We’d all like it if the market were busier than it is right now, but with expectations that things will improve soon, now is the perfect time to get “job hunting-fit” so that you are ready to go the minute things turn around.
Here are the Peoplecorp Team’s top tips if you are actively looking for a new role:
1 – The CV.
First things first. If you’re early in your career then 2 pages maximum. If you are more experienced then 3-4 pages is OK, but under no circumstances should your CV be longer than this. Please don’t list the job duties you had in your first role 10+ years ago!
When it comes to the content of your CV, ask yourself if it will help you get your next role. If it won’t, then remove it! And be sure to make it achievement and metric focused. Once it is completed, make sure you know it inside out. You shouldn’t have to look at your own CV in an interview to check on facts.
2 – It’s all about the network.
HR professionals are great at looking after other people, but sometimes not so good at looking after themselves. Now is the time to call in the favours and put yourselves out there. You’ll be amazed at how wide-reaching your network when you start to map out all of the stakeholders and HR colleagues you’ve worked with over the years. Get that spider-diagram going of your network and don’t be shy in asking for introductions or insights into particular companies and individuals.
Amongst other thing, this is what we’re here for. Please ask any of the Peoplecorp team for tips and insights into who’s who and where they are now! We’d be happy to help.
3 – LinkedIn.
Talking of which, if a prospective employer has not already looked at your LinkedIn profile by the time they read your CV properly, then you can be sure they will have done by the time they meet you. Make sure that every aspect of your LinkedIn profile correlates to your CV and that it reflects you and how you want to be perceived in your professional career. This includes the photo you use, the recommendations you have received (and given) and a snapshot of the major career achievements you have obtained in each role.
You should feel confident enough to comment intelligently on articles that others have written, and also think strategically about the HR networking groups you join. Plus every member of a group you are part of, automatically becomes a 2nd degree connection of yours, thus opening up further networking opportunities.
4 – Be clear about what you want.
Before you go to any interview, be really clear with what it is you want out of your next role. And importantly what it is that you do not want. Once you are in a process, it can be easy to lose sight of these things. By doing this now, it will help to refer back to at all stages to see if it anew opportunity ticks all the boxes. Work through this with a trusted Recruiter and also sense-check with them if these things are achievable.
If they’re not, then be clear on where your compromise is going to be.
5 – Practice, prepare, research. Repeat.
Preparing for an interview is like preparing for anything. The more you practice, the better you will do. Think about the 4 or 5 standard behavioural questions that always come up and make sure you have solid answers for them. Practice with a friend or partner.
And you must do your research on who is going to be interviewing you and how the company is performing. It is a good idea to have a couple of questions prepared that are topical and demonstrate your commercial acumen. It will help if you do simple things like setting up Google news alerts in the week leading up to the meeting, checking the company share price, knowing who their biggest competitors are….