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With the job market intensifying over the past 6 months and competition increasing amongst contractors for roles, we thought we’d provide some insight and advice in getting the roles you want, as well as handy advice on where and how to look for these positions.

Get your CV right

  • It seems obvious but you’ll be surprised how many recruiters have an automated filing system that identifies key words and phrases that match against a job description. So the well-known advice of ‘tailor your CV’ to the job role is invaluable if your wanting that telephone call! But don’t just copy keywords from the role as that’s too obvious!
  • Have your CV handy wherever you are…seen a role passing by an agency but don’t have your laptop? Have your CV stored in your email account so you can quickly access it and easily send it if you come across a role.
  • There’s a fine line between too much jargon and too little – remember that your CV will pass through a number of hands before it arrives at it’s intended destination! HR and agency staff will most likely interact with your CV before the hiring manager will so don’t overdo it with technical terminology that they won’t understand but at the same time don’t miss out vital software, processes and technology that you’ve worked with.
  • Use a professional email address if possible. bigdogjohn@email.com for example is not the most appropriate and may put off recruiters or employers getting in touch.
  • Try to start each point with a word such as ‘managed’, ‘created’, ‘increased’, ‘improved’ and other words that show you made a specific impact to the position, project or company.
  • Spellcheck and proof read! Spelling mistakes and errors in grammar can significantly put agencies and employers off putting you forward for interviews.
  • Use white space to your advantage. Remember, agencies and employers are bombarded with hundreds of CV’s and not all them are easy to read so make it stand out by making it easy on the eye.
  • Avoid using italics and only use bold for headings.

What to do when searching

  • Sign up to daily job alerts and post your CV on all the major jobsites.
  • Meet a few agencies you feel will take care of you and put the right jobs in front of you. If agencies are calling you with roles that are unsuitable let them know and build a relationship with one that does.
  • To save you from frustration from constant calls that lead nowhere, try ‘vetting phone calls’ before they come through. Have a few go to answerphone and see what the message is. If they mention it’s about a specific role, call them back. If they were ‘fishing’ (i.e. calling to hit their call target) it’s most likely they have nothing to offer and you spend 30 minutes going through your CV for no reason.
  • Keep positive! Searching for positions can be demoralising and tedious but stay positive and try to portray that to agencies. Sound enthusiastic and motivated about positions, do some basic research on the company to get you excited about the possibility of working there. The more passionate you come across the better chances you’ll end up with an interview.
  • Check industry websites as some employers may post jobs on specific sites aligned to their industry so be sure to check these daily so you don’t miss any opportunities.

Interview time  

  • Get there 15 minutes early. This gives you invaluable time to scope out the environment and get an ‘instinctual feel’ for the company. It also gives you a chance to peruse any company material they have in their reception area! Don’t underestimate the value of taking a look at press cuttings, awards cabinet etc. as it adds further intelligence to your knowledge (obviously don’t say you’ve just noticed it, act like it was part of your preparation for the interview!)
  • Take a copy of your CV and portfolio. This gives the hiring manager a great insight into your achievements and supports anything you say in the interview, providing stats, figures or KPI’s you hit or exceeded in your previous roles.
  • Don’t attend an interview on an empty stomach. Have something light before attending an interview. Your brain and body doesn’t function well on an empty stomach and your cognitive abilities go haywire as all they can think about is food. It’s also pretty embarrassing if your stomach keeps rumbling like a whale call every 15 minutes whilst you or the interviewer is trying to talk!
  • Be calm, be yourself. Again, its obvious advice but you’ll be surprised how all of a sudden your natural character changes when you’re faced with 3 people you’ve never met before. Remember, you’re interviewing them as much they are you!
  • Ask what the next steps are. If they don’t inform you what the next steps are, always ask. It gives you an idea of when they might be in touch and doesn’t leave you hanging if you get another job offer before they get in touch.
  • Follow up. Get in touch with the agency or employer if they don’t get in touch within the timelime they gave. If you haven’t been offered the position, always ask for feedback so you can improve for the next interview. Even if they do offer you the job, ask for feedback as to what made them decide to offer it to you.

Starting the new job!

  • First things first…get in touch with us! We’ll take a look at your contract and review your benefits, ensure you get the highest take home rate and provide a host of other benefits that others don’t.

Posted in Job advice, Knowledge On June 15, 2016