6 x Simple Steps to get You 'Noticed' in the Job Market - The Ultimate Guide | FusionHub Recruitment Agency |Bedford

6 x Simple Steps to get You 'Noticed' in the Job Market - The Ultimate Guide

Posted 26/3/2020 by James Selway
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Let's get brutally real for a few minutes. Job searching is a royal pain in the bum, and with it comes a host of frustrations! Frustrations about recruiters, hiring managers, your CV, inner self-doubt, interview nerves, the list is really endless! 
 

I was one of these frustrated souls a couple of years ago!

Struggling to find a job


I was once a 36 years old Police Officer who desperately wanted to get an entry-level marketing job. I didn't care what the salary was going to be, as I knew it would be 50% less than what I was currently getting. Sounds do'able right?

Well.... So you would think!

I skilled myself up, created a blog, a brand, logo, social media channels, I learned Google Analytics, Wordpress, Photoshop, Social Media Paid Ads, Email Marketing and SEO etc. I even studied for a Diploma in Digital Marketing.

So, I had a degree, spent 13 years in the Police Service, had a qualification in Marketing from the CIM, and experience in all the above.

Could I get an opportunity? Could I eck! 

Nothing, zip, not one interview, not even any rejections! A black hole of applications. I didn't really know how the hiring landscape worked, the only application I had done was one for the Police in 2002.

200 applications. - 0 Interviews. Then I got an opportunity! Fast forward a few years and I now work in Recruitment and own my own Agency.

I have taken how I felt, and what I learn't back then, and put it into our values at FusionHub! Job seeking on occasions sucks! I wouldn't wish how I felt on my worst enemy!


So, in the following pages, I am going to give some advice about how to make your job search that little more efficient and effective!

 

We will be touching on the following areas in this article
 

  1. CV & Cover Letter

  2. Your Network & Networking

  3. LinkedIn - Specifically

  4. Social Media Presence Generally

  5. Getting Personal 

  6. Thinking Outside the Box

 



1. CVs and Cover Letters

CVs Do's, CV' Dont's, Cover Letters, how they help your job search

 

Like it or not CVs and Cover Letters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! But, chin up, they aren't that bad when you know how to present them! 

I always say a CV is simply a ‘hook’, it’s your ‘shop window.’ It’s a platform designed to entice a recruiter or hiring manager to want to pop into your shop, and have a look nose around.

In short, it's a mechanism for the desired recipient to want to find out more about you and what you have to offer

You could have the best shop in the world, but if there's no window, no sign, or anything to entice a potential customer to come in, people are just going to walk straight on by. We don’t want that do we!


 

So let's dive into some CV Do’s and Don’ts 

 

CV Don'ts

Don’t put a photo on your CV: This is becoming increasingly popular these days; I dare say it's due to the advent of social media and the need to almost brand yourself on the market. However, a photo can open up potential litigious issues. What can you see from a photo, and what can you deduce from it? Age? Sex? Ethnicity? Looks? All of which is not a reason to either hire somebody, or reject their application because of it.


Use excessive amounts of colour: I know this is subjective based on the industry your in, and the more creative roles require more evidence of creativity and flair, I get it. There is nothing wrong with adding colours to your CV that are subtle. Just please don’t make your CV look like you are sponsored by Skittles. Sometimes the simpler the better!

Create a CV that looks like its Volume I: Now you will probably be aware that the length of a CV should be no more than 2 x pages according to popular sources. I am going to be facetious as I am not 100% sure where this magic number of 2 has come from, or where the evidence for this magic number is! Personally, I don’t mind if it’s 3 pages or 1 page. So, don’t worry about the length too much. Just don't make the length overly excessive and full of waffle. Your CV should have plenty of white space, but be tightly packed with evidence.

Just listing responsibilities & tasks: Now everyone has responsibilities that are attached to their role. How did you go about these responsibilities and tasks of yours to add value to your team or organisation? Think about accomplishments! Can you quantify these? If ‘yes’ then do it. What were the outcomes of your stellar efforts, can you evidence tangibility? A good tip here is to read your bullet points or sentences, and say, ‘so what?’ If you have to explain after the phrase has been said, then you haven’t explained enough, and room for a bit more substance. A bit more meat on the bone so to speak.

Tell lies: It’s human nature to embellish a story I get it! But don’t lie on your CV! You will always get found out in the end. It always comes back to bite you in the ass! Remember, it may all come out in the referencing procedure! It 100% will in your first few weeks if you can't do some of the stuff you said you could! 

