Finding your next move

It's the start of the year, the celebrations are out of the way and companies are now re-focused on business, planning, new year targets and project completion. Having returned to work you might be thinking of a change of career and role...

January and February is usually a very active recruitment period as companies gear up with new projects and have an eye on sales in this last quarter; coupled with people returning to work and finding it’s just not for them anymore means that opportunities abound.

So how do you take advantage of this if you are looking yourself and where do you start?

First off in order to ensure that you show yourself in the most attractive light to prospective employers, and the search and selection recruitment firms, you need to develop your Personal Marketing Plan.

Kick Start Your Career
There are several steps within this and ideally you should try to complete each before you start actively looking for a new role. Now is a good time to kick start your search for your next executive role and career move. You can do this by reviewing what you have done so far, updating your plan and then taking action by implementing it. Your action plan should include networking, social media, job sites and contacting search firms and employers.

Standing out from the crowd
There is a good choice of candidates for many roles, particularly where the employer cannot find or attract a ‘ready made’ candidate from a competitor, or doesn’t want one. If this is the case how do you make yourself and your application stand out? Particularly as research suggests that candidates' CV's have just ten seconds to impress the recruiter, with more than 70% of CVs being discarded before they have read to the end of page one!

Tone it Down
Firstly, it is not about being loud, brash, aggressive or colourful in an interview – you do after all want to be remembered for your skills and experience rather than that tie you wore! It is more about making your application stand out and presenting the right information at interview to ensure that the employer is aware of your skills relevant to his vacancy.

Personalise Your CV
We get many CV’s for roles that seem to bear no relation to the vacancy on offer; although the candidates say in their covering letter that they have experience of the sector there is no mention of it in their CV. Automated systems/databases read and store CV’s, not covering letters, and when asked to find key words and phrases they can’t find what is not there. Similarly, if your CV is read by a person they are looking for keywords, phrases, companies and sectors; again if it is not there they can’t read it!

The answer? Rewrite your CV for every job you apply for including information that is relevant to the role and the employer. How long does it take to do this? Minutes. Explain on your CV what the companies did that you worked for, the sectors they were in, who their customers were and what part you played in the success of the company. If they ask for candidates with experience of the AMP cycle for example, and you have this, make sure the employer knows rather than assuming that they know.

Simple? Certainly. A bit of work on your part? Certainly. Effective? Certainly.