The prospect of starting a new job search can be daunting. Working out what your dream job actually is can kindle any number of conflicting trains of thought before you’ve even started. Then comes the other side of the obstacle coin: decking out your recruitment armoury to skyrocket your profile through the competition and land you in that top spot. Ignore the doubts you may have that these are tall orders; both are perfectly surmountable building blocks. We all eventually overcome them on our way up the job ladder, and with these tips and tricks, your job search will be no different.
Dream big: what do you want?
First up: go all in. Consider and outline exactly what the ideal role would look like. Think about industry, function, salary, company culture – everything. Input as many of those parameters as you can into a job search website, like Guardian Jobs, and see what comes back within that framework. Be prepared for the dream job as you imagined it to be a little elusive, so then remove criteria one at a time, starting with your least important factors, and watch your options grow.
What DON’T you want?
Knowing your bottom line and where you’re willing to compromise is key. Are you looking for more money? A new sector? The opportunity to grow a team or be closer to home? If you’re leaving a job because you shoe-horned yourself into it, don’t go down that same route again. Be open-minded but confident, and don’t compromise on your ‘dealbreakers’. Extensive perks can be an easy distraction, but remember that whilst a job comes with perks, those perks also come with a job. Make sure it’s one you actually want to do.
When it comes time to tell your employers you’re moving on, they may try and tempt you to stay with more money or that promotion you were previously denied. Around 80% of people who accept a counteroffer still leave the company within the next six months. If you’re faced with this dilemma, you need to ask yourself, if you were fully valued there, why it took the threat of resignation for your employers to act on that and invest in you.
Put your CV through the ringer and back again. It needs to be targeted and focused on your most relevant experience to each new application. When you’re happy, upload your CV to TagCrowd. This incredibly handy tool generates a word cloud from any text to visualise word frequency. It will show you straight away if you’re emphasising the skills and experience that you think you are, or if you’re accidentally stressing irrelevancies.
Do your own PR
As the communications recruitment specialist, VMA GROUP knows the power of good PR. In the age of LinkedIn, making sure your profile is optimised cannot be underestimated. You can save yourself a lot of hassle and chasing if your personal branding is strong enough to bring employers to you. So, when it comes to LinkedIn, remember the four ‘PRs’:
PRofile: This is essentially an employer’s online window to your professional life, so make sure you’ve tidied up. It should be fully up to date and client-ready
PReferences: LinkedIn sends out regular ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ emails (manage the frequency of these in Privacy & Settings), so update your preferences on your Jobs tab to make sure you are targeted accurately
PRivacy: Make sure that the ‘Let recruiters know you’re open’ option is toggled in your preferences. This will flag you to recruiters for 90 days, after which time you will need to reselect it. You can also opt to notify your network whenever you update your profile, which can be a helpful passive indicator that you’re looking for a new opportunity
PRioritise: Little known fact: when a recruiter does a criteria search for users, they can then filter those by people who have also engaged with their company’s ‘Talent Brand’. This means liking or sharing their content, or following their company page. Research has shown a person is 95% more likely to respond to an InMail from someone at a Talent Brand they’ve engaged with, so a recruiter will use this filter to increase their chances of a decent response rate. This is a quick and easy way to ensure a recruiter doesn’t filter you out at the last hurdle, so make sure you prioritise the media you engage with. Connect with companies and brands that you like, and it could be the difference between getting a job there and being overlooked
Ask the experts: use a specialist recruiter
Companies will often exclusively recruit through an agency, without advertising elsewhere. At VMA GROUP, we recruit exclusively within the communications and marketing space. Our decades of industry expertise perfectly position us to guide you through the process, at no cost to you. Whether you are a junior with limited industry exposure, or a seasoned professional looking for a trusted consultancy with access to the most coveted senior roles, VMA GROUP's gravitas is invaluable. We will also act as an intermediary, negotiating on your behalf when it comes to offer stage, and acting on our expertise to handle those talks appropriately. Every industry will have its specialist recruiters, and a little research will quickly point you towards yours. An experienced specialist can guide you through the entire process and expertly match you with options you may not even have considered. At the very least, they ensure all your bases are covered.
Written by Natalie Shall.
If you would like to talk to one of our experienced consultants about developing your career in communications, digital or marketing, please contact us today.