 

CV Do's 

Sell yourself: Why should they consider you as their next hire? Think like a marketer here, think brand!  What’s in it for the employer? What are they going to get by hiring you? We sell ourselves every day, be that at work, to other people; your resume is no different. So, get into the habit of selling yourself! 

Tailor your CV and Cover Letter: Look at the job description, the company profile, their brand, their tone, what they want, and evidence the fact you’re the solution. Listen, I know It’s easier creating one single CV and clicking apply for a multitude of jobs, hoping the law of averages and lady luck will be on your side. Sometimes luck is on your side, but it’s far more effective and efficient to tailor your CV/application to each role applied for.

N.B Please don’t worry about ATS Systems and Keywords. I believe this is like an urban myth. There are very few companies in the UK that bin applications by using AI keyword software to scan CVs. Your CV may well pop straight into a database, but it will be looked at with eyes of a human being! It is with me anyway. Whether the human eyes like what they see, or not, and give you relevent feedback at all, that's a different matter. 


Focus on achievements: This has its place in the above two points. It’s easier to just list the tasks you performed in your role and hope they resonate,I get it. However, consider shifting your focus to what you actually achieved and quantifying the results. If you can evidence what your efforts achieved for your current or past employers, this goes someway towards an employer having faith you potentially could do the same for them. Otherwise, you may appear to be a bit of a gamble. It could be a calculated gamble on ‘potentially he/she could,” but it’s still a gamble! So list your best achievements in each role you have performed.  

Proofread your CV: Common sense I hear you cry. Sadly not. (I am going to spellcheck this article and stick it through Grammarly) I tried, but there’s always a grammar snob lurking isn't there! We all know one! I don’t pretend to be perfect, so there, naff off! If you still aren't confident ask a friend to read and proof your CV.

 

 

 

Cover Letters


I'm personally a very big fan of the Cover Letter. Many recruitment experts will argue that the Cover Letter is dead, a thing of days past. I get that a cover letter means an extra bit of work for you too write, and for someone like me to read, but hear me out on my thoughts. The cynic in me thinks some recruiters don't like a Cover Letter because they haven't got time to read it. I can be a bitch sometimes. 

But, why do I love a Cover Letter? Let me explain.

 

  • A cover letter in my opinion makes you stand out. It shows you have that extra level of attention and diligence, and also that you have made that little bit more effort than other candidates.

  • It’s also more space to evidence your suitability for a role. Perhaps you want to elaborate on a great achievement but this won't fit on your CV. Where better place to showcase this than a cover letter!

  • Furthermore, a good cover letter can act as a marketing message, with a clear call to action at the end. It’s can also be more personable than a CV, if it's addressed to a named person.

 

One further tip, if you see a job advertised that says that a Cover Letter is requested, or even if it says ‘Optional,’ then do a Cover Letter!

It's Required!

 

 

 

2. Your Network/Networking
 

Network, how networking helps your job search


Now most of us have a network of some description, some small, some large. 

People in our network know people, that also know people that we may not etc etc. It's the six degrees of separation theory.

Are you utilising your network in your search, are you tapping up your network to keep their ear to the ground on your behalf? You should be!

Next is your professional network. These are the people that you have worked with previously, and those that you have built a professional connection with on a platform such as LinkedIn or through face-to-face networking groups.

It's estimated that 70% of jobs are never listed. Some say the figure may be as high as 80% +. This shows the importance of connections doesn't it? It's not what you know..... and all that jazz! 

So, my advice would be to start building professional connections, join in on the conversations, join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook for example, go to networking events, industry events etc. It helps spread your net that little bit wider.

 

Put yourself out there! It's a bit like dating. You're unlikely to find your soulmate if you don't leave the house, or only go to the same places!

 

 

 

3. LinkedIn - Specifically 

How to use Linkedin to search for jobs


Now there are entire books written on the do’s, don’ts and best practices of LinkedIn, however, i'm a big advocate of ‘keeping it real.’

So, here are a few tips to get started using LinkedIn for your job searching. This is not an exhaustive list by any means! 

 

If your a student or graduate check out Students & Recent Graduates, are You Using LinkedIn? You Should Be!

 

Create a Strong Profile: LinkedIn is great at telling you your profile isn’t complete! Resist the temptation to scream “I KNOW THAT LINKEDIN!” every time you log in. Go check out other people’s profiles in your industry or niche, see what their profiles look like, what they say, how they come across. Don’t be afraid of showing who you really are!  Put some personality into it! You are what makes you unique after all!


