As we draw towards the end of (another) extremely challenging year, many are beginning to reflect and re-evaluate their lives and careers and are seeking change.
For some, that change can be location or industry driven, but for others it can mean a change to the way they work — moving from a full-time role to a part time role, or simply seeking a new workplace culture.
Whatever the change, for many it may have been quite some time since they actively sought work, so it is important to spend time thinking about how to navigate through the job search process to set oneself up for success.
Reddin Group Partner, Andrew Telburn shares his insights into finding success and avoiding pitfalls when it comes to a next career move.
Don’t make avoidable mistakes
An expert in recruitment, Andrew’s number one piece of advice for job seekers is, “don’t give me reasons to reject you.”
“If I’ve received 50 applications, the first thing I need to do is cull. The quickest way to do yourself out of a role is to make avoidable mistakes. All it takes is focus and attention to detail and you can be a frontrunner, so don’t put barriers in your own way,” he said.
Don’t go overboard with information
Starting with the application process, Andrew strongly recommends a clear, easy to read resume.
“Don’t try to cram 8-pages of information into 3 or 4 pages. Take the time to ensure your CV is concise. Of most importance is your responsibilities, goals, and your results, particularly if it’s a sales role or similar. The ability to communicate and market yourself quickly and succinctly is worth its weight in gold,” he said.
Slowing down is another of Andrew’s tips.
“Take time to really understand the role, decide why you want it and be clear in your application, which should include a personalised cover letter,” he said.
Andrew believes that taking the time to introduce yourself in a cover letter can go a long way to sending you to the top of the priority list.
“The letter is a way of helping the recruiter get to know you. It shouldn’t be a recap of your CV, but something personal. Why you are passionate about this role and why you are the best fit.
Make sure you address the person advertising, don’t use the wrong name for instance. It immediately shows that you don’t have attention to detail and can put recruiters off. It seems simple, but I can’t tell you have many times I’ve seen it happen when people are applying for multiple roles at once. Step back, slow down and take the time to get your cover letter and your CV right,” he said.
Don’t forget LinkedIn
Andrew also strongly believes that if you don’t have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, then you are doing yourself a disservice.
“Make sure your profile reflects your CV and while you are at it, Google yourself and watch what comes up. If there’s anything that you think may put a recruiter off, remove it.”
For those out of work and wondering whether to let people know that they are actively seeking a role on LinkedIn, Andrew says — go for it.
“Updating your profile to let recruiters know that you are open to opportunities is a big yes for me and can save time in your job search. It will make you more appealing to recruiters who are on the lookout for candidates,” he said.
Further advice for those looking for a new role is don’t be afraid to directly approach organisations that you admire. Write a targeted email and pick up the phone.
“The worst thing that can happen is they say no, so you have nothing to lose.”
“The same goes for calling recruiters when you see a job ad that you’re interested in. I always appreciate a phone call if I can see that the candidate has read the position description and is asking intelligent questions. If you call, however, and ask questions that show me you haven’t really engaged with the ad or the position description, it can backfire. Always take the time to read and understand before you call, it shows real interest,” Andrew said.
Once selected for an interview Andrew’s advice is to prepare, prepare, prepare.
“It may sound like common sense, but many don’t prepare well enough. Understand the role and the organisation. Think through the sort of questions you think you’ll be asked and prepare with solid answers.”
“Finally, presentation is key. Show up like you want to be there, even in an online interview. Look professional (and leave the activewear in the drawer),” he said.
Don’t overlook the benefits of follow up
Once you get through the interview phase, Andrew says that he encourages follow-up calls if they are respectful and “not every day.”
“There is nothing wrong in asking the status of your application. It shows you’re engaged and enthusiastic about the role. Recruiters remember good conversations, so make sure you are asking the right questions and your call will be appreciated and remembered,” he said.
Another tip is to ensure that you have a professional voice message on your mobile phone in case recruiters leave you a message.
“Remove the 10 second message functionality if you can and most importantly, ensure you are checking your voicemail and respond promptly,” he said.
Don’t be reticent
When discussing your fit for a role, Andrew believes that employers are becoming more flexible around how and where people work and are more interested in getting the right person for the role, than having someone sit at an office desk 5-days a week.
“I would recommend being upfront about critical issues such as, not being able to work a certain day of the week. However, if its flexibility you are after and are willing to be flexible yourself in terms of how and where you work, it can be a win/win. The key is the timing of the question. Make sure you want the role and that you are going to be the right person for the job before setting down terms of how you work. Again, it’s about not putting up barriers,” he suggested.
Don’t overlook your network
Finally, Andrew encourages job seekers not to forget about the power of networking.
“Former colleagues will always be flattered to hear a call from you asking to ‘pick your brain’ about a career move, so don’t’ be shy. Networks can’t be underestimated in my opinion,” he said.
The best of luck to all those out there making a career change in 2022. Let’s make it a better year for all of us.