Okay, so it’s time to find a new job. You are ready for the next chapter in your career. Your decision may have been coming for some time, or maybe you received a headhunt call out of the blue and you’ve decided to pursue a specific opportunity, or maybe your hand has been forced by circumstances beyond your control such as redundancy. Regardless of the reason, you are about to jump into the job market. So what now?
Tip 1 – Plan Your Approach
Right, you’ve now got a clear goal to get a new job. Now it’s time to put the detail into your objective. This is the time to consider what job you really want, why you want it and how you will go about achieving your goal. I’ve listed some points for your consideration below to help crystallise your plan.
What do you want?
Like any goal, it is a great idea to write it down. Your chances of making it happen are increased immediately. Note the job you want to do and its purpose. Delve deeper and consider what you actually need to do each day to perform that job, what skills will be required to perform it well and what measures of success will be in place. In doing so, you will recognise experiences you’ve had in the past to leverage into your new role.
Now it’s time to do some research to uncover what type of organisations have your ideal job and analyse the competitiveness of the candidate market. This information can be found through a combination of online searching (job boards, LinkedIn, targeted company searches, industry publications), specialist advice (attending industry networking events, meeting specialist recruiters, industry peers, mentors) and asking your informal networks.
Why – what’s your motivation?
Why do you want this type of job? You will be asked this question in an interview, so have a great answer ready. But more importantly, if you really understand your motivation and tap into its power, your likelihood of achieving your goal will be increased. Is it money, learning, status, mental stimulation, wellness or altruism that is driving your decision? Whatever it is the more honestly you can answer the ‘Why’ question the better placed you are to realise the benefits of your goal.
I asked the same question of two candidates this week with remarkably different answers and they left very different impressions with me. The question was simply, “tell me why are you applying for this role?” The first applicant answered, “because I need a job!” The second answered “because this role requires someone with proven change management skills and the ability to work at both a strategic level and also an operational level. I believe I have these skills”. You can guess which answer was more impressive and led to a more thorough conversation about transferable skills and suitability for the role.
There is nothing wrong with being honest and I believe the first candidate was telling the truth… she needed a job. However when it comes to an interview situation it is fair to say her answer gave an impression of desperation, whereas the second answer hit the mark.
How? Actions to get you going
Applying for advertised positions is only one of many methods of finding a new role. Many companies avoid advertising their job vacancies because it can be expensive, time-consuming, administratively prohibitive and unsuccessful. Instead, more and more companies and recruiters actively look to find you. Yes, they find you! This paradigm shift has transformed the world of recruitment and means the way you found jobs in the past may not be the way you will find your jobs going forward.
I recommend you have a combined approach of reactive, passive and proactive techniques. Reactive actions include applying to job advertisements for active vacancies, passive involves having an up to date digital presence on sites like LinkedIn or your resume posted on the Seek or Indeed databases and proactive involves actively seeking out meetings with recruiters who operate in your area of specialisation or contacting prospective employers directly in a tailored manner.
Tip 2 – Prepare Yourself
Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe”.
Now, I don’t recommend you over analyse your resume and spend hour after hour crafting a document that is perfect. But I do encourage you to put genuine thought into your resume (particularly noting your unique achievements), your key transferable skills that your next employer is ‘buying’, your research into prospective employers, your resignation letter/conversation, how you’d respond to a counter offer, your online profile and what is says about you, what referees to call upon etc. Preparation is the key to mitigating risk and can make the difference between blowing an interview and really impressing.
Tip 3 – Practice
With all the technology available today including video capability on personal devices, why not video yourself in a mock interview situation with a family member or friend. Review and critique your performance and identify areas that you can work on for when the real time comes. You only get one chance so make it count.
Alternatively, work with your Recruitment Consultant to prepare for an interview and ask for tips and advice to assist you.
Now go for it. Put yourself out there into the job market, be smart about your approach and just do it. Back yourself and take confidence from all that you’ve achieved so far.
Ben Walsh – General Manager; Recruitment