Job seeking is time consuming and hard work; often referred to as being a full-time job and the places where job adverts can be found continues to expand through social media and online resources but is still massively dominated and largely driven by job boards.
Here we take the opportunity to offer what job seeker help and support we can for seasoned Executives, Senior Managers and Professionals seeking employment and opportunities to put their vast experience and intellectual capital to best use:
Where possible do your research on the hiring company; the more you can align your skills and expertise with the hiring companies culture, strategy, ambitions etc, the better your chances of success; alternatively, recruitment companies are becoming more and more sector specialised so try to build personal relationships with recruiters specialising in your target field.
You are the commodity that you want somebody to buy so ensure that your CV is the most important and most valuable direct and targeted marketing tool that you possess. Don’t just fire off generic CV’s in response to a job posting; your CV MUST be tailored to the requirements of the job vacancy, making sure that you have the key words and requirements of the job spec included in your CV so that candidate tracking software highlights your CV – remember you have a few seconds to attract the recruiters’ attention.
Remember that recruiters search job boards for suitable CV’s so if you want to be found – make sure that you have at least one top notch generic CV saved on the most appropriate job boards and it is marked as “visible or default” – think of your ideal job and build your generic CV to match the qualities, skills, attributes, achievements, successes and expertise of that job and consider having a different default CV on a number of job boards – you have to help the recruiter find you!
Recruiters are busy so do not expect a reply to your application and don’t be demoralised, this is just the way it is, one recruiter I worked with received over 2,000 applications for a single job.
Free Advice – there is a plethora of free advice on every aspect of job hunting and CV writing from a multitude of sources – research and make use of free advice but try and find the format that most suits you and your career and aspirations. Here at The Director-e we have chosen to work with a specialist CV writer who is little known but boasts an impressive client list!
There will always be three types of job seeker – those who are in work and looking for their next position, those who are out of work and looking for a new position and those who are in work and open to offers, often the domain of the Head Hunter.
Job seekers who are in work and have a chronologically intact CV seemingly have the easiest task when looking for a new role – their hardest tasks are probably not letting their current employer know that they are looking to move on and then finding the time to apply for an advertised role with a tailored CV.
Job seekers who are not in employment face the hardest task as; rightly or wrongly (in our view), recruiters and hiring managers view employment gaps with suspicion and the longer the gap, the more suspicion is attracted. The evidence also indicates that this situation is compounded with seniority but those exact same people have the greatest opportunity to use their skills in a multitude of alternative roles – voluntary, freelance, contract and interim and help overcome the “employment gap” barrier.
Open to Offers
For those who are content but open to offers, you only have to let it be known – let it be known amongst your peer group, let it be known on Linkedin and Social Media and place your top-notch generic CV on the most appropriate job boards but be ready for that unexpected ad-hoc phone call.
The best day to apply?
Tuesday is the most popular day for companies to post job listings and out-of-work candidates have the greatest opportunity to hit the “apply button” ahead of the rest of the field whilst in-work candidates are stuck at work – out-of-work candidates must play to their strengths and steal the advantage wherever possible.
Candidates who apply for a job when it first opens will have a “greater chance of getting noticed and getting in on the first wave of interviews,” the SmartRecruiters report says. The longer a job posting has been open, the more competition applicants will face.
According to the data from SmartRecruiters, 11 a.m. is the most popular time for companies to post new job listings during the week. The majority of candidates apply for jobs around 2 p.m. – so, if you want to be ahead of the curve, you may want to look for new postings in the late morning. http://uk.businessinsider.com/why-tuesday-is-the-best-day-to-apply-for-a-job-2015-4
To Select or To Discard - Recruiters are under pressure to fill roles quickly and when faced with an avalanche of applications, their immediate course of action will be to look for reasons to discard applicants to trim the pile down to a manageable level. With current methodology, any employment gap is an easy hit which undoubtedly means that perfect candidates are quite often discarded with little further thought but if your Executive Summary can really grab the recruiters attention; then your key skills and achievements may give the recruiter every reason to talk to you rather then bin you.
Executive Summary – One trick that may help you create your Executive Summary is to set yourself the task of describing What YOU are, What YOUR value proposition is and What value YOU will bring to the employer. We recommend that you do this in in a Word Document with no more than 7 rows in 11pt Arial – just so that you keep it concise. Remember, look at the job specification and match those all-important job requirements into your Executive Summary – you have to grab the recruiters attention within a few seconds.
Less is More – Keep jargon limited to the specialist sector, keep key information in bullet points with white space between – make your CV as easy to read; as punchy as possible and completely focused on the job you are applying for.
Out-of-work candidates that are job seeking have the advantage that they have the most amount of time available to research, to job hunt, to make speculative approaches and to build up relationships with specialist recruiters; they also have the time to explore other forms of activity where their skills and experience can be employed to “make a difference” and keep their CV and expertise alive. Why not consider taking on project or contract work? Specialising in what you really are good at and enjoy doing could be a great option for you.
The Gig Economy will start to erode the perceived value of a chronologically intact CV, in less than a decade, some reports suggest that the concept of permanent employment will be a thing of the past for 50% of workers. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to have to accept and recognise that the economic and cultural value of a person, resides in the person, not in their CV which is nothing more than a piece of targeted marketing which may or may not be factual. It is set to grow with some reports suggesting that 50% of all workers will be freelance by 2025. This emerging work-pattern should open huge opportunities for the out-of-work candidates with the skills and expertise to offer short-term, contract / interim services to businesses of all shapes and sizes so look for those short-term opportunities and get your CV at the leading edge of the curve.
Digital exposure – in the digital world everybody is visible so be extremely careful with your public persona and what you say and do in public – one employee was dismissed on arrival for their first day because they had posted on social media that they had only taken the job whilst they looked for something better; the Managing Director assisted them in their quest! Occasionally; Google your name and see what your digital footprint is telling people about you; many a recruiter is friends with Google!
3 good reasons why seasoned professionals should register with The Director-e:
- You support our mission to harness, promote and realise the often undervalued and discarded talents and experience of Britain’s Senior Managers for UK plc.
- You’re a highly talented and supremely skilled individual who has bags of experience, a record of success and the certainty that you have lots more to give.
- You want to be alerted to the best and latest job opportunities #WhereExperienceMatters.