Make sure you have a Strong Headline Statement: Please don’t write stuff like ‘Unicorn’, ‘Ninja’, ‘Evangelist,’ ‘Disruptor,’ 'Thought Leader,' etc as we don’t search for these phrases. I have yet to be briefed by a client to find one of these job titles. Recruiters search Linkedin all the time! I search for keywords and phrases for candidates. Also, don’t over egg the pudding. I see many people who appear to embellish their actual job title to inflate their ego somewhat. If you are a Marketing Assistant, just say so. Don’t put stuff like ‘Chief Spartan of Content and Ideas.'


Utilise all the Summary Space Given to You: Give a flavour of who you are, what you're about, what makes you tick and what you have done. Think Executive Summary in this section! This is where you market yourself. Don’t be shy now! You will see very quickly that nobody else on LinkedIn is!



List your Career History: This doesn’t mean re-write your CV. Keep it brief, let us know what you did, what you achieved, what were your key responsibilities. This can be a great addition to your actual CV.

List your Education, Certificates, Qualifications:  Don’t be modest!


Recommendations and Endorsements: Endorsements aren't what they once were. Anyone can endorse you, which defeats the whole point really. Someone endorsed me today, never heard of them! Recommendations are useful as they provide some hard evidence of your ability. So, why not reach out to ex-colleagues and simply ask for a recommendation? It sometimes as simple as if you don't ask you 100% don't get.


How often can you visit LinkedIn in a day? If you work a demanding role with long hours obviously less than you would like I am guessing? But… it’s better to be consistent with LinkedIn. So, if you have 30 mins a day on the train, at lunch, then 30 mins every day is better than nothing at all. Stick to a plan and a schedule and be consistent. The important thing is to consistently show up, interact and engage.


Connect with people/companies, follow them, and be social!: Social Media is just that, so be social, join in, offer your opinion, ask questions, and start having meaningful engaging conversations. The more your face and name is on other peoples feeds, the more exposure you get. You become front of mind in a way. Like everything, the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities present themselves to you.


Join LinkedIn Groups:  There are many reasons why this is useful. You keep up to date with the latest trends and talking points in your industry or niche. You can ask questions in these groups, as well as help others who ask questions. In essence, you are promoting yourself and your own personal brand, as both knowledgeable and helpful, but above all, you are joining in on the conversation and being social. You never know who is seeing you, or who could be in your thread. N.B Groups on LinkedIn aren't what they once were! Make sure you find a group that isn't dead in a ditch! Check the engagement of comments. If nobody is engaging, leave the group.


Keyword your Profile: You want people to find you when they search don't you? As mentioned us recruiters use LinkedIn, and so do hiring managers. So, have a think about what keywords are being used to find you! Just don't be mean to us when you are identified and called! We're not mind readers! A large % of the job market is passive! I.e You aren't actively looking, but would be open to hear about good roles! Be kind.

 

I can't go on enough about how LinkedIn should 100% be part of your job search strategy right now!

 

 

4. Social Media Presence Generally

Social media can help your job search, FusionHub Recruitment Agency in Bedford


'Social Media is awesome to use in your job search strategy. But with it's usage comes a few caveats.

Keep it professional: Chances are potential employers or recruiters will search for you on social media. So make sure you are presenting yourself in the best professional light. A well-crafted CV or LinkedIn profile counts for nothing if your Facebook and Twitter paints you in a less than flattering light! Examples being
 

  • Extreme opinions and views

  • Racism, sexism etc

  • Inappropriate photos

  • Slagging off your current company, colleagues and/or your boss! 


If that's what you do on Social Media, I can't stop you, but there are settings that are available to prevent people seeing your posts. 

 

How to use Social Media to your advantage

 

  • Begin to see yourself as a Employable Brand. That's the mindset you really need to start adopting. Make sure all your visible social channels work to your advantage. Audit your 'Online Profile.' Is your online profile marketing you as efficiently as it could be?

  • Do your research on the companies you like the look of. Follow them, learn about what they do, what is their culture, what is their challenges? (Get knowledgeable!)

  • Connect with and follow the decision makers and leaders in these companies. (As mentioned above on LinkedIn). This can be done via social media channels like Twitter as well. Start interacting with them and get on their radar. Maybe reaching out for advice or help could lead to a role in the future? 

