- Get your CV right.
We won’t spend too much time on this one as there are dozens of useful guides out there. The ‘perfect CV’ is a subject of much debate but in a nutshell, we would suggest that a 2 or 3-page document should suffice. A common trend with MBA graduates is to have a strong ‘one pager’ which I would recommend as being a useful document to share with relevant contacts and then to tailor your offering depending on the role you are applying for.
- Get out and network
A subject recently covered here in a recent blog. A useful point to add is to work on the message you are keen to send out to your contacts. A lot has been written on ‘Personal Branding’ and it is useful to keep in mind what you are hoping to be known for. Even close friends and former need reminding what your key strengths are in and the type of role that is most attractive to you.
- Who are the key Recruiters in your Sector?
I will be the first to say that the Recruitment sector can be mixed and therefore you ideally want to align yourself to a Recruiter/Firm who you believe can represent you in a suitable manner. Bear in mind that Recruiter’s ‘Desk’ can vary from being very busy in different areas from time to time. Your key focus should be to speak to your friends and colleagues to understand who they have had a good experience with before getting on that Recruiter’s radar. Even better, ask them your contact to introduce you. Be persistent and follow up.
At Engage People we welcome a clear email accompanied by a CV with a view to setting up a call to get a sense of the market in your area.
- Invest Time in Reviewing Live Roles That Are Advertised
In addition to spotting the role and job spec, do a little ‘background’ on the organisation, what is going on in their business and sector that might be relevant to mention. A useful metric to consider is how many first-round interviews are you achieving? If you are being invited for interviews but rarely progressing past first round, then your major focus should be on your approach at interview. Some useful reading here.
If you are not getting to interview stage and you feel your CV sells your ability well, then it might be time to tailor your expectations depending on your need/appetite to get back into a suitable role. Again, in a busier market with more opportunities, persistence pays off.
- Be Patient (and enjoy the time off if you have it!)
This is much easier said than done but I would say that almost every person I speak to who is back up and running in a busy role looks back and wishes they had been more relaxed during their time off. While career and self-worth are often intrinsically linked, look at the time as a period to work on your ‘whole life’ (family, sport, personal development, education, mindset, travel, fun) in addition to the pursuit of a new role. Consider ‘time blocking’ in the same way you would when meeting your team in work – have focussed period each day on different tasks.[This article was originally published in 2016, Edited in 2020].