Good career management is about taking control of your career by being proactive, understanding your value in the job market, knowing how to authentically market yourself and having clarity on career goals. This allows you to search effectively in a competitive market, evaluate opportunities, weigh up the options and act decisively when making your next career move.
[axr] we’ve put together a comprehensive list of tips providing you with our expert advice, gathered by our consulting team with over 25+ years of experience, to set yourself up for success searching for your next career move.
Career goals and skills analysis
- It is critical to dedicate time to identify your long term career aspirations and goals and being strategic with your next career move.
- Assess the skills, expertise and strengths you have gained in previous roles and research the gaps you need to fill to be able to move towards that ultimate career goal
- Research roles and organisations that will assist you in your career development, as well as additional training or education it may be beneficial to take
- This helps you be more focused in your job search and being clear about what you are seeking and what you offer to your next employer is important in the interview process.
Personal brand and value proposition
- Knowing your unique combination of strengths and skills assists you to understand the value you offer a new employer and develop your personal brand
- Your personal brand is unique to you and must feel completely authentic. You should be able to articulate that in 2-3 business-like and professional sentences that state who you are and the key-value you bring to a new employer
- Make your personal brand part of your resume and your LinkedIn profile. It can also be your ‘elevator pitch’ when you are networking and meeting new people.
- Ensure your resume is up to date, well constructed and easy to read with relevant information for the roles you are targeting.
- Attach a short succinct cover letter tailored for each role you apply for highlighting your skills/expertise relevant to the role. Bullet points work well in a cover letter as well.
- Building your resume correctly is vital – click here to get our detailed advice on creating a powerful resume.
- Many roles are being filled by internal recommendations so use your network. Let your network know if you are currently searching and available to start immediately.
- Network broadly in your industry, with your peers and call people you know well. Ask for referrals. Send a short, succinct message through LinkedIn to professional contacts you don’t know – LinkedIn is a professional network tool.
- Whilst job searching LinkedIn is an important tool even if you have not used it much in the past. These days recruiters and potential employers often automatically check profiles of applicants they are interested in and to approach people directly for roles, or build talent pools for future roles
- Ensure your profile is up to date, well written and aligns with your resume, and that you have a professional business photo attached. Click here to get our tips on Creating a standout LinkedIn profile.
- Expand your connections – connect with people you know professionally and have worked with previously, as well as people you want to know.
Dealing with recruiters
- Do some research and identify the recruiters who specialise in your discipline or industry. Make contact with them and in an ideal world, you would organise a face to face meeting with the purpose of building a long term relationship, which is in both parties interests.
- However, in the current market, it may be difficult to even make direct contact as the recruiters are focused on business development and bringing roles in, as well as dealing with larger than normal responses to their adverts.
- If you are applying directly to a job advertisement you may not hear anything unless your profile is exactly what they are seeking, however, we suggest following up a couple of days after the application to express your interest and gain further information.
Preparing for interviews
- Research the company, industry, people you will be meeting. Gather as much information as you can about the role and the organisation before the interview
- Know your resume, your skills and especially your achievements. Choose a variety of examples of your achievements that demonstrate your skills and expertise. Practice your answers – a few good examples should be able to address most questions you will be asked in the interview.
- Have some good questions to ask the interviewers
- Get the basics right – know where you are going, be on time, be well dressed and impeccably groomed. Click here to get our guide on how to nail your next job interview.
Managing your job search
- If you are not working, we suggest you treat your job search as your job! Dedicate time to your search each day, research industries, companies and people you are interested in, follow the job boards and LinkedIn, keep up to date with business and industry news, and connect with your network
- Keep track of roles you have applied for and responses. Follow up applications after a couple of days with an email or phone call (you may not get through but worth a try) to ensure your application was received and whether any further information is required.
- In the current market, on average roles advertised are attracting up to 200 responses so unless your resume is absolutely what is being sought you may not be even contacted by the recruiter or company to let you know you have been unsuccessful, let alone receive any constructive feedback on why you were not right.
- A positive mindset is essential when you are job searching. It can be a challenging time especially if you are not working and in a market such as we are currently experiencing, but it does come across if you are feeling negative.
- Schedule yourself some dedicated time each day for your job search but also keep busy with other activities – get outside and get active, develop or spend time on other interests, read some interesting books, volunteer your time, learn a new skill, or take some courses that build relevant professional skills.
Do you need more help with your next job search?