 

 

5. Getting Personal

Reach out to people during your job search, get personal


This is one of the things that most candidates just don't do enough of. It's the reason why people actually pay me to help them find candidates.

I reach out to candidates because I have the experience of doing it. Often the candidates I reach out to just don't want to reach out to the hiring managers directly. Which I get!

Obviously, there are many reasons for this, such as fear, an element of the unknown, can't be bothered; or how exactly you go about doing it. I get it, I was exactly the same before I became a recruitment consultant.

But, guess what? This approach can work when applied well! Companies would much rather have you come to them! A lot of companies nurture their employer brand to attract talent to them.


So, if you see a company that floats your boat, do your research. Find out who is the manager of the department you want to be working in. Find them online, connect with them, try and engage with them.

Who knows, if you get friendly with them they may refer you to an opening, and they may put a good word in for you if you're lucky.

Or, if you cant directly connect with them, send your CV and Cover letter to them. Not a 'To whom it may concern.' Address it to them, because it becomes a personal correspondence.

Tell them who you are, what you’re about, what you can do, and how you can solve their problems. Don't be modest either. What's the worst that can happen here?

They don't reply. So what? You are in exactly the same position as you started if this is the case. Get into this mindset, and reach out consistently and someone will reply. Think of all the other job seekers who will not be doing what your doing! The competition starts to decrease when using this as a tactic! 

 

In Person (Post Social Distancing and Isolation!)

Seek out industry networking events, meet people face to face, connect with them and engage with them regularly on social media or WhatsApp.

Build and nurture these relationships on an ongoing basis. Not just when you want a new job! Make it part of your daily career path!

Again, referrals happen when you put yourself out there and start building and nurturing your own professional network.

If you meet someone interesting at an event, arrange to go for a coffee to find out more about them. Especially if they work for a company that you would love to work for.

This could be your ticket in, and at the very least you will find out a lot more quality information about the company than you would online.

 

Online Connections

Now this one will seem bold to you. Scary no doubt. But, hear me out. If you connect with someone on LinkedIn who works at a company you really really want to work for, throw caution to the wind and ask if they would be up for meeting for a coffee.

You will be surprised how many people don't mind going for a coffee for 30 mins! 

Again this could be your in, or they might just tip you off when an opportunity presents itself at this company. Sometimes jobs aren't advertised.

N.B: During this current crisis people are now at home, they may be more active online on platforms like LinkedIn. So, wouldn't it be wise to start to connect with people and build relationships and your
 network! 

 

 

6. Thinking Outside the Box

Think outside the box in your job search, FusionHub Recruitment Agency in Bedford


There are things you can do to stand out from the crowd during your job search. Sometimes the job market feels so saturated! How the hell do you get noticed from all the others??

The biggest tip I can give is to think of your job search as a marketing strategy with you being the product. You have to get people to buy into you, to be the product that they want and better still 'need.'

To do this you need to adopt a strategy which is better than your competitors i.e other job hunters.

 

Video

Some of the inventive ways I have seen candidates market themselves, their personality, their skill set and experience is through videos. Videos are a strong medium to make yourself stand out and market yourself to companies.

There is nothing stopping you doing a short 3-4 minute video on your phone and editing it using free apps. If you have a little more know how you can always use software like Adobe Premier Pro and shoot on a DSL camera for example.

Or simply use your awesome smartphone to do a video. There are tones of free and paid software and apps where you can edit these. It doesn't cost anything to upload this video to Youtube and put a link to the video on your CV.

 

Online Bio

Another avenue to explore is to consider an online shop window for your portfolio or candidate brand. I have seen candidates create a single web page that acts as an extension to their online CV and Social profile.

Within it is a copy of their CV and a short bio about themselves. This is advantageous as there is only so much a CV can tell you about a person.

A CV, one-page website including a bio with a 3 min video embedded within does give you that extra bit of attention from recruiters and/or hiring managers.

 

 

FusionHub Recruitment Agency in Bedford, Author James Selway, Owner

 

 
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About FusionHub Recruitment Agency 

 

FusionHub Recruitment Specialises in Permanent & Fixed Term Contract Office Recruitment in Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Surrounding Areas 
 

In the following disciplines up to Management Level.

 

(Accountancy & Finance) (Administration) (Secretarial & PA) (Customer Service) (HR) (Legal) (Marketing & Comms) (Professional Services Support) (Sales)

 


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