Looking for a new job?

How to find a new job you love

We’re coming to the end of the year and people are starting to look for a new job. “New year, new you!” Last week, I’ve helped a friend with a career question and taken on a new client looking for support for their career transition. How fitting of them to want to have a new job and career by 2017!

When applying for a job, a number of candidates can’t sell themselves. They’re stuck in the day-to-day activities, send off 50 applications a day and wonder why they can’t land a job or even an interview. Here’re some tips from an HR and coaching perspective, helping you ease the search for a job. Please note that this is not meant as any legal advice.

Make time for your job search

How much time do you think it will take you looking for a job online, contacting recruiters, reaching out to your contacts, researching companies, sending out your application, having informal meetings, attending interviews and negotiating the desired contract? If you think this can be done during your lunch break, think again.

Looking for a job needs to be taken seriously if you want to be taken seriously.

Define what you want

Most of us follow a traditional career path. You generally study the topic, start in a junior role, develop your skills, move into more senior roles and potentially also managerial roles. These days, career transitions are certainly a lot easier than 20 or 30 years ago, although some sectors are still taking longer to adjust to candidates with transferable skills.

Outline what do you want to get out of the new job. Gain experience in a new or different industry? Move up the career ladder? Have job security, the 2nd biggest driver to attract candidates as per Willis Towers Watson? Be clear about what you want so you can communicate this during the interview process. This exercise will set realistic expectations for you and the company and reduces surprises and possible frustrations during the probation period.

A word of caution: If you are looking to increase your current package, review the market carefully and get a better understanding of current pay trends. Often, candidates demand out of this world expectations and are disappointed if companies don’t agree to these. As the world economy is changing, so are the packages offered.Imagine where and how you want to work

Besides knowing what you want, review where and how you want to work. Will your current town provide you what you’re looking for? Do you need to commute or even relocate? If you can commute, how far do you want to commute each day? When will the commute have a negative impact on the other areas of your life?

Some vacancies are openly describing the amount of travel but are less transparent about working from home practices. If you like to work remotely, is that prevalent for your desired industry and/or company? Can that be negotiated with the new company? If not, are you willing to pass up this opportunity?

Which industry do you want to work in? Are there even specific companies you want to approach? What attracts you to these?

What kind of management do you want to support or follow? How should your colleagues be like? Do you even want to interact with others?

Asking these questions allows you to focus on the appropriate industries and/or companies. You won’t waste your time reviewing industries and/or companies where you already know they don’t fit your wishes.

Update your application

When was the last time you updated your CV or wrote a cover letter? Take some time out to reflect your achievements in your CV and draft a unique cover letter for the role you want to apply for. Just like you’ll need to adjust your cover letter, you may need to adjust your CV.

Let the document sit for a little bit before you’ll read through it. Does it make sense what you’ve written? Is there anything that needs to be explained or spelt out like abbreviations? Are there any spelling mistakes? You may want to give it to your partner or a friend for their review.

Foster your relationships

Don’t just call your contacts when you need them. Instead, foster your relationships on a regular basis. Ask them how they are doing. If you have a business question they can help answering, give them a call. Show an interest in them as a person and in their career.

People are more than happy to help others out and a lot of companies place a huge weight on employee referrals. If you can be recommended for a job, that’s great! If you’re just calling your contacts when you’re in need, they may be reluctant to assist you. After all, when was the last time you spoke together?

Treat recruiters with respect

You may have noticed the increased amount of LinkedIn posts from recruiters or hiring managers. Someone was rude to them and a few hours later, that individual painfully realises they were nasty towards the recruiter. Karma comes around.

Respect can be given in so many ways. Be on time for your interview. Call in advance if you’re running late. A recruitment agency like Recruit ME will not recommend you to a client if you can’t follow these basics when meeting them. Their reputation is also on the line.

Be prepared for the interview. Have researched the company, their products and services, their strategy in advance. Learn about their competitors and the industry, if you’re not already familiar with them. Check out the latest news and events in this field. All this shows your interest in the company and they are interested in you, hence the invite for the interview!

Know who you are

During the interview, share your story with the recruiter and the hiring manager. It’s helpful to know what motivates you, how you work best, what you desire. Prepare examples of previous situations where you’ve handled conflicted, provided customer service, needed to negotiate or whatever else is required for the vacancy. These days, companies want to know what you (not your team) have done and how. You can use the STAR method to describe these situations.

Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter and hiring manager questions. In the end, it’s a two-way process. Just like the company wants to find out more about you, this is your opportunity to learn more about the role, the team, the company, its objectives and strategy, the working conditions, the package and so on.

Congratulations to the offer

Having gone through the recruitment process, let you be the lucky one who’s been given an offer. Congratulations!

Review the offer in its totality and carefully. Are all areas you discussed during the interview reflected and shown as agreed? What about topics like working from home once a week which is so important to you? If it’s not in the contract, it’s not given! The company may claim it was never discussed and/or agreed.

If anything needs to be added or re-negotiated, speak with the company as soon as possible. Don’t sign the contract until everything has been agreed. Once it’s signed, there’s no need for the company to make any adjustments to the contract.

Once you are happy with the contract and you can imagine working for the company, sign the contract. Please do not resign from your current company until then, unless it’s unbearable for you to continue working for them. In that case, please be fully aware of the consequences of your resignation (financial impact, insurance coverage, etc.).

If you decide that after all the interviews, calls and meetings (or maybe even before you’ve reached the final stage), you are not interested in the role, say so. You remain professional! Plus, you save yourself and, equally important, the company time and don’t set unrealistic expectations.

Work with a career coach

Do you want to make your next job search more efficient? Not sure what you want, just know it can’t continue like it is now? Working with a career coach who helps you identify your goals and creates action plans can provide you with the clarity and focus you need. Contact me to find out how I can help you find your own career direction.

Until next time,



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