Finding a job isn’t easy and an employer led market doesn’t help things for those who are either trying to get their foot on the ladder or those who wish to move up to the next wrung.
It’s doing the little things better that will inch you ahead of your nearest rival when it comes to securing that most coveted role. The number one thing to remember is that the job hunt is your responsibility as is your CV, your interview habits and your performance once in a position. By fine tuning your behaviours in these areas you will undoubtedly become the cream that rises to the top. World domination awaits!
Here’s a few things to ask yourself when the penny drops that it’s time to move on:
Are you actually ready to leave?
We all have bad days and weeks in work, is that all this is? Will your colleague soon stop annoying you and your clients start returning your calls? Have a good long think about this. Perhaps you actually love your job but you feel a little disenfranchised lately. The grass is not always greener so have a chat with HR, or approach a trusted colleague or mentor in confidence. Speaking to others can help to gain some perspective.
How’s that CV looking?
So you’ve decided to jump ship. Fair play! The first rule of engagement is of course the resume / CV document that will hopefully get you lots of interviews. This is your first impression. Make sure you are circulating something you can be proud of.
Coffee? Tuesday? 11?
As they say, looking for a job is a full time job so be prepared to do some hard work! If you approach businesses directly or go via a recruitment agency be sure you are committed to moving on and can be available to discuss jobs and meet with clients as suitable roles arise. Some companies are less flexible than others but they nearly always expect prospective candidates to be. Factor this in mind, it’s not personal if they won’t budge on that interview slot but you may need to get creative around lunchtime physio appointments or make yourself available before or after office hours.
How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
Interviewing is the worst. They are daunting experiences for almost everyone but a necessary evil. The thing that will nudge you ahead of your competitor is preparation. Boring but true. Whether it’s a ‘run me through your resume’ type meeting, or a panel shooting questions at you from all angles or a Google-eque employer who enjoys a brain teaser you’re expected to handle it all. Be sure to ask your recruiter if any tips are available, check online, ask friends who may work there if they have any insight. The best candidates have lost out on roles that were “in the bag” because they failed to prepare.
How do I look?
You’ve written a great CV and are ready to rock. Don’t blow it now! Take time to think about what you will wear to the interview. Regardless of how the employees dress you are always expected to be suited and booted for a job interview (unless you are told otherwise). Gents, this means a suit, clean shaven and shiny shoes. Ladies, things are a little more open but say no to tight dresses, especially those over the knee and platformed shoes. Keep hairstyles and make up chic and discreet. They loved the CV and now is your time to shine in person. Don’t let your image distract from the task at hand.
Have you said you can start at one month notice? Then be sure you don’t have holidays planned or upcoming surgery which will prevent you writing for 8 weeks. If you’ve notified your recruiter or the company of this from the start that’s no problem but make sure you’ve explained the full story before everyone spends weeks getting from A to Y and then… nada.
Well done! You beat out 25 applications and 5 other interviewees and have been given an offer. Once you have your acceptance out of the way all you have to do is handle your current employer. Handing in your notice is a guaranteed sweaty palms situation and even the most hardened professionals get the fear. Breathe. You’ve come this far! Your last task is to write a thoughtful and thankful letter of resignation to your boss. Ask for a face to face meeting and hand the letter over in person. Nobody (usually) ever begrudges another moving on to gain more life experience if everything is handled with care.
Encore, do you want more?
No of course not! You have raced through the final furlong and have made it. Winner alright! You have secured a fantastic new job that was hard fought and is much deserved. Enjoy your spoils and put everything into your new opportunity. I promise your recruiter does not want to hear from you for at least two years! Do yourself and your CV justice and stay put unless things are unbearable. Hopefully the next time you’ll be prepping for an interview is for an internal promotion.