Struggling with your job search? Follow these five steps...

Author: Liam Grant, Senior Recruitment Consultant - Accountancy & Finance, Hays Middle East

Looking for a new job opportunity can be demotivating. It takes a large proportion of your time and effort and when you do not receive the responses you are after; it can feel like you are hitting a brick wall.

If this is the case, have you reviewed your approach to your job search to realise what is and isn’t working? As a recruiter, all too often I see candidates firing their same generic CV at all vacancies they hear about – whether they have the relevant expertise or not. I also see many job seekers typing “interested” on every job advertised on LinkedIn, in the hope that this will land them an interview. Unfortunately these techniques simply won’t work, it’s a competitive market and you really need to consider how you can stand out from the crowd. Being specific, being innovative and funnelling your energy in the right places will give you the best chance of securing your next move.

With all this in mind, I have put together five top tips to help you be more successful in your job search:

1. Select a low quantity, high quality approach when it comes to recruitment firms

When you are actively looking for a new opportunity, it may seem like common sense to speak to as many recruiters as possible. After all, the more recruitment firms spoken to, the more job opportunities available, right? Mathematically correct however, the last thing a job seeker should be looking to do is over-share their CV in the market. By making yourself so readily available, you are devaluing your skills and experience. Bear in mind that employers want to hire individuals who have a passion for working with them and who fit with their culture and values, not someone who will accept any job going.

2. Recruitment is all about relationships

By building a rapport with your recruitment consultant, you can be confident that you will be top of mind when any relevant job vacancy arises. Find out how the consultant representing you likes to work, some like catch ups via email, others via telephone. Some consultants like speaking weekly, others monthly. Each consultant differs in their approach so make sure you’re starting your relationship off on the right foot and find out what works for you both in terms of communication.

3. Talk to the right people

The number of job seekers I see reaching out to me who are not relevant to my network is incredibly high. For example, as an Accountancy & Finance recruiter, I cannot personally help a Marketing Director looking for a job. Research is therefore absolutely key and if you are doing it properly, you should be able to identify the recruiter who specialises in your profession.

4. Help your consultant out with industries and companies you would like to work in

It is always impressive if we can approach an employer on your behalf with “…this candidate has expressed great interest to work in your company”. While we can’t guarantee to secure opportunities with all companies (some do have their own internal hiring teams), being selective and targeted with the list of organisations you give to your consultant typically results in a more successful job search than being open to any vacancy. Have an idea of the size of business you would like to work for, the industry you would like them to be based in and be realistic. Then check the news to see which of these types of employers are doing well in the current market.

5. Address people with the right name

I get a huge volume of emails, LinkedIn messages and phone calls where job seekers address me either by my surname, a completely different name, or a generic “Dear HR”, “Dear Sirs”. It is easy to scatter emails across the region and this does not create a good impression to hiring managers. In reality, your response rate is going to be very low. Instead, make sure you do your research, be specific and get it right!

In summary, keep faith in your job search. If you are looking in the right places then there will be an opportunity for you.

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