Be picky

Candidates are currently enjoying a market in which they can afford to pick and choose who they work for. If you’re registering with an agency, think about which one you want to apply for.

Be selective – don’t feel the need to register with every agency. Look at the specialists in the area, and who has the best reputation. Keep your selection down to two or three recruiters and be careful firing out too many CVs to the job boards. Speak to friends or colleagues who have secured similar roles, and find out who they were represented by – and if they were happy with the service they got.

Think about what’s important to you

Spend some time considering the things that matter to you. Ethics, morals, honour, values, social equality, etc. Think about how you can put those into your job search – which company out there best represents the things you care about?

Have a look at the things that are non-negotiable. What are you not willing to compromise on, like flexibility or hybrid working? It can be tempting to give in if it means finding a position, but we advise keeping those non-negotiable things that you really want in mind throughout your whole job search.

Be honest

You should also be honest from the start with your recruiter, and with whoever is interviewing you. Dishonesty can and will leave a bad taste in peoples’ mouths, whether you’re talking to an agency or the company themselves. Stay mindful and think about how that will represent you in your job search. Honesty is always the best policy.

Social media

Social media is everywhere we turn, no matter how much we try and avoid it.

Whether you like it or not, a lot of companies will look you up on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or at least try to find your profile, so beware of how your social media represents you and how it might look to a prospective employer.

Make sure your profile is set to private during a job search and take it off afterward if you want to, and consider old accounts that you no longer use, just in case.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an incredible tool to use when you are job hunting. However, we would advise going by recruiter rather than LinkedIn. This way, you know your CV will get to the right person, rather than potentially being ignored or missed by the LinkedIn job poster. However, it’s still a great tool to use in case you want to go down that route.

Make sure your LinkedIn matches up with your CV. Recommendations are great to have on LinkedIn and can be used to add to your credibility – so why not put them on there?

It’s also a good idea to post a short video on LinkedIn. For example, we had a candidate who was looking for a role during the lockdown and recorded a 22 second video where she introduced herself, her talents, and her interests. Off the back of that, she was invited to 3 interviews via LinkedIn, and ended up getting a job directly as a result.

You can use these tools to really help you in your job search – never underestimate how far a little bit of creativity can get you.

Keep things relevant

During your job search, ensure you’re applying for relevant roles and ones that match your skillset. Your CV is important, so make it personal and avoid pictures – as an agency, we have to take them off anyway due to GDPR and we cannot allow any kind of discrimination from our clients.

Think of writing your CV as though you’re writing a personal statement. Make it punchy, interesting, and to the point. Also have one line reference at the top of your CV, from your old boss. Make sure spelling and grammar are correct, and the formatting is neat and tidy. We also advise sending your CV in Word format, rather than PDF.

Building a relationship with your recruiter is crucial. You can guarantee that if we’re on the phone during a meeting, we’re picking up a job. Keep an eye out on your emails during your job search, as we tend to use emails as opposed to calling candidates to speak about roles as numerous calls during working hours may raise a few eyebrows.

If your plans change regarding interviews, please call us, and do not email. If you need to change your job interview or if you’re running late, please call!

Interview preparation

Have a look at the job spec and consider the following:

  • Why do you want this role?
  • Why you want to work for this company?
  • What’s their Diversity and Inclusion policy?
  • Do they have a strong mission statement?

And don’t forget to ask them questions.

During the interview

Do not be afraid to bring your CV or a notepad into an interview with you.

If the interviewer asks you an open question, they want an answer that’s more than just a couple of words. Don’t be afraid of speaking your mind!

Body language is important. A large part of communication isn’t verbal – body language and tone of voice can create huge positive and negative impacts during interviews. Try to build a rapport with the person that’s interviewing you – it will pay off.

Mirroring is a great way to build rapport. Try to match your speech patterns, your level of speech, whether it’s perhaps loud or quiet. You will find that instantly you feel more at ease, and a good interviewer will be doing this to you too.

Competency-based interview questions

“Give me an example of when you had to make a decision in your boss’s absence. What did you do?”

Be specific with your answer. The interviewer wants to know about one specific example, and for you to say something about the situation and what you did. Finally, you talk about the outcome and what you learned from it.

Competency-based questions can be broken down into three sections, always answered in a clear, concise format, giving the interviewer all the information they need. There are no right or wrong answers here – it’s up to you to relay a scenario or an event.

However, as we said earlier, keep things honest.

Prepare for end of interview questions

Never be afraid to ask the interviewer questions. Not only does it show interest in the job and company, but it shows off your people skills as well.

Good questions can include the following:

  • Where would you see me in a few years?
  • What made the last person in this role successful?
  • What’s the company’s five-year strategy?

After the interview

Take a business card at the end of the interview or send an email

Listen to feedback and take it on board. Negative feedback can be hard to swallow at times, but it will help you perform better in the long run.

If you are not sure of the feedback, or how you should interpret it, speak to your agent or recruiter, and try to get a little more information.

We hope that these tips have been helpful and will continue to aid you as you progress through your career.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone with your Crone Corkill Consultant – and as always, if you’re in the market for a new job, let us know.

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