare a thought for the reader that sifts through tons of CVs for every job. Anything you can do to make that task easier places you in good stead. Lose the wordy sentences and replace them with numbers; only go in to detail for your most relevant experience; structure it differently to make the most of the space.
- Tailor: Remember that the person reading your CV doesn’t know about all that extra work you’ve done that doesn’t fall under your job title. Your skills are very transferable: if you’ve done a lot of PPC as a Marketing Manager a few tweaks to a CV can make you eligible for a PPC Specialist role. It sounds obvious, but if you’re applying for an analytics job, put your analytics experience front and centre!
- Make yourself available: If you really want the job you’ve got to show it. It’s no good making an employer jump through hoops to actually meet you. We know it can be difficult with work, but if you’re really committed to finding a new job you need to find the time. Have a set of ready excuses and moan about how much you need to get round to going to the dentist…
- Researching the company: We’ve all done it: spent ages going through all the pages on a company’s website then not being able to slip into the interview how we feel about their mission statement. Don’t research so you can show off that you’ve researched. You need to show that you understand and embody the goals and values of the company. Make sure you know exactly what they do and can show how your skills can directly benefit them.
- Dress codes: As part of your research you should have found out about the company culture. We have worked with clients who have dismissed candidates who wore a suit to the interview – it was assumed that the candidate just didn’t understand the brand. Make sure you wear something that shows you understand their ethos and will fit in with their culture (but still be presentable!).
- Be interesting: Obviously we’re not suggesting you’re not interesting already! Think about which of your hobbies or qualities will make you stick in the mind of a potential employer. They are hiring a person rather than a skill set, so make sure you give them a reason to like you more.
- Know where you’ll fit:Make sure you have a clear idea of what sort of organisation appeals to you and where you can see yourself. This will mean that you don’t waste yours and employers time by going to interviews at companies you’re just not committed to. Also think about the sort of company you appeal to. Save yourself the disappointment of rejection when you were never a good fit.
- Know how to sell yourself: You don’t need to boast or feel icky to sell yourself. Make sure you know your numbers to back up the claims on your CV – you’ve got no chance if you ‘um’ and ‘ah’ over the figures. Listen closely to their needs and relate your experience to their business problems. Don’t go in there worrying about dazzling them; you just need to convince them that no one is better.
Obviously there are more basics of job hunting, but these are the ones we feel are most important. If you are working with a recruiter then you don’t really need a cover letter, and more often than not, people are more interested in your CV. Make sure you keep your best snippets for your CV rather than your cover letter.
Recruitment blogs are chock full of interview techniques and sample questions, although the basics of interviewing have barely changed for decades. All a potential employer wants to know is your numbers and how you will benefit their company. It is easy to also read up on personal branding and comb the blogs for tips and activities to improve your brand. However, if you don’t know yourself and know what you want, not only do you have nothing to say at interview, but no basis on which to build your personal brand. Don’t neglect the basics, they may be boring but they’re your foundations for finding that dream job.