When opportunities seem limited and the world is full of noise and advice, it’s difficult to think straight and decide on the course of action to take.
Well, if I may add to the advice, when looking for a new job opportunity or change in career, please don’t just rely on your CV to get a job.
As I often say we are all a Limited Company; selling our knowledge, skills, experience, wisdom and bundles of enthusiasm and in return we get paid.
Like a Limited Company, we have to have different routes to market.
Try thinking about yourself as a business consultant who is promoting and selling ‘you’.
It’s about sensibly applying the following ideas and routes to a new opportunity. Which one will work best? You will need to work that out depending on your situation and industry.
Have a great CV – But remember don’t just tell people what you have done, tell them the value that you can bring – try and personalise each CV to the position you are applying for. If you were selling a product or service to a business you would adapt and personalise to their needs, the same applies to CVs. Treat your CV as business proposal. Naturally a CV for a creative media position would be different to a role in finance and compliance. Research video CVs would that be appropriate for the roles you are going for.
Recruitment consultants – build great relationships and understand how it all works. How does recruitment work in your industry and desired companies? Learn to adapt and play the game well. Don’t just look at the situation through your eyes. How can you help them to place you?
Trusted network of contacts – Yes, let them know you are available. However, don’t come across as desperate, especially if you haven’t spoken to them recently. Create a subtle approach, don’t just sell them your hard luck story and how you have been dealt a tough hand, unless they are good friends and you need to offload and they are happy for you to do so.
Target companies – As a good business consultant who is now promoting your own services, think about researching companies that you would like to work for. Get to know them, their values, culture, vision and how prosperous they will be in the future and how you could potentially contribute to their future success.
New types of organisations/ industries – Are there any particular industries that you would like to move into? Perhaps your current industry isn’t in the best of shape for the future. Research and talk to people to understand the companies and industries that will develop and be successful in the future.
Local organisations to target – Depending where you are in your career, you might like to target local organisations that you see as prosperous and would be good to work for. This might not happen straight away, but as with all good limited companies / business consultants you need to think of your target market for the future and who you could potentially work for. Again, use your network to discuss different organisations and who to target.
Company referral programmes – This is becoming more popular in large organisations that have a Referral Programme where staff members refer potential candidates. Can you find out if your target organisations have these programmes and try and build up a network of people who work there to keep you in the loop?
LinkedIn job adverts – A great way to find opportunities, but the competition will be tough.
LinkedIn profile and social media posts – Remember, if you are going for a new position, they will research your social media and LinkedIn page. It becomes part of your CV. Think about what you post. Your LinkedIn profile should be up to date. Share articles and show you are knowledgeable and active in your sector. Get testimonials and comment on other people’s posts. Keep it positive and interesting.
Being realistic – Are there the right permanent roles out there for you at the moment? If companies have a freeze on headcount it’s time to look at alternatives; consider contract, interim, freelance or project work. It might not be what you want but sometimes, needs must. People will respect you for adapting and changing and that you aren’t going to just sit there and wait for something to happen. Plus it gets you out there talking to people and being involved and often other opportunities arise.
Keep at it – Keep your regular job searches going. Yes its tough and can be painful, but if you don’t keep looking who is going to do it for you?
Some of these will not always bring instant results, but, if you are taking on any interim or contract work, keep these activities up so when the time is right you will potentially have more options. Remember, always promote the value you can bring not just what you have done in the past.